19 maj 2013

Antirasism som svensk stolthet

Sara Ahmed analyserar hur antirasistisk skuld kan återskapa vithet och särskillnad, vilket sedan genom antirasism och mångfaldspolitik producerar en ny nationalistisk stolthet. Jag sammanfattar denna dynamik till tre steg. 

Sara Ahmed är queerfeminist och forskar med kritiska vithetsstudier.

1. Sara Ahmed visar hur obehaget inför vita och nationalistiska privilegier kan återskapa en vit självupptagenhet. Skuldkänslor återskapar därmed särskillnad och vithet.

"They may also respond to the work of bell hooks (1989) and Audre Lorde (1984), who both emphasise how feeling bad about racism or white privilege can function as a form of self-centeredness, which returns the white subject ‘back into’ itself, as the one whose feelings matter. hooks in particular has considered guilt as the performance rather than undoing of whiteness. Guilt certainly works as a ‘block’ to hearing the claims of others in a re-turning to the white self."

2. Antirasism och mångfaldspolitik skulle kunna fungera som ett verktyg för "vita" att komma bort från obehagliga känslor.

"I would suggest that Whiteness Studies does not turn away from the white subject in turning away from bad feeling. ... Ruth Frankenberg has argued that if whiteness is emptied out of any content other than that which is associated with racism or capitalism ‘this leaves progressive whites apparently without any genealogy’ (1993, 232). The implication of her argument is in my view unfortunate. It assumes the subjects of Whiteness Studies are ‘progressive whites’, and that the task of Whiteness Studies is to provide such subjects with a genealogy."

3. Antirasism och mångfaldspolitik skulle till och med kunna förvandlas till en ny källa för stolthet. En ny svensk stolthet. Eller en stolthet över mångfalden i vår organisation.

"whiteness studies would be about making ‘anti-racist’ whites feel better, as it would restore to them a positive identity. Kincheloe and Steinberg make this point directly when they comment on: ‘the necessity of creating a positive, proud, attractive antiracist white identity’ (1998, 34). The shift from the critique of white guilt to this claim to a proud anti-racism is not a necessary one. But it is telling shift. The white response to the Black critique of shame and guilt has enabled here a ‘turn’ towards pride, which is not then a turn away from the white subject and towards something else, but another way of ‘re-turning’ to the white subject. Indeed, the most astonishing aspect of this list of adjectives (positive, proud, attractive, antiracist) is that ‘antiracism’ becomes a white attribute: indeed, anti-racism may even provide the conditions for a new discourse of white pride.
34. Here, antiracism becomes a matter of generating a positive white identity, an identity that makes the white subject feel good about itself. The declaration of such an identity is not in my view an anti racist action. Indeed, it sustains the narcissism of whiteness and allows whiteness studies to make white subjects feel good about themselves, by feeling good about ‘their’ antiracism."

Per Herngren
2013 05 19, version 0.1


Sara Ahmed, "Declarations of Whiteness: The Non-Performativity of Anti-Racism", Borderlands e-journal, Volume 3 Number 2, 2004.

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