It's not about race
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It's not about race

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  • - Post-2004 (but building on critique of MC going back to 1980s) the hegemonic discourse - uniting left and right - is that MC is a failed experiment leading societies, as Trevor Phillips put it. ‘sleepwalking to segregation’.\n\n- Pictures represent some of the themes that come under the crisis discourse that emerges.\n\n- The main themes include:\n\n+ MC creates ghettoisation, disintegration, lack of social cohesion, minority white cities, permits illiberal minorities the upper hand...\n\n+ Key moments: 7/7 bombings, banlieues riots, cartoon controversy, Theo Van Gogh murder, Swiss Minarets, expulsion of the Roma from France/Italy, Merkel’s announcement of a crisis in the wake of Sarrazin, Cronulla riots (Australia), Hijab and burka bans, use of sexuality in creating opposition between liberal and illiberal socieities (Fortuyn, Hirsi Ali)...\n\n+ Key responses: focus on national values (citizenship tests, ceremonies), action against ‘radicalisation’ (e.g. Prevent), return of ‘positive’ teaching of colonial past.\n\nParadoxically these are culturalised responses to what is construed as a cultural problem (of which more later).\n\n+ Key characters: US shock jocks, European equivalents (e.g. Melanie Phillips), Caldwell, nouveaux philosophes, ‘liberal’ journalists (Nick Cohen, Fallaci), and more complexly, Trevor Phillips, Ni putes ni soumises et compagnie, academics such as Joppke and Charles Taylor (secret fan of Oriana Fallaci).\n\nIn ‘The crises of multiculturalism’ we theorise the assertion that MC if broken in terms of circuits of beliefs and recited truths, as mediated and mediating - in danger of happening here because it is happening elsewhere - so the need for ‘honest debates’ about Islam/Muslims/terrorism/burka even in countries (e.g. Finland) without 2 Muslims to rub together.\n\n
  • While the well-founded critique of MC policies as essentialising, often compounding communal hegemonies (e.g. patriarchal, heteronormative...) are well taken, the crisis of MC discourse needs to be seen as an attack not on prescriptive MC but on lived multiculture - the fact of ‘too much diversity’ (Goodhart).\n\nIt is a riff on the old story that blames different others for the ills of society at large.\n\nIndeed, the crisis of MC, post-racilism and racial neoloberalism, (inextricably linked processes) are the contemporary articulations of racism.\n\nHowever, because of the focus on culture rather than race, the charge of racism is both implicitly and sometimes explicitly denied.\n\n\n
  • The ‘crisis of MC’ is closely linked with the post-racial debate which has preceded it finding its most obvious articulation in the US.\n\nFor liberals, the election of Obama proves the end of racism, therefore allowing them to avoid the persistent questions of race and racism that continue to dog society. \n\nRight-wing and liberal opinion converges over post-race. For the right we are post-race because minorities are racist too - Obama being the ultimate example. Hence, the charge of racism coming from minorities, who are portrayed as being hegemonic, has become meaningless. If racism exists at all it is anti-white (e.g. affirmative action, Obama’s ‘socialist’ policies...)\n\nParallels in Europe: \n- Post-racial discourse relativises and rejects colonial history and associated crimes (Ferguson, French curriculum on Algeria).\n- e.g. of les ratonnades antiblancs.\n- New ‘integration tests’ in Netherlands or Germany - specifically targeting Muslims.\n\nIn sum, postracialism argues \n\n1. That racism was never as important as those who ‘make themselves into victims’ have claimed\n2. that there is a need to redress what is seen as minority hegemony by achieving the retreat of the state (US context) or recalibrating the state’s role e.g. by reinstating real antiracism (e.g. hegemony of focus on antisemitism, Nazism and rewriting Muslims as contemporary perpetrators of antisemitism - France, germany)\nOR by rolling back welfare to immigrants (Goodhart’s or Caldwell’s arguments).\n\nLiberals in Europe also take up the theme of the retreat of the state when they claim MC has failed\n\n\n
  • Goldberg’s idea of racial neoliberalism encapsulates the post-racial problem (esp. for the US).\n\nNeoliberalism as it pertains to race is based on the notion that the market, as the ultimate corrector, corrects racism\n\nSo, from the 1980s in the US, policy (e.g. TANF, welfare to work etc.) encourages ‘personal responsibility’ - system of sanctions imposed on the racialised poor who essentially could not assimilate middle class values \n\nLeads to Katrina like situation in which poor blacks are seen as unwilling to help themselves - no need for state responsibility.\n\n(Many other themes - e.g. prison industrial complex etc. which paper doesn’t permit)\n
  • Racial NL also has a strong cultural dimension mainly observable through the rise of ‘diversity’ as a way of not speaking about race and, more crucially, about racism.\n\nDiversity, as a replacement for MC, is acceptable even in places that have eschewed MC (e.g. France).\n\nWe speak of good and bad diversity.\n\nGood diversity adds color and uniqueness to neoliberalised society. The mantra of free choice allows everyone to choose from a smorgasbord of cultural offerings (culinary, music, style...).\n\nThis form of diversity speaks tp the push for everyone to be unique (what is your USP?) - a type of bennetonization of society in which we are united, in the sense of being uniformed, in our diversity.\n\nBad diversity is where difference becomes excessive and where, crucially, is threatens to transform hegemonic political culture.\n\n\n
  • Caldwell’s chapati flour e.g. \n\nMuslims are seen not just as dangerous terrorists, but also because ‘radical’ Islam questions the dominance and ubiquity of materialist culture.\n
  • I want here to briefly make the connection between Foucault’s biopower and Yudice’s cultural power more concrete and, in doing so, link the three moments of the post-racial, the culturalist and the post-political.\n\nFoucault’s work on racism is unfortunately restricted to a few lectures in Society Must be Defended and a brief mention in the History of Sexuality. Nevertheless, it is instructive precisely because of the connection to biopower.\n\n1. The biopolitical state - as opposed to the sovereign state before it - sees its population as a single organism in a world of similarly constituted and competing organisms that must be kept alive.\n\n2. Racism enters the picture for Foucault in order to explain how a power whose function it is to ensure the survival of its population is nonetheless involved in killing. Whereas under sovereign rule, the death of one’s enemies ensured the population’s survival, under the biopolitical state their death allows one’s population to flourish. This is the difference between a political view of conflict and a biological or racial one.\n\nSo, for Foucault racism divides between those within the population who have the right to live and those who must die for the strength of the organism as a whole. \n\n3. Therefore, while under sovereignty, enemies were conceived of as being external, the biopolitical or racial view of enemies as biological means that they can be internal as well as external. Hence the rise of eugenics, for example.\n\n
  • I want here to briefly make the connection between Foucault’s biopower and Yudice’s cultural power more concrete and, in doing so, link the three moments of the post-racial, the culturalist and the post-political.\n\nFoucault’s work on racism is unfortunately restricted to a few lectures in Society Must be Defended and a brief mention in the History of Sexuality. Nevertheless, it is instructive precisely because of the connection to biopower.\n\n1. The biopolitical state - as opposed to the sovereign state before it - sees its population as a single organism in a world of similarly constituted and competing organisms that must be kept alive.\n\n2. Racism enters the picture for Foucault in order to explain how a power whose function it is to ensure the survival of its population is nonetheless involved in killing. Whereas under sovereign rule, the death of one’s enemies ensured the population’s survival, under the biopolitical state their death allows one’s population to flourish. This is the difference between a political view of conflict and a biological or racial one.\n\nSo, for Foucault racism divides between those within the population who have the right to live and those who must die for the strength of the organism as a whole. \n\n3. Therefore, while under sovereignty, enemies were conceived of as being external, the biopolitical or racial view of enemies as biological means that they can be internal as well as external. Hence the rise of eugenics, for example.\n\n
  • I want here to briefly make the connection between Foucault’s biopower and Yudice’s cultural power more concrete and, in doing so, link the three moments of the post-racial, the culturalist and the post-political.\n\nFoucault’s work on racism is unfortunately restricted to a few lectures in Society Must be Defended and a brief mention in the History of Sexuality. Nevertheless, it is instructive precisely because of the connection to biopower.\n\n1. The biopolitical state - as opposed to the sovereign state before it - sees its population as a single organism in a world of similarly constituted and competing organisms that must be kept alive.\n\n2. Racism enters the picture for Foucault in order to explain how a power whose function it is to ensure the survival of its population is nonetheless involved in killing. Whereas under sovereign rule, the death of one’s enemies ensured the population’s survival, under the biopolitical state their death allows one’s population to flourish. This is the difference between a political view of conflict and a biological or racial one.\n\nSo, for Foucault racism divides between those within the population who have the right to live and those who must die for the strength of the organism as a whole. \n\n3. Therefore, while under sovereignty, enemies were conceived of as being external, the biopolitical or racial view of enemies as biological means that they can be internal as well as external. Hence the rise of eugenics, for example.\n\n
  • Conceiving of the relationship to one’s enemies as biological rather than political transforms politics, as Hannaford makes clear in this quote. \n\nThis new understanding of politics means that the interests of the state became subsumed to that of the race. So the state’s power becomes invested in internally rationalising its population and in justifying the rampant fight for imperialist domination. \n\n
  • Diversity under neoliberalism is lived as management - the management of the balance between good (manageable) and bad (potentially uncontrollable) diversity.\n\nThis is acknowledged in the explicit coupling of the terms diversity and management, for example in human resources language.\n\nThe state, therefore, needs to retreat except as a mediator between the potentially threatening conflict between good and bad diversity (e.g. action on radicalisation).\n\nThe 2nd important point about diversity connects its situation in racial neoliberalism ti the post-racial moment and the critique of MC.\n\nInsisting on diversity dilutes the specificity of discriminations encapsulated by a particular focus on racism\n\nDiversity diversts the focus from what is portrayed as the negativity of a focus on racism - seen as divisive (e.g. campaign quote) in favour of a focus on what, it is purported, can unite us - we all feel we can be included in diversity, so no one is excluded or alienated by the angriness of antiracism. \n\nFurthermore and crucially, the messy problem of the persistence of white privilege does not have to be mentioned to be ‘against discrimination and for diversity’ (catchy EU campaign slogan).\n
  • See copy.\n
  • See copy \n\nContrast between Sherbini case and Taylor’s quote - lack of attention or empathy for lived experience and visceral effects of anti-MC moment.\n

It's not about race It's not about race Presentation Transcript

  • IT’S NOT ABOUT RACE:Neoliberalism and the turn against
  • THE CRISES OFRACISM IN A NEOLIBERAL AGE (WITH GAVAN TITLEY) ZED BOOKS JUNE 2011
  • OVERVIEW
  • OVERVIEWToday, ‘racial neoliberalism’, incorporatingpost-racialism, is the dominant mode inwhich racism finds discursive expression.
  • OVERVIEWToday, ‘racial neoliberalism’, incorporatingpost-racialism, is the dominant mode inwhich racism finds discursive expression.The debate on multiculturalism is inscribedin a post-racial logic.
  • OVERVIEWToday, ‘racial neoliberalism’, incorporatingpost-racialism, is the dominant mode inwhich racism finds discursive expression.The debate on multiculturalism is inscribedin a post-racial logic.The ‘crisis of multiculturalism’ is thecontemporary articulation of racism.
  • BACKGROUND
  • TOO DIVERSE: THE REAL PROBLEM WITH Entropa Installation: The Netherlands is seen as series of minarets submerged by a flood
  • TOO DIVERSE: THE REAL PROBLEM WITH “Nas @43 where have I mentioned the word ‘genetics’ or the word ‘race’? My problem is with Somali culture not Somali genes.” Entropa Installation: The Netherlands is seen as series of minarets submerged by a flood CAULDRON — ON 21ST AUGUST, 2009
  • I’M NOT BEING
  • I’M NOT BEING“And the libs, of course, say thatminorities cannot be racistsbecause they dont have thepower to implement their racism.Well, those days are gone,because reverse racists certainlydo have the power to implementtheir power. Obama is thegreatest living example of areverse racist, and now hesappointed one.”
  • NEOLIBERALIZING
  • NEOLIBERALIZING “Neoliberal governance has no ideological intent with regards to race... [N]eoliberalism does not invest ideologically in racism, be it the overt racism of the far or new right or the colourblind consensus favoured by neoconservatives. State neoliberalism governmentalizes, but it does not always do so in consistent terms, borrowing instead from a range of discourses, histories and practices. Thus, racialized populations are both subject to greater discipline and control while being spoken about in terms that borrow from the language of civil rights and identity politics.” The Crises of Multiculturalism (Lentin and Titley)
  • GOOD & BAD
  • GOOD & BAD“In the European shift to theprivatization of race, the shiftingborder between good diversity,requiring celebration andcultivation, and bad diversity,diverse matter recognized as ofout place, is central tounderstanding a particularlyinfluential inflection ofantiracialism. How can there beracism when the officialcommitment to diversity is somanifest, and so mediated?” The Crises of Multiculturalism (Lentin and Titley)
  • ‘Europeans know more about Arabic calligraphy and kente cloth because they know less about Montaigne and Goethe. If the spread of Pakistani cuisine is the single greatest improvement in British public life over the past half- century, it is also worth noting that the bombs used for the failed London transport attacks of July 21, 2005, were made from a mix of hydrogen peroxide and chapatti flour. Immigration is not enhancing or validating European culture; it is supplanting it’ Christopher Caldwell 2009: 17
  • MANAGING DIVERSITY
  • MANAGING DIVERSITY ‘The celebration of diversity, as an added value, is crucial today in a Europe which is a diverse continent. Learning more about each other is an enriching experience that usually leads someone to a greater sensitivity and understanding of others. That is why diversity is essential to ensure Europe’s cohesion’’ European Youth Forum (2007)
  • CULTURALIZED
  • CULTURALIZED“The communicationlecturer, who was there,blurted out that infamousremark: ‘When I go toMorocco and I go into aMosque, I take off myshoes, so you can take offyour veil!’. I am so used tohearing this remark that Iquickly respond, ‘Goodfor you, but excuse me, Iam French, I have myrights and you cannotdeny them.”FATIMA (20) IN LES FILLES
  • CONCLUSION
  • CONCLUSION“Why is a book that makes youashamed for its author, evenoccasionally ashamed to bereading it, still worth reading?Because for all its bigotry andparanoia, all of its ill-informeddismissal of Islamic history andculture, “The Rage and thePride” is a bracing response tothe moral equivocation, themulti-culti political correctness,the minimization and denial ofthe danger of Islamo-fascismthat dogs the response to Sept.11 and to the ongoing war on