If we view the problems of poverty, health care, and criminal justice through a lens that filters out the political-economic underpinnings of these injustices — informed by the language of moral reckoning — we may just end up with modest reforms at best and symbolic gestures at worst, when what we need is fundamental structural change.
Touré F. Reed is a professor of history at Illinois State University. His latest book is Toward Freedom (Verso 2020).
Simply put, Jessica Krug was a minstrel act, a racist caricature. But while Krug’s persona was certainly offensive, what’s far more offensive is that there is a demand for this kind of performance in liberal academic circles.
I worry that the racial discourse on COVID-19 could help pave the way for a eugenics-state that will ultimately do damage to poor black and brown people.
Amy Cooper’s calling the police on a black man in New York’s Central Park represents an extreme example of racist behavior. But it also offers a window onto the experiences of black Americans that highlights the importance of affirmative action and radical redistributive policies as central to anti-racism today.
Affirmative action was a hard-won victory by left-labor activists. It must be defended.
The tendency to divorce racial disparities from economic inequality has a long liberal lineage.