DescriptionWe hear much talk about the advent of a “postracial” age. The election of Barack Obama as President of the U.S. was held by many to be proof that we have once and for all moved beyond race. The Swedish government has even gone so far as to erase all references to race from its legislative documents.
However, as Ferguson, MO, and countless social statistics show, beneath such claims lurk more sinister shadows of the racial everyday, institutional, and structural racisms persist and renew themselves beneath the polish of nonraciality. A conundrum lies at its very heart as seen when the election of a Black President was taken to be the pinnacle of postraciality.
In this sparkling essay, David Theo Goldberg seeks to explain this conundrum, and reveals how the postracial is merely the afterlife of race, not its demise. Postraciality is the new logic of raciality.
1 The pasts of the postracial
2 Postracial conditons
3 Postracial logics
4 Postracial subjects
5 Are we all postracial yet?
"It would be tempting to assume that there is a yes or no answer to this work’s titular question, however, it soon shows its complexity as the mind ponders over and over it: are we really postracial? What does ‘postraciality’ evoke? Is this the end to racism? We demand answers and David Theo Goldberg – as part of Polity’s Debating Race series – leaves no stone unturned in this distinctive essay on race."
"This pointed, thoughtful and readable book is a bold intervention in the politics of undoing racial hierarchy. For too long, anti-racism has been inhibited by the difficulties involved in moving beyond critique. David Goldberg has risen to the cosmopolitan challenge involved in breaking that logjam. With characteristic rigor and wit, he shows how antiracist politics can be reconfigured in combative, practical and affirmative forms."
Paul Gilroy, King’s College London
"This Book reveals the neo-raciality masked by the claims of the post-racial. The underlying structures of economic, political, and social inequalities have seen the afterlife of racism in police uniforms walk the streets of America openly amidst the cries of ‘I can’t breathe’ from its victims. A must read."
wa Thiong’o Ng g , University of California, Irvine
"David Theo Goldberg’s trenchant meditation on the challenges to anti-racist remediation reveals a structured cultural silence about deep social shape-shifting forms of inequality. The very term ‘post-racial’ places racism's harms beyond critical analysis, rendered unreachable because located in the past, indecipherable because erased from language; and ungovernable because assigned to private rather than collective address. This excellent study explores the limits of ‘post-racialism’ in an epoch of denial, unsparingly dissecting the common attributes of interesting forms of prejudice."
Patricia Williams, Columbia Law School
"Goldberg's Are We All Postracial Yet? provocatively and powerfully interrogates the idea of the Postracial as something more than an aspiration, but in fact the basis for a new phase of racial arrangements, shaped by shifts in the political economy, domestic and international law, and geopolitics. The work is theoretically rich and probing with both global and local implications. It deepens race critical theory, and furthers our understanding of the ongoing significance of race."
Imani Perry Hughes Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University and author of More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the U.S. (2011)
"Are we all postracial yet? David Theo Goldberg in answering this question with a resounding “yes” explores the postracial as a logic and condition that enables racism to persist and proliferate. This book offers a sharp, wise and unflinching critique of the racism of the postracial. It is also a deeply optimistic book: there is no better way of demanding an alternative than by demonstrating its necessity."
Sara Ahmed, Goldsmiths
"The work of David Theo Goldberg has been an important point of reference in discussions about theories of race and racialization. […] Utilizing an elegant and engaging writing style Goldberg seeks to dissect and explore the various meanings attached to the notion of the 'postracial'."
Ethnic and Racial Studies, Review Symposium
"Goldberg's advance is to explore how the illusion [of postraciality] has become increasingly weaponized; that far from signalling the end of race or even broad acceptance of the illusion of the end of race, it represents an emergent 'neo-raciality, racism's extension if not resurrection'."
Gavan Titley, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Review Symposium
"Goldberg articulates here a daring and ultimately affirmative fashioning of an anti-racist, 'non-racial' humanism – a vision of humanism that does not slip into the neo-imperial and anti-difference tropes humanism is otherwise prone to."
Sivamohan Valluvan, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Review Symposium