"Thus those who emphasize the class pole of the debate tend to see racial ideology as ephemeral to capitalism's fundamental dynamics and to construe it as an irrational, or exogenous, force cultivated by the ruling class as a device to divide the ruled. Those who stress the race pole also tend to accept the ahistorical, ideal-typical view of capitalism, often because it is rhetorically convenient for prior ideological or interpretive dispositions to see race as an autonomous force that transcends historical and social context and that shapes social relations independently.
"Neither of those formulations can capture effectively the complex ways that racial and class identities and consciousness have been shaped and have evolved mutually.
"The second problem is related to the first. Also because they abstract away from the idiosyncratic features of actual capitalist societies, ideal-typical constructions tend to disregard the role of political institutions and systems of civic hierarchy in defining the terms on which specific capitalist social orders cohere and are reproduced. [...]
"This cellular reality is what sustains the tendency to simplistic, economistic interpretation and endows it with a modicum of verisimilitude. Race, on the other hand, like other categories of ascriptive status, has no such essential foundation; its concrete features, characteristics, meanings and significance are entirely bound by the specific social context within which it is deployed. Contrary to flippant, often disingenuous objections to the assertion, this is the insight underlying the constructionist claim, not that race isn't a social reality or has no substantive importance or consequences for the lives of people thus categorized.
"The pertinent implication is that, insofar as they abstract from the discrete, mundane institutional and civic dynamics of specific societies and their histories, general theories of capitalism's race/class relations are overwhelmingly likely to produce accounts that are, from the standpoint of a concern to understand the workings of any particular social order, unhelpful and no better than trivially true." - Adolph Reed, Jr., "Unraveling the Relation of Race and Class in American Politics."