Martin Luther King, Jr once said, ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character’. This is one of the aspirations many had when they fought against racism. They understood that for this aspiration to succeed everyone must participate in the project of completely transforming society to eradicate racial divisions and achieve equal treatment.
Today, with the increasing demand to recognize the seemingly insurmountable gap between black people and white people, identity-based anti-racism has become more of a hindrance than a solution for a better and freer world for us all.
The shift, from aspiring to transform social organization in order to transcend racial divisions to demanding recognition of racial divisions and identities and protection for minorities, represents the defeat of the universalist and radical politics of the past. Racial thinking, actively promoted by racists, has now become an acceptable tool for identity-based anti-racist activists in their demand for representation, diversity, inclusivity, segregation and safe spaces.
Christine Louis-Dit-Sully examines the origins of racial thinking and the relationship between race and culture, she asks us to recognise that racial thinking is not the only way of understanding ourselves and the world around us.