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Charlie Hebdo: White Context and Black Analytics

I’m delighted that my article on the event of Charlie Hebdo and the negation of Black, Arab and Muslim activism advanced by those called upon to flesh out the ‘French context’ behind the attacks has been published in Public Culture.

The call for a parsing of the French context that accompanied the aftermath of the attacks on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo mobilized what Barnor Hesse calls a “white analytics.” Such a partial vision of France as “exceptional” in matters of race denies the significance of “black analytics” for a full understanding of the context leading up to the Charlie Hebdo “event.” “White analytics” permits the universalization of racism and the suggestion that “reverse racism” or “Islamic leftism” are now dominant. In contrast, attention to the work of scholars and activists who shed light on race and ongoing coloniality in France is vital for the significant challenges of the present to be fully understood, paving the way for a renewal of a radical “political antiracism.”

Read the full article here.

Alana Lentin