|Photo: Ash Amin|
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Prompted by the speed with which, in certain historical moments, the hardwon achievements of anti-racism can be comprehensively undone, this article reflects on the mechanisms that keep racial coding and judgement close to the surface, ready to spring into action. It reads the intensity of race in a given present in terms of the play between vernacular legacies of racecoded reception of visible difference and the conjunctural mobilizations of race by biopolitical regimes – state-regulated systems of governing populations – to maintain collective order. The article explains the contemporary trend in the West towards the ‘racialization of everything’ as the product of mutually reinforcing mischief between vernacular and biopolitical racism. It closes with a discussion of the implications of such conjunctural tightness, one which questions the effectiveness of humanist arguments that have come to the fore in recent years focusing on practices of recognition and reconciliation.
anti-racism ■ biopolitics ■ phenotype ■ race ■ racial legacies
TCS and B & S are published by SAGE.