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Link: “Against Afro-Pessimism

Original post found at: https://jacobin.com/2022/06/afro-pessimism-frank-wilderson-socialism-flattening-racism/

This is the classic history of ethno-racial nationalist and separatist ideologies. Claiming to speak on behalf of an ideologically constructed “nation” or “race,” the educated, bourgeois sections of an ethnicity or racial group suppress class and other divisions within the group in order to amass power. By propagating the idea of universal injury, an elite within such a community can deflect attention from the enactment of their power either against the social lessers or in brokering power with existing, traditional elites outside of the so-called race or nation.

Interesting article that compares (without equating) this new “Afro-Pessimist” viewpoint to Zionism and the Afro-American colonisation of Liberia. Basically, by insisting that oppression is about inborn, essential traits instead of about what actually occurs in society, those elites who happen to belong to a specific oppressed group are able to cast themselves as eternal victims in order to deflect from and justify their own fabulous privileges. Racism is obviously real and vicious, but arguing that it’s inevitable and that all “out-groupers” are and will eternally be your enemies (that’s the “pessimism” part) is not only incorrect, but completely dead-end politics.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.