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In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with Noel Ignatiev, long time organizer, author, and theorist. Ignatiev spent 20 years working in a steel factory while also being involved in the influential group, the Sojourner Truth Organization (STO). Building off the ideas of W.E.B. Du Bois and CLR James, STO built on a critique of white supremacy as a cross-class relationship that blindsided poor and working-class whites with “white skin privilege,” hindering the possibility of multi-racial working-class action.
In the 1990s, Ignatiev expanded these ideas in the journal Race Traitor and also the book, How the Irish Became White, which explores the process and forces at play which integrated migrant workers into whiteness in the United States.
Throughout the interview with discuss Ignatiev’s work with the STO, his theoretical development with Theodore Allen, who authored The Invention of the White Race, the concept of “abolishing whiteness,” and his view of current and contemporary struggles.