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Post-race, post-reparations

reparationsNaomi Klein has written a damning account of Obama’s complicity in killing off the movement for reparations for slavery. By announcing that the US would not be represented at the UN’s anti-racism conference, ‘Durban II’, ostensibly because it is anti-Israel, he has effectively declared to black people that he will not stand up for them.

As Klein notes in conclusion, the right in the US has already decided that Obama is a ‘reverse racist’ that wants to use public finance to redirect funds directly to minorities and away from whites. Nothing could be further from the truth, but,

No matter how race-neutral Obama tries to be, his actions will be viewed by a large part of the country through the lens of its racial obsessions. So, since even his most modest, Band-Aid measures are going to be greeted as if he is waging a full-on race war, Obama has little to lose by using this brief political window actually to heal a few of the country’s racial wounds.

Read the whole article here

Alana Lentin