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Racism, the Right, and Islamophobia

Hey Rami, Thanks for raising the importance of Islamophobia and Muslim-bashing in this period. You might want to check out our front page, www.solidarity-us.org/islamophobia, which has some exploration of those connections although it's hardly a treatise on the subject. Unfortunately the current set-up of our website does not allow commenting on front page content (this is for a technical, not a political reason and we will change it at some point). I disagree about the anti-Obama racism during the election. It's true there was anti-Muslim racism but there was and is, definitely, a hell of a lot of anti-Black racism as well. In fact there are so many examples I can't even isolate one to demonstrate this. I do agree about the weird, symbolic (or tokenistic) "anti-racism" of some Tea Party events. The left often suffers from an outdated analysis of changing racial dynamics and the way they're politically manipulated (by the right as well as the liberal establishment). While it's still true that "African Americans do not have wealth or power as a social group" as Malik says, clearly some individuals do have wealth and/or power -- and because of the dominance of a liberal, individual view of society, this can be pointed out to great effect, much greater effect than it should have (I'd say it also builds on a longstanding element of anti-Black racism, that is, the white "jealousy" of perceived, "undeserved" Black advantages, real or imagined.) At the same time, tokenistic efforts at "diversity" seem to give a pass, for many white people, to the coded racism. Meanwhile, it's much easier to mobilize protest and outrage against "isolated" explicitly racist attacks (such as Jena 6), and far more difficult for an ongoing movement, against more damaging but less overt racist policies, to emerge.

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