5 Rethinking anti-racism We have highlighted some inconsistencies within the Race Relations approach. In the chapter on racism and sectarianism, for example, we noted the failure to extend the UK’s Race Relations Acts to Northern Ireland in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. We also pointed out the inconsistent approach to the place of religion in Race Relations theory and policy – treating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as forms of racism, but excluding sectarianism in Northern Ireland. In the previous chapter we noted that the development of Race Relations policy
always foreground a politics of anti-racism. However, what we found in our discussions is that screen and digital cultural workers tell an important story about how different media spaces can be used by Black and Asian cultural practitioners to reimagine the lives, experiences and subjectivities of Black Britishness. In particular we underline the long history of cultural production led by Black and Asian people that takes place outside or on the margins of the creative and cultural industries (CCIs). We also point to ongoing discussions around how
4 Anti-racism and disavowed racism The term racism is unambiguously a negative one, morally and politically. Sectarianism and other forms of racism are often referred to as evil. Anna Lo, MLA, for example, can often be heard describing racism and sectarianism as ‘twin evils of prejudice and intolerance’.1 In 2001 a report on racism commissioned by the Northern Ireland government concluded that ‘racist harassment is a particularly pernicious and evil part of society’.2 Racisms are commonly characterised as forms of extremism. The British MP Paul Murphy, when he
11 Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968–79 Satnam Virdee Part II Issues Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968–79 A western European Left which does not seek to understand and then to tackle racism head-on is cutting its own throat. The loss of support from proletarian socialists who are sympathetic to racialist explanations … is better than endless equivocation, denial and ineffective compromise on this issue. Dave Widgery1 In most histories of the New Left, 1968 is quite correctly identified as an important watershed, a turning point in the history
Racism and sectarianism makes an important contribution to the discussion on the 'crisis of anti-racism' in the United Kingdom. Anti-racist theory and practice has been in crisis for more than a quarter of a century. The power of official anti-racism comes from its endorsement and institutionalisation by states in domestic and international law and in institutional practice. The book first explores whether sectarianism is racism, examining three different arguments in favour of treating racism and sectarianism as distinct phenomena. Exploring what is racism, the book examines through the prism of Race Relations theory and practice, because they constitute the dominant approach to tackling racism in the UK. The focus is on the conception of racism that underpins Race Relations policy and theory. The book agrees that the radical grassroots anti-racist movements of the 1960s and 1970s were important and that the relationship between racism and anti-racism is not straightforward. It considers the internationalisation of the Race Relations approach through the UN, and the incorporation of Race Relations into domestic UK policy. Further, the book challenges the idea that Race Relations theory is unproblematic. Anti-racisms as they actually existed in the process of historical change and development are examined. Human consciousness plays a crucial role in this process. Finally, the book explores the limitations of a Race Relations approach to harassment through a critical examination of the most recent innovation in official anti-racism, hate crime policy, which formally came into operation in Northern Ireland in September 2004.
This book poses the question as to whether, over the last thirty years, there have been signs of ‘progress’ or ‘progressiveness’ in the representation of ‘marginalised’ or subaltern identity categories within television drama in Britain and the US. In doing so, it interrogates some of the key assumptions concerning the relationship between aesthetics and the politics of identity that have influenced and informed television drama criticism during this period. The book functions as a textbook because it provides students with a pathway through complex, wide-reaching and highly influential interdisciplinary terrain. Yet its re-evaluation of some of the key concepts that dominated academic thought in the twentieth century also make it of interest to scholars and specialists. Chapters examine ideas around politics and aesthetics emerging from Marxist-socialism and postmodernism, feminism and postmodern feminism, anti-racism and postcolonialism, queer theory and theories of globalisation, so as to evaluate their impact on television criticism and on television as an institution. These discussions are consolidated through case studies that offer analyses of a range of television drama texts including Big Women, Ally McBeal, Supply and Demand, The Bill, Second Generation, Star Trek (Enterprise), Queer as Folk, Metrosexuality and The Murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Socialist Republic is a detailed account of left-wing politics in 1980s Britain. The 1980s is considered a time of crisis for left-wing politics but this book demonstrates the persistence of social democracy in localities like Sheffield. Drawing on archival research and oral history interviews it examines how Sheffield City Council developed a left-wing agenda to counter Thatcherism and renew the British left. Stepping back from the Council, it then explores how the city’s wider activism of the labour movement, women’s groups, peace, environmentalism, anti-apartheid, anti-racism, Black community organising, and lesbian and gay politics interacted with the ‘Socialist Republic’, and how these movements were embraced, supported, restricted, or ignored by the local authority. By bringing a wide range of movements together and examining them in the context of a vibrant local government, this book uses the local to offer a methodological challenge to the study of new social movements while providing a road map for how left-wing politics can be studied in other cities. Offering a timely focus on regional politics, it demonstrates how histories of local political cultures can enrich our understanding of political developments on a national and international level.
This book explores the role of the far left in British history from the mid-1950s until the present. It highlights the impact made by the far left on British politics and society. The book first looks at particular strands of the far left in Britain since the 1950s. It then looks at various issues and social movements such as Trotskyism, anti-revisionism and anarchism, that the left engaged (or did not engage) with, such as women's liberation, gay liberation, anti-colonialism, anti-racism and anti-fascism. The book focuses on how the wider British left, in the Labour Party and amongst the intelligentsia, encountered Trotskyism between the 1930s and 1960s. The Socialist Party (SP) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) traditions have proven to be the most durable and high profile of all of Britain's competing Trotskyist tendencies. Their opponents in the International Marxist Group and the Socialist Labour League/Workers' Revolutionary Party (SLL/WRP) each met limited success and influence in the labour movement and wider social movements. The SWP and Militant/SP outlived the 'official' Communist Party of Great Britain and from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present day have continued to influence labour movement and wider politics, albeit episodically. The book is concerned with providing an overview of their development, dating from the end of the Second World War to the onset of the 2009 economic crisis.
social justice generally, and anti-racism specifically. As we have come to know the university more intimately, much of our initial cynicism has not only endured but deepened. That said, we have become more attentive to the contradictions in the university system, the pockets of hope and possibility we might exploit. We have also become more aware of, and inspired by, the work and praxes of those who occupy the margins of the university, finding ways to combine scholarship and activism – that is, those who we might think of as scholar-activists. It
As police racism unsettles Britain’s tolerant self-image, Black resistance to British policing details the activism which made movements like Black Lives Matter possible. Colonial legacies and newer forms of state power are used to understand racism beyond prejudice and the interpersonal: black resistance confronts a global system of racial classification, control, exploitation and violence. Adam Elliott-Cooper offers the first detailed account of grassroots anti-racist resistance to policing in Britain since the 2011 ‘riots’. British racism stretches back further than Windrush and beyond the shores of the British mainland. Imperial cultures and policies, as well as colonial war and policing, are used to highlight connections between these histories and contemporary racisms. But this is a book about resistance, considering black liberation movements in the twentieth century while utilising a decade of activist research covering spontaneous rebellion, campaigns and protest. Drawing connections between histories of resistance and different kinds of black struggle against policing is vital, it is argued, if we are to challenge the cutting edge of police and prison power which harnesses new and dangerous forms of surveillance, violence and criminalisation. The police and prison systems are seen as beyond reform, and the book argues that to imagine a world free from racism we must work towards a system free from the violence and exploitation which would make that possible.