I Refuse to Condemn

Resisting racism in times of national security

Editor: Asim Qureshi

In times of national security, scholars and activists who hail from the communities under suspicion attempt to draw readers and listeners to the complexity of the world we inhabit. For those who campaigned against the SUS law in the 1980s, when young Black men were being routinely stopped in the streets, the wave of counter-terrorism legislation and policy that exists today will be very familiar. Similarly, recent discussions about the impact of drill music in the culture of young Black men has drawn questions around the ways in which they should be securitised, with senior police calling for the use of terrorism legislation against them. In this environment, when those who study and have lived alongside the communities who are at the scrutiny of the state raise questions about the government, military and police policy, they are often shut down as terrorist-sympathisers, or apologists for gang culture. In such environments, there is an expectation on scholars and activists to condemn what society at large fears. This volume is about how that expectation has emerged alongside the normalisation of racism, and how these writers choose to subvert the expectations raised on them, as part of their commitment to anti-racism.

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