Has Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream Been Realised?

I shall be participating in this global debate on 28 August to commemorate 50 years of Dr King’s assassination and ask has his dream been realised. In a purportedly ‘postracial’ world, many would claim it has but, as Gavan Titley and I argued in The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a  neoliberal age, the claim that we are post-race is one of the ways in which racism is laundered today. The ability of race to find new form, moulding itself to current contexts is its power. We don’t have to look much further than the manufactured refugee ‘crisis’ in Australia or the disproportionate criminalisation and incarceration of Aboriginal people to see how race continues to structure society in pernicious ways.


  • Sandra

    August 27, 2013

    Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

    While any person has an ability to be prejudiced in any way, racism will walk the streets. In this current society racism is more subtle and therefore much more pervasive than people perceive.

  • Leila

    August 30, 2013

    Hi Alana,

    Very much enjoyed hearing you speak in this debate – I was the lady in the audience who asked about Islamophobia.

    As a point of interest, the phrase ‘pessoptimist’ was also used by Emile Habiby, a Palestinian writer, in his celebrated 1974 book ‘The Secret Life of Saeed, the Ill-Fated Pessoptimist’. I confess that I am not a scholar of pessoptimism, so I do not know who used the phrase first. But this book is certainly worth a read.

    Many thanks again for your insights in the debate – your perspective was refreshing.


  • Alana Lentin

    September 2, 2013

    Dear Leila,

    Thanks for your comment and your contribution to the debate. Also, I am happy to have this reference – I will quote the source in future!

    All the best,


  • Bob Cote

    February 7, 2014

    Racism, in my opinion, is fear of those who differ from us. In America today there’s far less racism than there was a century ago, and the reason for that is familiarity and acceptance.

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