Refusing to condemn as a political act
in I Refuse to Condemn
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Remi Joseph-Salisbury reflects on his experiences as an anti-racist activist in the UK. As a Black mixed-race man involved in a number of community groups, he considers what it means to be asked to condemn racially minoritised communities generally, and Black communities particularly. Whilst recalling specific incidents to illustrate his arguments, he suggests that ‘calls to condemn’ are not always explicitly spoken but are constantly felt. These calls, he contends, are an attempt to shift the focus away from anti-racist critiques of structures and institutions and back towards always-already-pathologised communities of colour. Focusing on his work with the Northern Police Monitoring Project, the chapter evidences how despite the organisation’s understanding of the complex ways in which communities are placed under suspicion, the organisation was forced to condemn acts of interpersonal violence outside of its remit, in order to ensure their wider messaging would not be misunderstood. As cultural deficit arguments abound in the vacuum left by ‘post-racial’ mythology, the work of anti-racist scholars and activists becomes all the more difficult. Calls to condemn, therefore, act to maintain White supremacy. However, in societies that have already pushed people of colour to the margins, anti-racist actors must work against rather than with White supremacist power structures. We must, therefore, refuse to condemn.

I Refuse to Condemn

Resisting racism in times of national security

Editor: Asim Qureshi


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