du 06 au 07 décembre 2016
Race After the “Post-Racial.” Thinking Through the Proliferation of Racisms
The current proliferation of racisms in the public space, in national and international politics, is raising new questions. We are witnessing troubling developments:
- elections of governments and the widespread popularity of politicians committed to xenophobic platforms;
- the defense of a “parole décompléxée” by officials and intellectuals, their claim of “breaking taboos” to indict cultural and religious expressions deemed “inassimilable;”
- new forms of ethno-nationalism;
- the rhetoric of reversible ‘”anti-white racisms” that masks historical inequalities and discriminations;
- the use and abuse of anti-racist vocabulary or of the past to justify the politics of exclusion; and
- the return to biology to advocate a politics of “blood and soil.”
We contend that we are living (in) a new age of racism in an era of the post-racial when no one is racist so that everyone can be racist. The historically dispossessed are accused of being the principal perpetrators of racism, talk about “anti-white” racism shows how racisms have been decoupled from the history of inequalities and exploitation. Individuated inexperience, lack of effort, bad judgment, or ill fortune are drawn on to explain away racial discriminations and racist accusations and expressions.
Public debates about racism are often reduced to exchanges about a series of lived experience which are decontextualized and exhibited as scars of wounds. The histories that produced racial power and privileges are erased or marginalized. The discourse on postracialism hides the fact that we are still bound by race. We argue that the condemnation of racism following WWII that became universal and was inscribed in the law no longer suffices as compelling responses to the current proliferation of racisms. Among their goals, the movements of decolonization and for national independence targeted the destruction of racism which was seen as intimately connected with colonialism and imperialism. International and national anti-racist programs were based on the assumption that once people had learned that “race” did not exist, that racial difference is a “social construction,” they would embrace difference. Anti-racism rested on the moral condemnation of attitudes and practices perceived as belonging to the past, as 2 remnants of the colonial experience, traces of ignorance and of a lack of education. Sociologists, historians, philosophers, and psychologists sought to clarify the structures of racism whether cultural, structural, exploitative which worked to extract productive labor, or eliminationist the goal of which was to exclude completely, if not to exterminate, those considered sub-human or without value. To discuss these issues, their causal conditions and implications, we are organizing a workshop on December 6 and 7, 2016 in Paris, at the Collège d’études mondiales, Maison des sciences de l’Homme.
The workshop will be divided into a series of session with a theme introduced in 10 mn each, by one or two of the contributors. The objective is to unpack some of the notions that circulate so freely today and to reflect on strategies.
Australia: Ghassan Joseph Hage.
Belgium: Nadia Fadil.
France: Eric Fassin; Nilufer Gole; Nacira Guénif-Souilamas; Abdellali Hajjat; Marwan Mohammed; Patrick Simon; Maboula Soumahoro.
Lebanon: Nadia Bou Ali.
South Africa: Achille Mbembe.
UK: Laleh Khalili; Olivia U. Rutazibwa; Robbie Shilliam; Sivamohan Valluvan; Eyal Weizman.
USA: Angela Davis; Muriam Davis; Ruthie Gilmore; Saree Makdisi; Lilith Mahmud;
Jerusalem: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian.
Welcome by Michel Wieviorka, president FMSH
Françoise Vergès and David Theo Goldberg
"Race after the postracial" general elements for debate. What wewant to avoid, what we want to accomplish.
11-30- 11:45am: Break
11:45 am -1pm
“Islamophobia,” introduced by Nadia Fadil, Nilufer Gole, MarwanMohammed and Abdellali Hajjat
Islamophobia has become a social and cultural fact mainstreamed by medias and politicians, resulting in a number of un-constitutional proposals targeting Muslims. Sociologists Marwan Mohammed and Abdellali Hajjat have argued that we need to define precisely what the notion means to avoid instrumentalization.
In that session, we will discuss: Islamophobia/gender/queerness, Islamophobia and class/race; Islamophobia and political anti-racism.
“Trans (-) formations of the Racial After the Postracial”: introduced by Saree Makdisi, Robbie Shilliam and Ghassan Ghage.
Confusion over how to formulate anti-racism is based on a misconception of race at the core of much anti-racist thought, leading to an obscuration of racism. To our peril, we ignore hard questions about why racial disparities persist and are widening, or how race has shaped immigration policy, the subprime lending crisis, or even the conduct of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most people
still see race as a "black" problem rather than a national issue shaping most aspects of public life. The confusion has led to the notion of “anti-white racism.”
As postraciality has sought to erase race from public reference, we will discuss how race has been transformed to allow a proliferation of racism.
“Technologies of the Postracial”: introduced by Eyal Weizman, Eric Fassin, Ruthie Gilmore and Nacira Guénif-Souilamas
The session will examine the complex role that digital media technologies play in shaping our ideas about race, the shifting terrain of racial identity and its connections to social media technologies like Facebook and MySpace, popular online games like World of Warcraft, YouTube and viral video, genetic ancestry testing, and DNA databases in health and law enforcement. We will also examine the militarization of police, the prison complex but also digital resistance: filming the police, using social networks, solidarity through social networks.
Meeting activists and associations of political anti-racism at the Institute of Islamic Cultures (18th arrondissement)
Dinner in an African or North African restaurant in the 18th
“Racial Globalizations and the Postcolonial: Global South and Global East in the Global North” introduced by Laleh Khalili, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadia Bou Ali and Achille Mbembe.
Universal analysis assumes a universal norm and begin with some conception of what is universal which, in fact, reflects a particular. In this session, we will discuss the ways in whichracial formations emerge in the Global South and Global East and what this critical analysis bring to the understanding of postracial racialism.
“Migrants, Civilizing Missions and the Remains of the Racial”: introduced by Patrick Simon, Maboula Soumahoro, Olivia U. Rutazibwa and Sivamohan Valluvan.
Throughout the world, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and internally displaced persons are the victims of racial discrimination, racist attacks, xenophobia and ethnic intolerance. Racism is both a cause and a product of forced displacement, and an obstacle to its solution. Industrialized states have introduced a barrage of restrictive policies and practices over the past decade targeting asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants facilitated ny negative and inaccurate portrayals of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in the media and inflammatory, xenophobic rhetoric of politicians. Yet, countries of the Global South bear the greater burden.
The session will discuss the role of racism and ethnic intolerance, racial capitalism and imperialism in the definition of the refugee/migrant/asylum seeker as the enemy, with special attention to discrimination against LGTBI.
“Anthropocene, Capitalocene, and Race After the Postracial” introduced by Lilith Mahmud, Joao Gabriell and Angela Davis.
In this session, we will discuss the articulation of racism, sexism and other “cultural” forms that appear to have no immediate relation to ecology but are in fact fundamental to humanity’s diverse relation to the web of life.
3:30-3:45 pm: Break
“Antiracist Strategies in the Postracial Era,” general discussion moderated by Françoise Vergès and David Theo Goldberg.