We hear it said that there is no “race problem,” but only a “class problem.” The Negro sharecropper is destitute not because of his color but because of his class position—and it is pointed out that there are white people who are equally poor. From a practical point of view there is a point to this reasoning. But from a theoretical angle it contains escapism in a new form. It also draws too heavily on the idealistic Marxian doctrine of “class struggle.” And it tends to conceal the whole system of deprivations visited upon the Negro only because he is not white.–
Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma. 1944.