I teach undergraduates at Western Sydney University, several hundreds of whom have, over the last five years, studied my unit, “The Racial State”. I chose this title to echo the seminal book of the same name by race critical scholar, David Theo Goldberg.
My students have no problem identifying racism; many of them live at its coalface. I am told countless stories about family members changing their names from Mohamed to say, Michael, in order to get a job. “Driving while Muslim” is a particularly relatable experience for many of my students, as is being asked “where are you really from?” Many have or know of stories of police harassment and racial profiling.