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I take your point about powerful groups (of mostly white men) taking advantage of people lower down the economic pyramid, of various ethnicities.

But that’s not racism, that’s classism. I agree that classism exists, I just don’t see the need to delineate along skin colour. It’s muddying the waters of the situation, and if the situation is to be helped, we need to be clear who our enemy is, it’s not the white man at your shoulder, it’s the person up front with the whip.

You said that white racism keeps down white men themselves. That feels like a stretch to me, but I think I get what you’re saying. A type of internalised racism, if you like? Perhaps if they were living in a majority black country, and most of the whites were poor, then they might think “ok, there is something inherent in white culture that predisposes us to poverty, I’m the exception, I work hard (or whatever)”.

But that isn’t happening in the West, whites don’t hate whites. Even if we assumed internalised racism, we would almost have to go back to the white racist and ask him what ethnicity he prefers — who’s top of his ethnicity hierarchy? And your position is that these guys are racist against pretty much everyone, so there’s not much wiggle room. If he hates all ethnicities, doesn’t he just hate people?

Instead of framing this as racism, wouldn’t it be better to call it what it is — classism. I agree, racism is used as a tool to manipulate the masses (when two fight, the third benefits), but the motive itself isn’t racist, it’s classist.