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On this episode of It’s Going Down, we speak with former comrades of radical organizer and author Noel Ignatiev, who passed away in 2019 and is most well known for his involvement in the radical journal, Race Traitor. Before his passing, Ignatiev was also involved with Hard Crackers, which chronicles working-class life, struggle and revolt while continuing the political project that began with Race Traitor. A collection of Ignatiev’s written works, Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, which includes selections from How the Irish Became White and the Race Traitor journal, has also now been published on Verso press.
In this episode of the It's Going Down podcast, we spoke with Noel Ignatiev, a former steel worker who helped shape a critique of white supremacy in the US + worked on the journal 'Race Traitor' + the book, 'How the Irish Became White.' A thread. https://t.co/FNmoJ064Wh
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) October 11, 2019
During our conversation, we discuss the ongoing impact and importance of Ignatiev’s ideas, which built upon and continued the work of anti-capitalist Black revolutionaries like W. E. B. Du Bois and CLR James. Along with contemporaries like Ted Allen, Ignatiev, who was also deeply involved in radical, anti-capitalist organizing – began to ask how racism affected class struggle in the United States and why white workers were often hesitant to stand in solidarity with workers and poor people of color. Ignatiev argued that white supremacy, a cross-class relationship between lower and working-class whites and those in power, was the mechanism which hindered wider class struggle from breaking out across society. If whites could crack the racial caste system that put whiteness at its top, then maybe they could begin to struggle alongside those already attacking it.
On Friday July 22 at 7pm, HC editors Zhandarka Kurti and Jarrod Shanahan will join our friends at @PilsenCommBooks to discuss Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity, a collection of essays by the late Noel Ignatiev out now on Verso. We hope to see you there! pic.twitter.com/DsDgzGUZDX
— Hard Crackers: Chronicles of Everyday Life (@Hard_Crackers) July 13, 2022
Throughout our discussion, we also touch on the George Floyd rebellion, Trumpism, and the current Supreme Court decision to roll back bodily autonomy. We discuss if January 6th marked an attempt to re-solidify whiteness within society, lessons from the Civil War and reconstruction, and what people can – and should do to topple the racial order of American capitalism.
More Info: Noel Ignatiev interview with It’s Going Down and Hard Crackers home page.