A White Problem

One of the major flaws of political correctness and multiculturalism has been the way in which it has subsumed questions of ‘race’ under the euphemistic umbrella of ‘culture’. This shift in language correlates with the disavowal of the race problem. Culturalisation of discourse has amounted to depoliticisation. With good intentions of inhibiting prejudice and furthering sensitivity, we find ourselves all too complacent in attestation to racial oppression and injustice. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever had that conversation about Malcolm X with your liberal friend, who accuses the man of being as bad as the white racists he … Continue reading

Rethinking cultural appropriation

In my article ‘The trouble with cultural appropriation’ I took a critical stance against this concept and it’s popularisation through social media. I argued that the use of the concept, and much of the online bluster around it, often employs moralistic and essentialist presuppositions. Since I probably came across as a mansplaining arsehole I’ve written this follow up piece to take a more sympathetic angle. It’s always worth guarding against the cheaper arguments against so-called ‘identity politics’. For starters, it’s good that there is a debate around this issue. Social media has many faults, but it has allowed new spaces … Continue reading

My first encounter with racism

I must have been about five or six at the time. I was a late start at primary school as my mum had dawdled over whether or not to send me at all (she contemplated homeschooling). My first real friend came from a similar family background as I did. We were both children of unemployed family units, I came from a single-parent family, whereas he had seen his parents split early on and his mother later remarried. Neither his father nor his stepfather worked (as far as I knew), just as my mum survived on benefits and credit cards. She … Continue reading