In Episode 5, we talk about the motives, intentions and economic incentives in so-called “antiracism” and activism in the rapidly evolving debate on racial justice. So many people are desperate to know what they can do to not be racist. Brands and organizations have gone out of their way to appear as positive actors in a precarious racial discourse. Books about systemic racism, such as Robin D’Angelo’s White Fragility have been selling out of bookstores in recent months.
It has become morally hazardous to be perceived as racist in any way, and while widespread intolerance of racism important, that cannot be the only driving factor for trying to be antiracist. Actually fighting against racism through productive dialogue and responsible behavior is vastly more important that just appearing to do so.
In the wake of the George Floyd’s unjust and tragic killing at the hands of police, a wave of civil unrest, nay, rebellion against racism has erupted across the United States and the rest of the world. We are experiencing a moment of paradigmatic revolution, both in the consciousness of our culture and in the physical spaces we share. Statues – the tangible monuments to figures of historical significance (or notoriety, if not outright infamy) – have adorned the public squares of cities all across the world. Statues celebrate the purported history, if not the mythology of figures whose impact has been deemed worthy of remembrance.
However, when historical figures have risen to fame or power in the context of systemic racism, when they are guilty of high crimes and treachery and malevolence against other human beings, we ought to think critically about how their stories are presented in public fora, and whether such statues that pay them tribute ought to exist at all.
Our second episode is an honest discussion of the topic of statues. Where the discourse has been largely uncritical until recent months, we at Dialectic Peoples are ready to elevate the debate.
Let’s get in to it.
Links for Episode 2: Statues
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