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Racial identity politics - Essay Example

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Name Last Name Subject Date Racial Identity Politics Manning Marable’s criticism of racial identity politics is best represented in his seminal work Beyond Black and White: Transforming African-American Politics. A representative of the transformationist trend in the political philosophy, Marable generally encourages Afro-Americans in the USA to embark on transformation of current social structures…
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Download file to see previous pages THESIS STATEMENT: Despite the fact that Marable’s vision of resolving the issue of racial identity politics might seem rather radical and somewhat inconsistent with the ideas of other black leaders/scholars (for example, in his approach to the nationalist or integrationist movement), Marable provides a well thought out redirection of U.S. racial politics to a wider scope of activities and produces a new and meaningful understanding of race. Marable’s Interpretation of Race The perspective on dealing with racial issues within the contemporary American politics and economy, as expressed in Beyond Black and White: Transforming African-American Politics, is left, or, better, radically left. Specifically, in his interpretation of race, Marable relies on the primary role of class oppression. He observes the difficulty of disconnecting the national identity from the privilege which opposes the definition of race. This privilege, according to Marable, is determined by the superior status of the white who comes from the upper class and is stereotypically a male. Yet, unlike the majority of thinkers, Marable does not contemplate the race in terms of White/Black opposition, but he sees race as the concept which lies at the intersections with many other types of subordination. Indeed, racism in the United States concerns not just African Americans, but also Asians, Native Americans, Latinos, Pacific Americans, as well as other people on the ground of ethnicity, color, mannerisms, or culture (Marable 5). Guided by historical materialism and Marxist approach in particular, Marable redefines the concept of race in the context of contemporary changes in economic and political life. According to Marable, rather than focusing on a narrow opposition between African Americans and whites, one should strive to develop a complex vision of the race’s instrumentality. This may well be explained by the changes in the fundamental structure of the United States economy, for example, a flood of legal as well as illegal workers from the countries of the Third World, who basically redefined the meaning of race. This has led to considerable political consequences for all parts and classes within the American society. The innovative approach to interpretation of race found in Marable’s text takes the reader beyond the limited duality of the racial politics centered on black and white opposition. His vision of race is based on reconsidering the essence of “blackness” in African-Americans’ consciousness and political identity. Hence, the concept of race – of blackness – needs to be redefined both ideologically and with regard to material terms. This is necessitated by the fact that hundreds of thousands of people of Afro-American, Hispanic, and Caribbean origin move to the United States and get assimilated within numerous cities with other non-whites. Therefore, diversity and complexity are two crucial concepts that characterize black family relationship, religious affiliations, cultural traditions, and languages. This means that the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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