The New Deal did not only help "white folks." It did help blacks significantly, which started the shift of African-Americans from the Republicans to the Democrats. In order to keep Southern Democrats on board it was not intended to address the racial problems of the country including Jim Crow and other official and unofficial segregation, so of course it failed to raise black people up to the same level as their white counterparts. That said, I agree that ignoring racial factors in poverty is stupid and ignoring them only benefits the dominant groups. There's no reason the left can't fight for both economic and racial justice as it has for a long time. EDIT: From the conversation I thought this was yet another rehash of the "identity politics" argument in the U.S. politics thread. Oh well.