I came across this essay by Prof. Asma Barlas [ link ], entitled Racism’s Labyrinth. It’s a quick read, but quite interesting on a number of levels. An excerpt:
Whether white people want to claim their whiteness or not, whiteness claims them by positioning them as potential saviors of people of color. Liberals speak on our behalf; feminists tutor us, and conservatives discipline us, all of which are ways of saving us from ourselves. I am no stranger to the Catholic redemption narrative, but what I find foreign are the salvational pedagogies of a racism that is packaged as a secular good. Having dispensed with the idea of a religious savior, it seems Western secular democracies have embraced a racial logic that allows all white people to play at being redeemers. Now, everyone can save me, though for what reward, remains debatable.
Even though this secular whiteness feels foreign…
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