Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Race and Class 49, 4 April 2008

Most interesting article in this edition of Race and Class I thought is a short piece by Jenny Bourne on 'The beatification of Enoch Powell', written in late 2007 and starting with well-known Tories Simon Heffer and Michael portillo as evidence of his rehabilitation. Heffer is clearly a true fan, Portillo providing more of 'it's an important argument, needs to be discussed' piece - which is rather different. For Bourne, Powell was the creator of bloodshed - directed against migrants, and his much-discussed motives count for nothing against the racism he shaped. Good short sharp piece.

Another Race and Class regular Liz Fekete reviews Plausible Prejudice by Marianne Gulstead and Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma. Gullested is praised as an exponent of a new anthropology (although I'd call it ethnography) looking at Western (especially in Norway) racism and how it becomes 'plausible'. On the other hand Fekete doesn't like the tone and air of Buruma with its 'unpleasant air of superiority' and 'distasteful generalisations', despite the approval given the book by unnamed centre-left commentators. I quite liked it - oh dear. Fekete finishes by reference to the emergence of dynamic grassroots movements campaigning against the exclusion of immigrants, 'no more so than in the Netherlands', but details are left sadly vague.



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