Mistaken Identity

Malik, Kenan
http://www.kenanmalik.com/essays/humanist_culture.html

Date Written:  01/07/2008
Year Published:  2008  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX7924

Historically, antiracists challenged both the practice of racism and the process of racialisation; that is, both the practice of discriminating against people by virtue of their race and the insistence that an individual can be defined by the group to which he or she belongs. Today's multiculturalists argue that to fight racism one must celebrate group identity. The consequence has been the resurrection of racial ideas and the imprisonment of people within their cultural identities. Racial theorists and multiculturalists, the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut observes, have 'conflicting credos but the same vision of the world'. Both fetishise difference. Both seek to 'confine individuals to their group of origin'. Both undermine 'any possibility of natural or cultural community among peoples'. Challenging such a politics of difference has become as important today as challenging racism.

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