Noel Ignatiev Quotes

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Whiteness is not a culture. There is Irish culture and Italian culture and American culture - the latter, as Albert Murray pointed out, a mixture of the Yankee, the Indian, and the Negro (with a pinch of ethnic salt); there is youth culture and drug culture and queer culture; but there is no such thing as white culture. Whiteness has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with social position. It is nothing but a reflection of privilege, and exists for no reason other than to defend it. Without the privileges attached to it, the white race would not exist, and the white skin would have no more social significance than big feet.
Noel Ignatiev (Race Traitor)
To those who insisted that the lot of the free white laborer was worse than that of the slave, Frederick Douglass liked to point out that his old position on the plantation had been vacant since his departure, and encouraged them to apply.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
Heritage dot org, May 5, 2021 Purging Whiteness To Purge Capitalism By Mike Gonzalez and Jonathan Butcher KEY TAKEAWAYS 1. CRT [Critical Race Theory] theorists see capitalism’s disparities as a function of race, not class. Capitalism, all the leading CRT proponents believe, is therefore “racist.” 2. CRT intellectuals are trying to change the view that racism is an individual issue, and insist it is systemic, in order to get society to change the entire system. 3. The purpose of the CRT training programs, and the curricula, is now to create enough bad associations with the white race. Race is suddenly all the rage. Employees, students, and parents are being inundated with “anti-racism” training programs and school curricula that insist America was built on white supremacy. Anyone who raises even the slightest objection is often deemed irredeemably racist. But what if the impetus behind a particular type of race-based training programs and curricula we see spreading at the moment is not exclusively, or even primarily, about skin color? What if race is just a façade for a particular strain of thought? What if what stands behind all this is the old, color-blind utopian dream of uniting the “workers of the world,” and eradicating capitalism? … If this all sounds very Marxist, it should. All the giants in whiteness studies, from Noel Ignatiev, to David Roediger, to their ideological lodestar, W.E.B. Du Bois—who first coined the term “whiteness” to begin with—were Marxist. In the cases of Ignatiev and Du Bois, they were actual Communist Party members.
Mike Gonzalez
This excerpt from When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront Their Personal Histories, edited by Bernestine Singley, appeared in 2002 as part of Harvard Magazine’s coverage of recent books by Harvard affiliates. The excerpt concerns author Noel Ignatiev’s role in launching a journal “to chronicle and analyze the making, remaking, and unmaking of whiteness.” … The goal of abolishing the white race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists. Of course, we expected bewilderment from people who still think of race as biology. We frequently get letters accusing us of being "racists," just like the KKK, and have even been called a "hate group." ... Our standard response is to draw an analogy with anti-royalism: to oppose monarchy does not mean killing the king; it means getting rid of crowns, thrones, royal titles, etc.... Every group within white America has at one time or another advanced its particular and narrowly defined interests at the expense of black people as a race. That applies to labor unionists, ethnic groups, college students, schoolteachers, taxpayers, and white women. Race Traitor will not abandon its focus on whiteness, no matter how vehement the pleas and how virtuously oppressed those doing the pleading. The editors meant it when they replied to a reader, "Make no mistake about it: we intend to keep bashing the dead white males, and the live ones, and the females too, until the social construct known as 'the white race' is destroyed—not 'deconstructed' but destroyed.
Noel Ignatiev
Like the article you are reading now, most works on whiteness are intended to explode the myth of white supremacy. While there are numerous works in this tradition, what I want to focus on here is a recent trend in white intellectual self-representation which is sometimes called the “new abolitionism.” Demonstrated most profoundly in Noel Ignatiev and John Garvey’s anti-racist journal Race Traitor, it is also adopted by David Roediger in his latest collection of essays called Towards the Abolition of Whiteness, and to a lesser extent in Fred Pfeil’s White Guys.
Annalee Newitz (White Trash: Race and Class in America)
George Soros finances liberal immigration policy throughout the Western world and also funds Noel Ignatiev and his "Race Traitor" website dedicated to the abolition of the white race. So
Kevin Macdonald (Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism)
The abolitionists study whiteness in order to abolish it—not to “reframe,” or “redeem,” or “deconstruct” it but to abolish it.
Noel Ignatiev
The US government sponsors a publication called Managing Diversity, which is supposed to help federal employees work better in an increasingly mixed-race workplace. One of its 1997 issues published a front-page story called “What are the Values of White People?” The author, Harris Sussman, explained that merely to speak of whites is “to invoke [a] history and experience of injustice and cruelty. When we say ‘white people,’ we mean the people of greed who value things over people, who value money over people.” Noel Ignatiev, formerly of Harvard, endorsed such sentiments in a publication called Race Traitor, which promoted the slogan, “Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.” The lead article of the first issue of Race Traitor was called “Abolish the White Race—by any Means Necessary.” By this Prof. Ignatiev did not mean that whites should be physically eliminated, only that they should “dissolve the club” of white privilege whose alleged purpose is to exploit non-whites. Christine Sleeter, President of the National Association for Multicultural Education, explains what whiteness means: “ravenous materialism, competitive individualism, and a way of living characterized by putting acquisition of possessions above humanity.” In 2000, there were bomb threats and anti-black e-mail at the University of Iowa that turned out to be a fake hate crime staged by a black woman. Ann Rhodes, a white woman who was vice president for university relations was surprised: “I figured it was going to be a white guy between 25 and 55 because they’re the root of most evil.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
If you are a white male, you don't deserve to live. You are a cancer, you're a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world!
Noel Ignatiev
The Boston Catholic Diary did not deny that slavery was unjust, but it declared "infinitely more reprehensible" the "zealots who would madly attempt to eradicate the evil by the destruction of our federal union." The "illustrious Liberator" could afix his signature to any document he pleased, but he had "no right to shackle the opinions of the Irishmen of America. . . . We can tell the abolitionists that we acknowledge no dictation from a foreign source. . . .
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
O'Connell's efforts to maneuver in a tight situation led him not to withdraw his opposition to slavery as an institution—that was impossible—but to attempt to place some distance between himself and the abolitionists. He did this by publicly rebuking Garrison for his view of the sabbath—Garrison insisted that every day was sacred—and by insisting that he had not advocated support for any particular abolitionist organization, nor did he countenance breaking the law in any way. The dispute over the sabbath was a replay of an earlier one between Garrison and some associates, who reproached him for burdening the movement with his extreme views on women's rights, antisabbatarianism, etc. Garrison replied that these were his personal views and he was not ascribing them to the abolitionist movement. The conflict came to a head over women speaking publicly before mixed audiences. In response to critics who accused him of dragging the issue of women's rights into the antislavery movement by sponsoring women as speakers, Garrison insisted that he was merely providing a platform to anyone who wished to speak on behalf of antislavery, and that is was those who denied that right to women who were dragging in extraneous issues. The dispute reflected differences in both tactics and principle. It led to a split in antislavery ranks, and the formation of separate organizations with diverging positions on a whole number of questions, including electoral activity and rights for free Negroes. Now, in making Garrison's views an issue, O'Connell was, in effect, siding with Garrison's opponents, Gerrit Smith and Lewis Tappan.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
Theodore W. Allen has explained that the distinction between racial and national oppression turns on the composition of the group that enforces elite rule: under a system of national oppression, such as Britain imposed on India or the United States maintains in Puerto Rico, the conquering power implements its dominance by incorporating sections of the elite classes of the subject population (in modern times a portion of the bourgeoisie and state bureaucracy) into the ruling apparatus. Under the system of racial oppression, elite rule rests on the support of the laboring classes of the oppressor group.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
In the combination of Southern planters and the "plain Republicans" of the North, the Irish were to become a key element. The truth is not, as some historians would have it, that slavery made it possible to extend to the Irish the privileges of citizenship by providing another group for them to stand on, but the reverse, that the assimilation of the Irish into the white race made it possible to maintain slavery. The need to gain the loyalty of the Irish explains why the Democratic Party, on the whole, rejected nativism. It also explains why not merely slavery but the color line became so important to it.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
America was well set up to teach new arrivals the overriding value of white skin. Throughout the eighteenth century, the range of dependent labor relations had blurred the distinction between freedom and slavery. The Revolution led to the decline of apprenticeship, indenture, and imprisonment for debt. These changes, together with the growth of slavery as the basis of Southern society, reinforced the tendency to equate freedom with whiteness and slavery with blackness. At the same time, the spread of wage labor made white laborers anxious about losing the precarious independence they had gained from the Revolution. In response, they sought refuge in whiteness. Republican ideology became more explicitly racial than it had been during the Revolutionary era.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
The slaveholders had a special interest in maintaining the degradation of the free Negro. If the fugitive slave was the "Safety Valve of Slavery," the subduing of the free black population of the North was what kept the safety valve from turning into a massive tear which would allow all the power to escape from the chamber. The slaveholders were aware that the harsh conditions faced by free Negroes in the North helped keep their laborers down on the farm; hence they did their best to publicize the cold reception that awaited any slave so foolish as to run away from the security of the plantation. They did more than observe events in the North: because they had a strong interest in maintaining the free Negro there in a condition as much like slavery as possible, they sought an alliance with Northern white labor based on the defense of color caste.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)
Even in the free North, the initial turnover from black to Irish labor does not imply racial discrimination; many of the newly arrived Irish, hungry and desperate, were willing to work for less than free persons of color, and it was no more than good capitalist sense to hire them.
Noel Ignatiev (How the Irish Became White)