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(22,336 posts)
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 01:53 PM Dec 2016

You can't untangle race from class in America


Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won this year's National Book Award for nonfiction, is an altogether remarkable thesis on history, but, in ways that are both moving and immediately painful, it also reverberates with the post-election autopsy we're all conducting right now. Kendi is reading Thursday, December 1, at University Book Store.

Donald Trump just hired a neo-Nazi, Jim Crow Paleo-conservative as his right-hand man, and he's stuffing his staff with a slew of violent nativists. Meanwhile, countless numbers of white liberals are venting their spleen with theories that the left will gain traction when all the outsiders pipe down about "identity politics" (I'm looking at you, Mark Lilla) and plead their humanity, pre-civil-rights style, to the masses who elected a monster (I'm looking at you, Jonathan Pie).

Now when I come across a breathless sentence from a populist liberal arguing that the fearful masses voted for the most frightening tyrant this nation has ever seen because a handful of students and activists on social media hurt their feelings, this quote from Stamped from the Beginning comes to my head:

"Uplift suasion [Kendi's term for respectability politics] is not only racist but impossible for Blacks to execute. Free Blacks were unable to always display positive characteristics for the same reasons poor immigrants and rich planters were unable to do so: Free blacks were human and humanly flawed. Uplift suasion assumed, moreover, that racist ideas were sensible and could be undone by appealing to sensibilities. But the common desire to justify racial inequities produced racist ideas, not logic."
You can't untangle race from class in America (Original Post) gollygee Dec 2016 OP
Thanks for the link - that looks like a really interesting book. nt el_bryanto Dec 2016 #1
Kicking for the evening crowd. gollygee Dec 2016 #2
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