Tag Archives: Slavery

America’s Class Distinctions

In the FT, Edward Luce writes about America’s class distinctions.

The real story, as depicted by historian Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash, is that America was founded amid highly conscious class distinctions. African slaves were not the only group to be disenfranchised. …

It would be difficult to read America’s history — or decode the 2016 presidential election — without reference to the struggle between poor whites and the descendants of former slaves. Lyndon Baines Johnson, who became president a century after the civil war, vividly captured its political effects. “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best coloured man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pockets,” said LBJ. “Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”