The ways in which racism is socially constructed are more unclear than would otherwise seem and there are numerous and nuanced reasons for why it exists and why it is perpetuated. Racial hierarchies within modern society are relatively uncontested, although, the formation of these hierarchies and their social and economic significance have been contested in an ongoing debate.
It would certainly be true to say that capitalism cannot exist without non-economic hierarchies that aid in reproducing class domination. While these vary from one specific capitalist society to another, race is an important element of class reproduction in American capitalism. Moreover, it is important to recognize that race and class belong to different conceptual categories and offer different ways to interpret the dynamics of American capitalism.
Social and economic divisions among workers have spawned simultaneously with the development of capitalism. Where class struggle permeates almost every segment of social life, some sectors of the working class find themselves in a more favorable position to their employers than others, offering them the opportunity for greater success in the struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, and additional benefits.