Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Anti-racism has to go beyond a facile representation game

I managed to miss this piece by Priyamvada Gopal on the Celebrity Big Brother furore and what it means for anti-racism. I don't agree with all of it, but I think it's definately worth a read.

P.S. Unfolding debate, all too rare on my blog, on the Hitchens/Steyn piece.

P.P.S. The Jan/Feb issue of the always well worth reading Catalyst found its way to my desk this week. So far I've just read the first piece, Denis MacShane's predictions for 2007, which is good. Here's a snippet:
A bit more tolerance between those two wunderkinds of the 1968 era – Ken Livingstone and Trevor Phillips – would also be welcome. Both have a long record of being ahead of their time on many issues, of fighting against racism in all its manifestations, and of being shameless self-promoters. (As a practising politician, my last comment is not condemnatory.) Both have reached top pinnacles in public life. So why is Ken so silly when talking about Trevor, with the fatuous accusation that he is close to joining the BNP? Why does Ken hug Islamist ideologues who preach death to gays, and other evils? And why does Trevor organise conferences on important themes with foolishly provocative titles, or denounce MPs who warn the public about Islamist extremism? Organisations like Relate exist to help patch up marriages. Is there a liberal-lefty political version that could bring Ken and Trevor together?

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