Race, as a concept, evolved out of economic demands.
Up to about 1760, the greatest fears of powerful English at home and in the colonies came from Europe’s powerful Catholic monarchies and those states’ overseas empires.
Powerful people in the Antebellum South feared landless whites almost as much as they feared their slaves.
It all started with porn.
How did the proponents of a white supremacist mythology prevail in the struggle to define America’s future? What can we learn from their success?
In politics, who you admire may be less important than who you fear.
Wealthy Northern industrialists, not the planters, defeated Reconstruction.
Under an emerging mythology of white supremacy, there was no price to be paid for using the imprimatur of science to promote unfounded, sometimes downright batty assertions, with terrifying implications for real, living people.
Myths follow power, but in the years after the Civil War many powers vied to dominate the American future. Artists like Whitman made choices that tipped the scales in this battle toward terrible ends.
By the post-WW2 era, white supremacy was becoming an obstacle to money and power.