7.03.2015

VID: "The Invention Of The White Race" by Theodore W. Allen. Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry

This incredible video illustrates several things. Beyond the information presented, it shows the genuine compassion engendered in people whom are not of color when they begin to understand how complex racial issues actually are.


Allen argues that race is not "natural" but instead is a "social control formation" created by plantation owners in 17th century colonial America and used to this day by the U.S. ruling class to maintain its dominance over workers of all races. In this lengthy review of Allen's seminal two-volume The Invention of the White Race, New York City public school teacher and activist Sean Ahern explores the decades of research and thinking that Allen poured into his work and why it remains as relevant as the day he first published his first article on the "white blindspot" 50 years ago.  From The White Race Was Invented: Here's How It Happened

"The Invention of the White Race" (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen, especially Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America."
This Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry, which draws on insights from Hubert Harrison, was hosted by The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society on January 31, 2013, at the Brecht Forum, when it was still located in lower Manhattan.

On this cold night the building had no heat. The standing room only audience is testimony to the growing interest in Theodore W. Allen's important work and in the struggle against white supremacy. 

The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy Fansmiles Productions.

Please mark this video for viewing and share with others!

"When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no 'white' people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years."Theodore W. Allen(Written after searching through 885 county-years of Virginia's colonial records)

Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century's major contributions to historical understanding. This two-volume classic (Vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" and Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America") details how the "white race" was invented as a ruling-class social control formation and a system of racial oppression was imposed in response to labor solidarity in the wake of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77), how the "white race" was created and maintained through "white race" privileges conferred on laboring class European-Americans relative to African-Americans, how these privileges were not in the interest of African-Americans or laboring class European-Americans, and how the "white race" has been the principal historic guarantor of ruling-class domination in America. (See http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center_... )

"The Invention of the White Race" presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as "The Great White Assumption" -- "the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the 'white' identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct." Its thesis on the origin and nature of the "white race" contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges, and universities. With its equalitarian motif and emphasis on class struggle it speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide.

Jeffrey B. Perry contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes to Verso Books' new expanded edition of "The Invention of the White Race."
For more information on Dr. Perry and his work on Hubert Harrison "the father of Harlem radicalism" (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) See http://www.jeffreybperry.net 
Also see1) http://www.jeffreybperry.net/disc.htm2) http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center_...3) http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center_...
For “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcuvU...
A video of a presentation on Hubert Harrison at the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library in Roxbury, Massachusetts on February 15, 2014 can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heBKm...
Videos of an interview with Theodore W. Allen conducted by Stella Winston can be found at http://youtu.be/EtS7yUyCsvU and at http://youtu.be/7JYYnNzjJrU
For the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry see http://www.jeffreybperry.net (at top left) or see http://clogic.eserver.org/2010/2010.html

And here are the notes and annotations that I took:

When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.”
main thesis 1) the white race was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the latter civil war stages of Bacon's rebellion 2) a system of racial privileges was deliberately instituted by the late 17th century Anglo-american bourgeoixie in order to define and and establish the white race, and establish a system of racial oppression 3) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, they were also disastrous for European-american workers
1:20 "[Hubert] Harrison Arrived in NY [from Caribbean] in 1900 and encountered a viscous white supremacy unlike anything he knew before" 3:30 Contrast of Caribbean/US Slavery 4:50 "Politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea. The presence of the Negro puts our democracy to the test and reveals the falsity of it.." (touchstone is black stone which tests the purity of gold) 07:40 "This understanding of black labor as proletarian is essential to a whole new reinterpretation of US history" 10:15 Originator -- "white skin privilege" concept, 1965 16:25 "Invention's" Main Theses 19:06 the 'white race' serves as "the principle historic guarantor of ruling-class domination of national life" in the US 23:00 "Three Major Crisis of US: 1870s, 1890s, 1930s" [1 generation, 2 generations.. 3??] 23:20 "Why no socialism in the US?" "Why was there a generally low level of class-consciousness in the US?" Review/criticism of left/labor/general historians - "Architects of Consensus" "Why was there a generally low level of class-consciousness in the US?" Review/criticism of left/labor/general historians - "Architects of Consensus" 24:07 Six-pronged rational: (Consensus explaining low level of class consciousness) Early right to vote and other constitutional liberties Heterogeneity of the working class Free-land safety valve Higher wages Social mobility "Aristocracy of labor" Each is a myth, and needs to be reexamined in the light of Racism/White Supremacy Early right to vote and other constitutional libertiesHeterogeneity of the working classFree-land safety valveHigher wagesSocial mobility"Aristocracy of labor"Each is a myth, and needs to be reexamined in the light of Racism/White Supremacy
37:50 'whiteness' - "the white race is an actual objective thing", "an abstract noun, an attribute of some people, not their role" it's a historically developed identity of European-Americans and Anglo-Americans and so has to be dealt with" 38:22 "my book is not about, and does not pretend to be about `racism'" "it is about the white race, it's origin and method of functioning" "I stay way from using the word `racism' because of the ruinous ambiguity white supremacists have managed to give it" "it is about the white race, it's origin and method of functioning""I stay way from using the word `racism' because of the ruinous ambiguity white supremacists have managed to give it" 39:40 Slavery or Racism, which came first? 40:55 "Look at some Howling Absurdities of ``Race''" 43:45 "The Irish Mirror" "The reflector of Irish history affords insights into American racial oppression and white supremacy" Irish History "presents a case of racial oppression without reference to 'skin color' or, as the jargon goes, 'phenotype'." Irish History "presents a case of racial oppression without reference to 'skin color' or, as the jargon goes, 'phenotype'." 44:12 Core Argument - Comparative study of: 1) Anglo-Norman rule and 'Protestant Ascendancy' (1652-) in Ireland 2) 'white supremacy' in continental Anglo-America (in both its colonial and regenerate United States forms) 1) Anglo-Norman rule and 'Protestant Ascendancy' (1652-) in Ireland 2) 'white supremacy' in continental Anglo-America (in both its colonial and regenerate United States forms)
44:55 Specific Examples of Racial Oppression 1) African Americans in the U.S. both pre/post emancipation 2) American Indians in the 19th century 3) Irish from early 13th century until 1315, and after 1652 1) African Americans in the U.S. both pre/post emancipation 2) American Indians in the 19th century 3) Irish from early 13th century until 1315, and after 1652
45:08 Essential Elements of Discrimination (against Irish in Ireland and Afro-Americans) which gave these respective regimes the character of racial oppression, were those that: 1) Destroyed the original forms of social identity & 2) Excluded the oppressed group from admittance into the forms of social identity normal to the colonizing power. which gave these respective regimes the character of racial oppression, were those that:1) Destroyed the original forms of social identity &2) Excluded the oppressed group from admittance into the forms of social identity normal to the colonizing power.
45:33 4 Defining Characteristics of Racial Oppression (Virginia 18th century) 1) de-classing legislation, directed at property-holding members of the oppressed group 2) deprivation of civil rights 3) illegalization of literacy 4) displacement of family rights and authorities The Hallmark of Racial Oppression: "the reduction of all members of the oppressed group to one undifferentiated social status, beneath that of any member of the oppressor group" 1) de-classing legislation, directed at property-holding members of the oppressed group2) deprivation of civil rights3) illegalization of literacy4) displacement of family rights and authoritiesThe Hallmark of Racial Oppression: "the reduction of all members of the oppressed group to one undifferentiated social status, beneath that of any member ofthe oppressor group" 46:04 Maximize Profit, Maintain Social Control "Where the option was for racial oppression, a successful policy was one that could maximize the return on capital investment, while assuring its perpetuation through an efficient system of social control""Where the option was for racial oppression, a successful policy was one that could maximize the return on capital investment, while assuring its perpetuation throughan efficient system of social control"