Monday, June 15, 2015
a notion of social justice that hinges on claims to entitlement based on extra-societal, ascriptive identities is neoliberalism’s critical self-consciousness
"The fundamental contradiction that has impelled the debate and required the flight into often idiotic sophistry is that racial identitarians assume, even if they give catechistic lip service – a requirement of being taken seriously outside Charles Murray’s world – to the catchphrase that 'race is a social construction,' that race is a thing, an essence that lives within us. If pushed, they will offer any of a range of more or less mystical, formulaic, breezy, or neo-Lamarckian faux explanations of how it can be both an essential ground of our being and a social construct, and most people are willing not to pay close attention to the justificatory patter. Nevertheless, for identitarians, to paraphrase Michaels, we aren’t, for instance, black because we do black things; that seems to have been Dolezal’s mistaken wish. We do black things because we are black. Doing black things does not make us black; being black makes us do black things. That is how it’s possible to talk about having lost or needing to retrieve one’s culture or define 'cultural appropriation' as the equivalent, if not the prosaic reality, of a property crime. That, indeed, is also the essence of essentialism." - Adolph Reed, Jr. "From Jenner to Dolezal: One Trans Good, the Other Not So Much"