13.9.09

Pero es qe el ombre es su identidá con su otredá, no ninguna tajada



Because 'race' ought (according to the tenets of liberalism) to be nothing, it is prematurely pronounced to be of no consequence whatsoever. Racism either disappears at this point or lingers on as a marginal issue, an essentially prepolitical event that should not be addressed by any government worthy of the name. To even suggest that it might be worthwhile to approach racism politically threatens a debasement of government and a travesty of justice...

This orientation answers the liberal culture of denial by saying that 'race' is nothing but everything, a permanent and apparently inescapable feature of society. This avowedly radical assertion is not a radical response to the complacent voices that regularly deny the most obvious manifestations of racial division and hierarchy. This position does not aim to promote recognition of the unstable potency of racism in economic, social and political relations. It is more concerned with arguing that any aspiration to live outside of racialized bonds, codes and structures of feelings is naive, misplaced, foolish or devious...

Race becomes above all an experiential and therapeutic question that identifies a zone of feeling and being that is considered to be emphatically prior to all merely political considerations. In this setting, a totemic concept of race is present but abstract. Sometimes it specifies visible differences lodged in or discovered on and around the body, but this attention to what can be seen does not exhaust it. In other moments, race becomes a signifier for generic problems of cultural plurality and translation...

In other words, we must be prepared to identify racism as a specific and significant object, to comprehend it as a part of a web of discourse, to see that it has a knowable history, and to appreciate its social implication in the exercise of the biopolitical powers that have damaged European democracy before and can still compromise it.

-Paul Gilroy,
de "Postcolonial Melancholia"

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