Resisting Racism And Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Race, Gender And Human Rights by Faye V. Harrison (AltaMira) (Paperback) excerpt: The concept of globalization is used and abused in a number of different ways, sometimes muddling issues that urgently need to be clarified. Arguing that globalization has a history that goes back centuries, Ted Lewellen underscores the historical specificity of contemporary globalization. He defines the most current phase or moment of globalization as the increasing flow of trade, finance, culture, ideas, and people brought about by the sophisticated technology of communications and travel and by the worldwide spread of neoliberal capitalism, and it is the local and regional adaptations to and resistance to these flows.
In Lewellen's view, the global order, with its cultural, ideological, political, and economic dimensions, is being restructured in accordance with a neoliberal logic. Neoliberalism can be understood as an ideology promoting unfettered marketization; privatization; a minimalist state that enables unregulated commodity exchange; a decrease in state expenditures for human welfare ("but sometimes paradoxically with increasing state interference ... in social [and political] arenas"); and possessive, competitive individualism (Kingfisher and Goldsmith 2001, 716). Catherine Kingfisher and Michael Goldsmith, however, argue that neoliberalism is more than just an ideology. In their view, it is "a cultural system that makes certain claims about the economy, the proper role of the state, and the nature of personhood that, in turn, serve to organize society in highly gendered [and, I would interject, racialized and classed] ways" (716, emphasis mine).
The global spread of this logic has profound consequences for the direction that economic restructuring takes, especially in the aftermath of the Cold War, when debt-ridden countries have had few, if any, viable alternatives to the development policies that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank impose. These institutions, along with agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), "have a great deal of power ... and they use it to push neoliberal principles and policies" (MacEwan 1999, 10). However, it is important to note that these policies are pushed and enforced selectively, according to a double standard or "an asymmetric practice" that the United States imposes on its competitors and clients (Amin 2003, 20). According to Egyptian political economist Samir Amin, the United States "would not be able to [retain its competitive advantage] were it not for the recourse to extra-economic means, a clear violation of the principles of [neo]liberalism the U.S. imposed on its competitors" (18).
Economist Arthur MacEwan claims that the contradictory neoliberal regime that dominant capital imposes on the world is a major obstacle to building a more democratic form of economic development. Significantly, his analysis underscores the importance of not limiting our understanding and expectations of democracy to elections and formally representative government, leaving the economic realm outside the reach of genuinely democratic debate and decision making, the kind of decision making that would challenge and counteract the forces of structural power as it is currently constituted.
Concerned particularly with the impact of "free," but not necessarily "fair," market policies on women, Manisha Desai (2002, 19) claims that the IMF, World Bank, and USAID are institutions that "prioritize the market rather than women's economic and social empowerment." She goes on to point out how the drastic budget-balancing acts, cutbacks, restraints on wage increases, and debt servicing associated with mandated structural adjustment packages have had patterned consequences for women both at work and at home. A racialized feminized proletariat has become a central component of the global labor force—both its formal and informal segments—and women's unpaid labor at home has increased as women are forced to make up for the government's retreat from safety-net provisioning.
The reasons that human rights abuses are escalating in so many parts of the world are complex. However, in part, this troubling state of affairs can be attributed to the virtual immunity with which transnational agents operate in relation to nation-states. Neoliberalism rationalizes, even naturalizes, this immunity. Under these circumstances, peripheral states, concentrated in the global South or the world system's periphery, are especially vulnerable. Their ability to protect rights to education, health, and humane work standards has been drastically compromised by internationally mandated policies and programs (e.g., structural adjustment) that give higher priority to corporate rights, the rights of transnational elites to accumulate capital, than to the basic needs and rights of the majority of human beings.
While the social contracts that states (that is, the more democratic states) may have once had with their populations have eroded, the repressive role of state power has clearly not. Indeed, in many cases, Western, particularlyAmerican, foreign aid packages include generous provisions for police and military upgrading (see, e.g., Harrison 2002c). Due to the free or unregulated market in arms, intergroup tensions are more likely to escalate into militarized and, at worst, genocidal conflicts. Of course, these problems are not restricted to the southern hemisphere or Third World, for they have northern variants as well. For example, while the IMF and World Bank prescribed structural adjustment programs throughout the debt-ridden South, in the United States and the United Kingdom, the 1980s Reaganomics and Thatcherism authorized the shift to safety-net slashing, market-friendly policies more or less equivalent to structural adjustment in their political-economic logic and effects. The far-flung search for cheaper supplies of labor and deregulated zones of manufacturing or processing has, in part, been played out in the serious expansion of the prison-industrial complex with its captive, "concentrated labor" force (Buck 1992) coerced into working for little or no wages. This late modern form of slavery disproportionately exploits men and women of color who are racially marked with the visible injuries of class subjugation (Buck 1992; Davis 2003; J. James 1998).
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON RACE, GENDER, AND HUMAN RIGHTS
The chapters and poetry selection compiled in this volume represent the thinking and passions of a diverse network of women and a male ally. We live in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, South Africa, Australia, and India. Our international diversity can be extended even more, however, because the immigrants or transmigrants among us are originally from Haiti, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe. Ten of us are anthropologists, mainly based in academic or other research settings as researchers, administrators, professors, and graduate students. The other six bring additional disciplinary and professional perspectives to the dialogue—women's studies, Chinese literature, Aboriginal studies, economics, and education. Five contributors were invited to participate in the project largely due to their knowledge and experience as activists. However, several more embrace some form of a scholar—activist identity, which has influenced the form and content of our scholarship.
Four of the authors did not participate in the Durban workshops. Cheryl Fischer, Gina Ulysse, and the coauthors Mohamed Saleh and Fatma Jiddawi Napoli were invited to participate in the workshops but were unable to because of extenuating circumstances. Fortunately, Fischer was able to attend the WCAR, although she arrived too late to be a part of the NGO Forum workshops. Fadwa El Guindi—a respected anthropologist, filmmaker, and public intellectual—was not part of the Durban group but was invited to contribute a chapter. We believed that it was imperative that an articulate and knowledgeable Arab and Muslim voice be included, especially given the post—September 11 climate.
The contributing authors provide provocative views on an array of topics and issues related to the racial, ethnonational, and gendered aspects of varied conflicts over social injustice and human rights. These wide-ranging issues are situated in both the global North and South, offsetting the tendency in so much of the literature to zoom in on human rights violations perpetrated in the South and East while neglecting the problems of the North. Even international human rights NGOs have followed this trend. Today, however, the international human rights community is well aware of the United States' failure to comply with many international standards.
Post-WCAR and Post—September 11 Reflections from the South
Devaki Jain, a prominent feminist economist, offers a perspective from India on the significance of the WCAR, especially from the perspectives of Dalits and feminists who saw the UN conference and forum as a space for "facilitating justice" and for linking their agendas with international alliances opposed to racial discrimination. She explores the problems, as well as the necessity, of building politically enabling identities and solidarities. The need for critical solidarity is especially significant in the post—September 11 context, which is marked by a growing unipolarity in world power and a troubling shift to a rhetoric of "clashing civilizations" and religions, an idiom more reminiscent of the Crusades than reflective of contemporary realities.
Jain brings an interesting perspective to bear on the multiple identities and struggles "at the bottom of the ladder of social exclusion and stigma." That convergent social bottom is a space of socioeconomic oppression. This is the space to which she directs much of her attention. She underscores the importance of grounding a rights perspective "in economic issues such as poverty" and—drawing on Arundhati Roy's speech at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2003)—grounding that sense of human rights in an opposition to the corporate globalization leading to the commodification of food, water, air, and even "the dreams we dream." She sees continued relevance in Gandhi's exemplary ethic for reducing social and economic distances by effacing "difference through absorption of the Other." To eradicate poverty—or by implication any other ism—activists should consider adopting a practice of identifying with the poor—that is, living among them, engaging in everyday forms of pragmatic solidarity to promote the dismantling of discrimination and the assertion of justice.
Communities in Crisis and Struggle
Human rights, both their assertion and abuse, are not only ethical and politico-legal concerns but also concerns that are often more abstract than concrete in the manner in which they are represented. Human rights are claimed, embodied, and contested in the everyday lives of ordinary people in households and communities, formal and informal workplaces, and public spaces of cooperative action or conflict.
Subhadra Mitra Channa follows up on some of the questions Jain raises about Dalit mobilization at home and in the space of the UN conference in Durban. In a sense, she has perhaps inadvertently taken up the Gandhian ethic by immersing herself in the everyday life of the Dhobis individuals and families she has studied as an ethnographer. Going beyond stereotypes and mystifications, Channa illuminates the internal cultural logic of caste, untouchability in particular, highlighting its most striking parallels with the social phenomenon of race. Although untouchability was outlawed upon India's independence, she demonstrates how it nonetheless persists in the fabric of civil society and in the complicity, if not the official legal stance, of the state. Her intriguing interpretation of color symbolism and of the metaphors around which the discourse of caste distinctions is expressed uncovers invidious assumptions strikingly similar to those underpinning the language of race in settings such as the United States.
Her analysis of the ways that caste and gender intersect in the everyday life of Dalit women is especially insightful. Critical of most double- or triple-discrimination arguments, she focuses instead on Dalit women's agency and self-esteem, characteristics that often distinguish them from their less-independent counterparts in more-privileged castes.
Before defining and mobilizing themselves as Dalits, untouchables shared no unified identity among their widely dispersed communities. As both Jain and Channa indicate, today Dalit identity denotes power and the exercise of rights within a vibrant Indian democracy. At the WCAR, Dalits—including Dalit women—were well represented, exhibiting their capacity to organize themselves across educational levels, gender, and region, differences that could very easily divide them. Jain points out that the quest for unity was so intense that many Dalit women's organizations placed greater discursive focus on caste than on gender. Nonetheless, one might infer that Dalit women's ability to develop organizations focused on their problems as women suggests that both caste and gender are very much a part of their underlying practical consciousness.
J. Maria Pedersen, an indigenous social justice activist, takes us to Australia's Aboriginal communities where social inequality and unevenly distributed democratic rights have been strongly felt since early colonial times. She writes from the perspective of one who has experienced the compounded stigma of being Aboriginal, a woman, and a single mother in a community in which high unemployment, malnutrition, miseducation, racial profiling, police brutality, and youth suicide are prevalent. These are problems that Australia's dominant ideology naturalizes by claiming that Aboriginal criminality, sexuality, and fertility are driven by distinctive biological traits and pathologies, a threat that must be contained.
Pedersen resists this stigma in light of the knowledge gained from a critical rethinking of Australia's past. In this alternative history, Aboriginals have been vital agents struggling for the rights of self-determination and full citizenship denied them even in present-day Australian democracy. Relegated to the margins of that so-called democratic system, they have found ways to resist assimilationist policies designed to breed them out as though they were livestock rather than human beings. At the height of that colonial climate, mixed-heritage children were coercively taken out of Aboriginal communities. They and their indigenous kin were denied the means of family life and cultural identity integral to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Cheryl Fischer's discussion on the state of civil and human rights in the Ozarks region of southwest Missouri is written from the vantage point of an African American woman who has been involved in both grassroots and transnational politics for many years. She makes us acutely aware of the regional biases in media coverage as well as in the priorities of civil and human rights NGOs (e.g., the NAACP) in the United States. Gross human rights violations in the Ozarks, a region that she characterizes as the American "outback," have remained largely invisible despite efforts of activists such as herself to put them before the nation's public eye. She also criticizes the feminist movement for neglecting the issues that preoccupy the women with whom she works. Those women are largely African American and Latina along with Euro-American women with biracial families. They all have had to confront—or have had close relatives who confronted—hate crimes and discrimination at work, in school, in the criminal justice system, and within state agencies charged with providing children's services. Moreover, heinous hate crimes such as lynching are still occurrences with which communities of color in this part of the country contend.
In forthright practical terms, Fischer asks how the WCAR program of action can be relevant to the communities she describes. Not only does she raise this question, but she also goes to the next step by delineating a number of useful recommendations toward a concrete plan of action. She challenges us all to go beyond talking about human rights and justice to finding practical strategies for getting the work done and for building effective links between transnational arenas such as the UN and the everyday life of households, communities, and the organizations that serve them at the local level.
Helen Safa's chapter offers a compelling cultural critique of the sexual racist stigma endured by single mothers, particularly in African American communities but also in the Hispanic Caribbean. She brings considerable insights from her Caribbean work into her examination of racism in the United States, household dynamics, marriage, unwed motherhood, and significant shifts in welfare policy over the course of time. She provides the necessary historical context within which to think critically about the most recent trends in welfare reform, which emphasize personal responsibility and the work ethic.
Safa's analysis sheds important light on the social context in which what she calls citizenship rights, or the social and economic rights that have been respected in European social democracies, are profoundly underdeveloped if not altogether denied. Her analysis also illuminates a racial order that deploys ideas of sociocultural differences (namely, family dysfunction and deviance) rather than explicit notions of biological determinism. She convincingly demonstrates how the dismantling of the welfare state in the United States is a political process feeding on racialized meanings, relations, and practices. This process is not unlike that eliminating public safety nets in many other parts of the world. A common logic of state minimalism is at work (Kingfisher and Goldsmith 2001).
Matters of sexuality and power are inextricably entangled with the cultural politics and political economy of race and gender intersections. Women's bodies and sexualities are sites on which national sovereignty is fought, economic development strategies are pursued, and health crises negotiated. Melissa D. Hargrove begins the discussion on sexual matters by directing our attention to the human rights abuses that tourism engenders, particularly in contexts reorganized by structural adjustment programs and other neoliberal policies. She describes how the recolonization of "body, identity, and culture" that tourism promotes compromises women's health, work opportunities, and life chances in significant ways that deserve further scrutiny. The marketing of the "tourism experience" has become a global pattern of exploitation in which vulnerable
populations, women in particular, are relegated to the ranks of exoticized objects of northern tourist consumption. Desperate to survive, often under circumstances of economic austerity induced by neoliberal policies, these women find themselves "drawn into an exploitative system based upon racial, gendered, and class inequalities," which are being reproduced and deepened under conditions of current-day globalization.
Although her range of vision extends to sites in Asia as well as those on the Internet, Hargrove focuses on the role of sex workers in tropicalized tourist zones in the African diaspora, namely the Caribbean and Brazil, where blackness and hypersexuality are marketed. In these illicit transactions, sex workers are demonized as promiscuous deviants rather than being viewed as workers who deserve to have their human rights respected. Although sex workers' rights are hard to protect because of the illegality of the occupation and the rampant nature of police brutality and government corruption, some sex workers have organized themselves to claim their rights "as women . . . workers . . . and citizens." Hargrove closes her chapter by insisting that it is not enough for anthropologists to document human rights violations. She urges them to find ways to "act upon the world," beginning in "our own back yards" and "in our own everyday lives."
Esther Njiro is a Kenyan anthropologist who acts on the world as an applied researcher in South Africa. Her contribution here is a timely examination of the gender and racial intersections that shape the present HIV/AIDS pandemic and its implications for social and economic development in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent of Africa. In her view, the difficulties that heterosexual women experience in enjoying safe, consensual sex is a significant human rights dilemma.
Her analysis provides an insightful cultural and political economy of African women's poverty, their economic dependency on men, and their risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. She underscores the significance of gender in conditioning power relations between women and men and in shaping the cultural dynamics and social norms fueling "the pandemic and influenc[ing] its impact."
Njiro sketches the historical development of apartheid and patriarchy in South Africa to highlight the major structural, as well as psychological, forces that have put women at a serious disadvantage. Given the gross socioeconomic disparities and migration patterns, women have often been impelled to exchange sexual services for "money, security, and favors." She challenges us to see that interventions in health care and health education require a holistic approach that confronts a complex web of causality going well beyond the personal responsibility of individuals to wider cultural dynamics and the workings of macroeconomic institutions.
Fatma Jiddawi Napoli and Mohamed Saleh are Zanzibari transmigrants and "long distance nationalists" (Glick Schiller and Fouron 2001). In their
chapter, they examine the social suffering that Zanzibari women and their families face when women's bodies are sexually violated in the politically charged context of Zanzibar's struggle against Tanzania for sovereignty. The authors argue that sexual violence is a tactic deployed to intimidate and demoralize the Zanzibari people, inhibiting them from demanding their "inalienable human and democratic rights." In the immediate wake of British colonial rule, Zanzibar enjoyed formal independence. However, within only a month of independence, a coup d'etat propelled events that led to the small Indian Ocean archipelago being forced into a union with Tanganyika and becoming part of the United Republic of Tanzania.
In the authors' view, the tensions between Zanzibar and Tanganyika have a gendered character. Zanzibar has been feminized and denied a voice in a "forced marriage" consummated by "rape" rather than by a genuinely consensual union. Beyond the sexual symbolism of Zanzibar's political subjugation, there is also a sexual and racial politics of on-the-ground human rights abuse. For example, under the pretext of promoting "racial harmony" between "Africans" and "Arabs," marriages have been "arranged" by the state between older mainlander government officials and young girls of mixed African, Arab, and Indian descent without the young women's, or their parents', consent. This practice has been justified as being a retaliation for Arab men's having exploited African women as concubines in the past.
As part of a wider context of human rights abuse, the rape of women, and even that of children and men, has silenced many families, compelling them to abandon their political activities "for fear of reprisals" and public shame. Despite this intimidation, Zanzibaris—both at home and in the diaspora—have refused to retreat from the struggle for freedom and democracy. Not resigning themselves to victimhood, women are playing key roles in mobilizing against ethnocide and for their country's political emancipation. Napoli and Saleh express their belief that a truth-and-reconciliation commission would help their country come to terms with its history of disappearances, massacres, and rapes, as well as help it to "create conditions for a sustainable peace ... based on principles of . . . forgiveness." The principled tolerance they attribute to the historic Zanzibari city-state and Swahili melting pot is what they envision for their nation's not-too-distant future.
New Diasporas: Refugees and Immigrants
Philomina Okeke's chapter takes us from the African continent to a transmigrant setting in Canada. Her analysis of a new diaspora focuses on the experiences of African women in Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta. She is particularly concerned with understanding their resilience and resourcefulness in the face of racism. Most of the women she examines belong to middle-class families that migrated to Canada in search of economic stability and improvement. They have also been fairly successful in establishing support networks and resistance strategies that meet their local needs as well as influence political and economic conditions in their home communities and nations in Africa.
She situates contemporary diaspora formation in the context of global restructuring and the population flows that it engenders, noting that these processes give rise to practices and policies that are racist and racializing. She aligns her analysis with postcolonial feminist critiques of development, highlighting the part African female scholars have played in developing theoretically appropriate modes of inquiry. This newer trend in the political economy of knowledge production is significant in light of earlier trends homogenizing and exoticizing African women as the Western feminist's Other.
Okeke argues that the transnational space linking diasporic sites to Africa is a central feature of immigrant life. Because of this, she insists on the difference between old-style immigrants, as they have been characterized in the literature, and transmigrants. Glick Schiller and Fouron (2001), however, encourage us to be more cautious about this distinction and the assumptions underlying it. They claim that earlier generations of immigrants also found ways to maintain their connections with and allegiances to the old country while busily planting roots in the United States and Canada. In light of this insight, the fluid, multiple identities and situations that Okeke observes African women negotiating may be consistent with their being both immigrants and transmigrants.
Okeke claims that the WCAR played an enabling role that enhanced anti-racist activism within the new African diasporas. The UN conference gave diasporic activists a space in which to evaluate their experiences as new immigrants and transmigrants with distinctive problems. Okeke points out that in the United States and Canada, Africans are often placed in a stereotyped "black pool" without regard to the unique challenges they face vis-à-vis black communities with more distant African origins lying in the population dispersions during the transatlantic slave trade. The socially and culturally specific characteristics of different waves of black migrants (from the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa) have led to variable experiences of, and responses to, racism in Canadian society.
Jan Delacourt takes an interesting look at an immigrant situation in Northern Italy in which Kosovo refugees have settled, perhaps temporarily, in the town of Ivrea at the invitation of the town council. The support that local volunteers provided led to an outcome that has been deemed relatively successful compared to other instances of refugee resettlement. Delacourt conducted a dialogic style of fieldwork to explore the meanings of difference not only for refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants but also for Northern Italians. She found many in the host community with personal histories that relate existential principles for "living [their] own differences." Delacourt levels the analytical plane by blurring the boundaries between citizens and aliens, natives and newcomers, Italian and non-Italian. Her investigation is organized around a dialogue between these categories of people, who "ask questions of each other's experiences," recognizing that valuable knowledge flows from both sides.
In her reflections on "differences that divide" and create unjust privileges and deprivations, Delacourt points to her own family's experiences in colonial Rhodesia as well as to Italians' experience with fascism and regional animosities between Northerners and Southerners (stigmatized as "Africans"). She argues that differences experienced through personal and interpersonal strategies of resistance and integration at home, work, and in civil society occur in a "third space," "neither the old margin nor the co-opted center." The third space is a locus where women's agency, inclusiveness, solidarity are exercised and where Otherness is converted into a space for building alliances and community. This space cannot exist without interrogating racial/national/gender privileges, particular those associated with "whiteness," often an unmarked dimension of European identity. Delacourt also urges listening "for and to the voices of those caught in the intersections of many forms of discrimination." Many of them are refusing their status and standing up for their rights.
We close this section on new diasporas with a selection that is not a chapter in the conventional sense. Instead, we present a poem written by an anthropologist, Haitian-born Gina Ulysse. Ulysse's career as an intellectual encompasses social scientific writing, filmmaking, and ethnopeformance. Ethnoperformance involves modes of creative expression that assume varied forms: spoken word, dance, and other kinds of creative productions. Ulysse is among those, including me (Harrison 1990), who advocate developing anthropologically informed performative practices as one among many strategies for reaching wider audiences and raising critical consciousness. Multigenre forms of artistic/cultural production are evocative of meanings, perceptions, and experiences difficult to express through the conventions of normal social science. These may be dimensions of knowing that resonate with potential audiences.
Ulysse's written poetry and spoken word art are more than an avocation or hobby. She is a versatile intellectual, cultural worker and artiste with a remarkably extensive toolkit at her disposal. Her politics and poetics are recognized among Haitian Americans' most exemplary cultural expressions. For example, her poetry (Ulysse 2001) is included in The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States, an anthology edited by the renowned writer Edwidge Danticat (2001).
Although the textualized presentation of Ulysse's poetry cannot do justice to the powerful cadences that can be appreciated fully only in the context of a live performance, "My Country in Translation" is nonetheless a poignant expression of her reflexive, autoethnographic perspective on Haiti and Haitian refugees in the United States. The poem touches on her experience as an immigrant struggling to come to terms with the social sufferings that Haitians bear. Those sufferings, however, do not end with migration. For the most part, Haitian refugees are not welcome in the United States, and their ambiguous and highly contested status as asylum seekers raises serious questions concerning the human rights of refugees and black immigrants. In her effort to assist and express her solidarity with her compatriots, she has volunteered to serve as an interviewer and interpreter for the Haitian Refugee Asylum Project. She understands that this service carries a heavy responsibility. Her translations, or mistranslation, could have serious consequences, perhaps influencing whether the refugees are allowed to remain in the country or are deported. If deported, they may be sentenced to death by default.
Ulysse has lived in the United States since her childhood—long enough to speak English fluently without a foreign accent and to lose some of her competency in Kreyôl, a full-fledged language with its own regional and class dialects. Differences in vocabulary, idioms, and pronunciation complicate communication between newly arrived refugees and a diasporic Haitian whose everyday life demands that she speak English most of the time. Beyond sociolinguistic issues, there are other issues at stake. Haiti is not just the impoverished, politically corrupt country from which emigrants and refugees are lucky to escape. It is a beloved place they long for and dream of as members of the Tenth Department (Dizyèm Depatman-an). Haiti has nine departments, or provinces. In a speech marking his new position as democratically elected president in 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide designated the Haitian diaspora as the Tenth Department, acknowledging the integral role that the diaspora plays through remittances and other contributions to the impoverished nation-state (Basch et al. 1994, 1).
Ulysse is a part of that Tenth Department, and this transborder positionality gives her a useful vantage from which to interrogate and interpret the interrelationship among race, nation, migration, and human rights. She understands that assaults against Haitians' human rights both at home and abroad implicate a hemispheric and global regime that blames Haiti for its own problems and relegates it to the bottom of interlocking hierarchies of nations, cultures, and races (Farmer 1992). "My Country in Translation" evokes the intense dilemma of a Haitian in diaspora seeking to negotiate her Haitianness through the communicative practice of translation. Interestingly, translation is also a major function that anthropologists serve, but native anthropologists must confront their own particular complications and responsibilities.
Negotiating Diversity and the War against Terrorism
In the final section of this book, we direct our concerns with racism and anti-racism to U.S. society, where issues of difference, diversity, and human rights have acquired added layers of significance since September 11. Camille Hazeur and Diana Hayman begin the discussion with an insightful chapter in which they, a biracial team of collaborators, reflect on the trends in diversity initiatives and training programs, which have grown in number if not in popular acceptance since the 1978 Bakke decision. Their look at diversity training as well as some of the historical forces that have made it necessary takes place at a juncture when the meanings and implications of race and affirmative action policies are being heatedly debated. Not surprisingly, since September 11, national security has taken precedence over domestic human rights concerns, including those related to the climate of race and gender relations in workplaces, schools, and universities. These are contexts in which increasing levels and forms of diversity are being negotiated and managed, frequently by persons without adequate background, knowledge, or skills. Hostile climates foster conditions that compromise human rights, both constitutionally guaranteed civil rights and those defined in the International Bill of Rights as being economic, social, and cultural rights. Of course, the last set of rights are not consensually accepted as inalienable rights in the United States, especially at a moment when the dismantlement of welfare, affirmative action, and unionization are being rationalized by an ideology promulgating personal responsibility, economistic individualism, color blindness, and the valorization of "free" markets over human rights.
Based on their many years of working in educational arenas, Hazeur and Hayman present a critical assessment of the state of diversity and "cultural sensitivity" training. They also present their sense of what is needed to achieve the goal of reeducating the workforce and, in the context of educational systems, reeducating educators for working more effectively in desegregated and increasingly heterogeneous settings. The kind of training the authors envision would prepare trainees for racial democracy by exposing them to the social history of racial formation and gender subordination in the United States. They argue that an adequately delineated historical context for explaining racism will better prepare workers and educators to understand why power-evasive advocacy of color blindness, normative (and hence unmarked) white privilege, and white male privilege are issues that need to be redressed before racism can be confronted.
To their credit, Hazeur and Hayman recognize that reeducation takes much more time than is normally allotted in most training programs. Raising consciousness around sensitive concerns whose significance so many people are inclined to deny entails awareness not only of the historical and sociological facts but also of the cultural and psychological dynamics that fuel the backlash against affirmative action policies and diversity initiatives. Raising consciousness also requires awareness of the profoundly political nature of the effort. Hazeur and Hayman are aware of these complications and suggest that the potential effectiveness of a critical mode of diversity training may be its greatest obstacle. According to their criteria, effective diversity training should work toward subverting established power relations. But are corporations, school systems, and universities committed to a transformation of this sort? What kinds of organizing strategies would be required to achieve a genuine racial and gendered democracy? Critical diversity training would be only one among them.
My own chapter addresses the political organizing strategies that a multiracial network of activists in the U.S. South deploys in building a human rights movement with linkages across national and transnational space. In 2000, several of my students and I attended a human rights conference, a preparatory forum for the WCAR, held at the historically black Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference was organized by a coalition of civil rights, feminist/womanist, labor, and environmental activists whom I call by the pseudonym Southern Human Rights Activists Coalition (SHRAC). During that semester, I taught a course on social inequality and human rights. The Southern regional conference presented an excellent opportunity for my students and me to extend our critical learning community beyond the classroom to a realm of human rights advocacy. Throughout the semester, questions had been raised about how the ideas we were engaging could be translated into concrete practices that could make a difference in the "real world" beyond academic texts and talk. The third biennial conference of SHRAC (SHRAC III) gave us a chance to find out how activists answer some of those questions.
My attendance at SHRAC III and, later, SHRAC IV prompted me to ask questions that could only be answered by taking a much closer look at SHRAC, the South, human rights, and the networks of activists employing the language, instruments, and organizational arenas of the human rights system, particularly that associated with the UN and its international conferences. The human rights—centered mobilization I have begun to examine is part of a worldwide trend that has blossomed since the demise of the Cold War. Although it is interpreted and appropriated in diverse and sometimes problematic ways, the language of human rights is globally intelligible. My concern is to understand exactly how activists interpret and apply abstract human rights principles in their culturally and politically specific contexts. What difference do human rights—based strategies make for what they are able to accomplish on the ground both locally and regionally? SHRAC not only has adopted human rights language but has also situated itself as part of the global South and has begun building alliances that reflect this position. What is the meaning of this transnational praxis, and how does it affect organizational identity and efficacy? SHRAC and its SHRAC conferences are regional but with strong national and international connections. Hence, the activists' interpretation of and response to the war on terrorism transcended the parochial patriotism and xenophobia characterizing so many Americans' response to the tragedy.
We end the book with Fadwa El Guindi's powerful critique of the war on terrorism, which is written from the perspective of an Arab feminist and public intellectual. She offers provocative insights into the racial and religious profiling of Arabs and the problems of the Middle East, where the right to self-determination is being flagrantly denied to Palestinians and Iraqis.
According to El Guindi, the trauma that Americans have suffered after September 11 is comparable to that which many peoples experience in ground zeros around the world. She wants more of us to know that "Israeli and [U.S.] bombs and bullets ... indiscriminately [kill] men, women, children, and elderly [people]," not restricting their targets to military sites. She is adamant that "colonized people have the internationally legal right to resist occupation." Hence, "all forms to resist occupation and to liberate one's land [are] legitimate." The characterization of freedom fighters as terrorists demonizes them and delegitimizes their struggle for human dignity, sovereignty, and justice. This ideological fabrication, with its racist underpinnings, makes it difficult for many Americans to have sympathy for the suffering of colonially subjected people in an intensely mystified and mythologized region of the world. The region of the historically and archaeologically salient "cradle of civilization" is now being labeled "barbarian" and "uncivilized." Moreover, the image of evil, uncivilized terrorists does not apply to individuals such as Timothy McVeigh, the EuroAmerican charged with the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma.
El Guindi illuminates how the politically manufactured hysteria encourages "patriots" to target innocent Arab and South Asian immigrants, many of them American citizens, in hate crimes and acts of vengeful violence. The vengefulness also prompts the Department of Homeland Security to detain aliens, often without cause. The war on terror has become a war on immigrants, a serious assault against the civil liberties and human rights especially of Arab and Muslim Americans.
Besides her perceptive analysis of domestic dynamics, El Guindi provides a savvy view of the struggles and conflicts in the Middle East. Palestinians' right to self-determination has been flagrantly denied by a geopolitical and political-economic agenda that seriously implicates Israeli and U.S. policies. Whether Americans wish to face this reality or not, this is the wider context within which acts of protest, resistance, and armed struggle assume the form of what has now come to be defined as terrorism.
El Guindi elucidates the post—September 11 political climate and the processes involved in constructing the enemy and including within that category both individuals and countries, "particularly [two that are] oil-rich or economically strategic," namely, Afghanistan and Iraq. She argues that the attack on Iraq and its subsequent occupation was "preemptive, unilateral, unsupported by the international community, [and] in violation of international law and universal human rights." She is particularly critical of anthropologists and feminists for not taking more of a public stand to clarify the issues at stake. Western feminists, often motivated by arrogant ignorance and myopia, fell into the trap of serving the goals of U.S. militarism in the way in which they campaigned against the Taliban's repressive patriarchal policies, particularly that concerning the burqu'. She insists that "U.S. feminism must liberate itself from the hold hegemony has on it." Political leadership must also liberate itself from "a corporate-run bully out of control." This is necessary before there can be any meaningful dialogue and diplomacy with spokespersons representing the Middle East. Once this kind of relationship is cultivated, the overly simplistic views of Islam and the Middle East will give way to a willingness to understand their complexity and humanity. If a give-and-take approach is not sought, the prevalently popular and spontaneous resistance El Guindi describes as "Arab street" and "world street" will continue to expand and explode beyond the bounds and control of official leaders, cells, parties, or states.
This volume offers only a glimpse into the thinking, conversations, and activist research agendas of one group of individuals concerned about the state of the world as we witness it from our diverse vantage points as intellectuals and advocates for social justice and human rights. A few years ago, our shared interests and concerns led many of us to come together at the NGO Forum for the WCAR in Durban, South Africa. The issues we encountered and pursued remain significant and urgent today. They warrant greater visibility than they have received in the public eye. They are legitimate grievances that can only be resolved if there is the personal and political will to remake the world for the greater good of the mass of humanity. The world as we know it is replete with injustice and violence, but there are also heartening signs of hope, including "world street" expressions of peaceful and humane alternatives to the established global order.
We believe that racism, sexism, and other isms can be resisted and combated through—among other things—reeducation, consciousness raising, many different kinds of protracted concerted action, and a willingness on the part of some to relinquish unearned privilege for the sake of acknowledging and embracing, in meaningfully substantive ways, the humanity and human rights of others, particularly those suffering the brunt of the politics and political economy of dehumanization and stratified personhood. Unfortunately, acknowledgment of others' humanity is easier said than done. It must be learned and invented anew so that many more of us will be able to see ourselves in others and others in ourselves. Without this basic sense of resemblance and kinship, it will be difficult to transform the profound gulfs of pain, anger, oppression, and war that separate human beings into bridges and public commons where new communities and solidarities can be built from the raw materials of an alternative global restructuring based on the logics of dialogue, compromise, mutual aid, shared dignity, and peace. These are the necessary values and conditions for reorganizing access to power and the means of sustainable life, building more participatory forms of democracy, redistributing income and the net assets that constitute wealth, promoting social justice and peace, and understanding that without justice there can be no peace.
Equality and Diversity: Phenomenological Investigations of Prejudice and Discrimination by Michael D. Barber (Humanity Books) Excerpt: Examples of prejudice against Jews, women, African Americans, and other minority groups are reported almost daily by the media. Despite educational programs to counteract prejudicial attitudes, this seemingly intractable problem remains an ongoing concern, not only in the United States but throughout the world. It is an interesting and often overlooked fact that the subject of prejudice has been the focus of major works by three prominent philosophers in the phenomenological tradition, works that still offer many insights into contemporary attempts to understand this social problem: Jean-Paul Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and Alfred Schutz's essay "Equality and the Meaning Structure of the World." Michael Barber examines this striking convergence of interests by these three philosophers and explores the significance of phenomenology for analysing: prejudice as expressed in anti-Semitism, sexism, and racism.
Part One first examines Edmund Husserl's highly abstract use of the term prejudice and then considers how Sartre, Beauvoir, and Schutz applied their own unique modifications of Husserl's phenomenological system to var ious manifestations of prejudice. In their writings, Barber uncovers a dialectic between a modernist concern for equality and a postmodernist fear of the suppression of "alterity"-the distinctive qualities of the groups against whom prejudice is directed. In Part Two Barber articulates a theoretical system . of ethics that is innovative in reconciling the very different ethical perspectives of Karl-Otto Apel and Emmanuel Levinas. The book concludes by drawing on this unique synthesis to provide an ethical warrant for affirmative action, illuminating the unacknowledged presuppositions at play in debates over this issue, particularly the tensions between equality and diversity.
Newspapers throughout the world report daily examples of prejudice against Jews, women, African-Americans, and other minority groups examples in which those with prejudices classify members of such groups antagonistically and act and think toward them accordingly. When such prejudices shape institutions that treat the members of these groups unfairly or exclude them, one can speak of discrimination. Prejudice and discrimination abound in spite of the fact that legal and educational programs worldwide have attempted to redress past offenses and change present attitudes. In the face of these seemingly intractable social problems, several philosophers have examined prejudice from their varied philosophical frameworks. It is an impressive fact that three prominent philosophers who have contributed important works to this topic trace their philosophical roots to the tradition of phenomenology, initiated by Edmund Husserl. Jean-Paul Sartre devoted a major work to anti-Semitism, Simone de Beauvoir one to sexism, and Alfred Schutz one to racism. Besides focusing on these concerns in major works, each author examines other forms of prejudice, even within those major works, and it will be instructive to draw connections between their approaches to different prejudices. Is there perhaps a dynamism in phenomenology that might have led these thinkers to turn their attention to these pressing concerns? Moreover, what aspects, methods, or concepts particular to phenomenology help illuminate prejudice?
Taking a cue from this striking convergence of three thinkers within the same philosophical tradition upon the single question of prejudice, the first part of this book undertakes a study unique to the history of phenomenology. That is, it explores how the three major phenomenological figures brought their underlying philosophical paradigms to bear upon this problem of prejudice. Of course, each author selected from the treasure trove of Husserlian phenomenology different concepts, emphases, and methods. Thus it will be necessary to present first of all Husserl's own approach to phenomenology, viewed under the auspices of his own struggle against "prejudice," in the highly abstract meaning that that term held for him-a meaning different from but related to the meaning of the prejudice as commonsense bigotry. Then, in the case of each successor to Husserl, before discussing in-depth their specific works on discrimination, it will be important to present their general phenomenological viewpoints and to make clear the modifications they introduced into the tradition that Husserl began.
Even though at least forty years have passed since these three philosophers produced their works on prejudice, many of their insights are as valuable today as they were then, and, as will be shown, the critical, reflexive method of phenomenology was crucial in the production of these insights. On the other hand, by an exposure of the phenomenological roots of their varied approaches to prejudice, the meaning of phenomenology itself will become clearer and its relevance to contemporary issues more manifest.
There is value in considering these three analyses of discrimination in juxtaposition in the first section entitled "Phenomenological Perspectives," since the shortcomings and strengths of their various adaptations of phenomenological method will become all the more evident. In a sense, this interplay between viewpoints will involve a self-critique of phenomenology itself. Further, although one cannot claim that anti-Semitism, sexism, or racism are the "same" kind of discrimination, there is value in examining them in tandem, as Lewis Gordon has suggested, and the contrasts and similarities between them will surface more conspicuously when the three different discussions are laid out side by side.
In addition, this consideration of the phenomenon of prejudice from three different perspectives will bring to the surface a dialectic between equality and alterity that will be important for the rest of the book. Each of the thinkers opposes prejudice in the name of equality, and yet each worries that the struggle for equality runs the risk of overlooking or even suppressing the distinctiveness of the very groups against whom there is prejudice. In this sense, these authors in their own way anticipate the later, present-day conflict between modernity and postmodernity, without, however, falling into its polarizations. While modernity tends to favor the Enlightenment's vision of the equality of all rational agents, postmodernity mistrusts the repressive, homogenizing effects of Enlightenment rationality, particularly insofar as it prides itself on being only rational.
Of course, there are limits to phenomenological approaches to prejudice that focus on the dynamics of consciousness involved in prejudicial activity. While Sartre, Beauvoir, and Schutz place discus sions of consciousness within the context of intersubjective relationships and institutional arrangements perhaps more than other phenomenologists, they do not undertake detailed analyses, as sociologists and economists might, of the social-structural or economic factors that underpin most forms of prejudice and that would need to be studied in any full consideration of prejudice. Schutz himself is quite aware that the phenomenological take on social reality is limited, but it still captures aspects of that social reality that differing strategies of investigation will of necessity neglect. One need not cover every dimension of a problem in order to understand it quite well from one particular angle.
One of the main limitations of phenomenological method as it has been practiced is that it has tended to concentrate on epistemological or ontological questions rather than ethical ones. Such a concentration can be traced historically back to the founder of phenomenology, who published extensively on epistemology but never synthesized and published his views on ethics. It is true, however, that the Husserl Archive contains numerous manuscripts dedicated to value-theory and ethics and some of Husserl's lectures on the subject have been collected in a volume of the Husserliana series. In these manuscripts and lectures, Husserl continues in ethical theory the struggle against psychologism that is one trademark of his epistemology by distinguishing between feeling-acts and the values given in those acts and yet irreducible to them. On the object-side, Husserl develops an axiology, a formal logic, by which one might direct one's choices between values, and, on the subject-side, he elaborates a pure pragmatics in which rightness of will consists in willing as every other subject would will, that is, as an impartial spectator would will. Although Husserl's pragmatics is compatible with Kantian ethics and with the goal of self formation characteristic of Husserl's later writings, Husserl also considered a kind of material value-ranking that would find its fullest articulation in the works of Max Scheler, one of the most famous phenomenologist-ethicians. On the one hand, the argument in this book, as shall be seen, favors on one plane a Kantian ethics that has made the linguistic-intersubjective turn, such as Karl-Otto Apel's, and so could subsume much of Husserl's pragmatics. On the other hand, this book supplements Apel's transcendental ethics with Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenology of alterity, that, as I have argued elsewhere, upholds the best of Scheler's a priori ranking of values while avoiding its weaknesses. In spite of the valuable insights scattered throughout Husserl's manuscripts and lectures, the fact that he never systematically presented his ethics indicates that it was never his major preoccupation.
Husserl's phenomenological successors did not fare much better when it came to ethics. Although Beauvoir authored The Ethics of Ambiguity and Sartre his posthumously published Notebooks for an Ethics, they do not present a fully worked out systematic ethics that might justify their ethical outrage about sexism and anti-Semitism, in part because their existentialist leanings left them somewhat antipathetic to ethical theory. Schutz, because of his descriptive approach as well as his social scientific suspicion that ethical codes serve to shore up fragile in-group identities, kept himself at a distance from ethical theory, even though a strong ethical repugnance pervades his descriptions of the mechanisms of racial prejudice.
I will suggest, however, that Beauvoir's The Ethics of Ambiguity and Sartre's posthumous Notebooks for an Ethics point in the direction of the ethics that I will elaborate in the second, systematic part of the book-an ethics that synthesizes the ethics of Apel's transcendental pragmatics with Levinas's phenomenology of alterity. Nevertheless, this first part of the book neither examines versions of phenomenological ethics nor explores future prospects for a phenomenological ethics. Rather its purpose is to survey three phenomenological approaches to the problem of prejudice, to concentrate on specific works dedicated to forms of prejudice, and to bring to the surface the dialectic between equality and alterity that will become a central topic in the second part of the book.
The second part, "Systematics: Ethics and Affirmative Action," attempts to articulate a theoretical ethics comprehensive enough to address the relation between equality and alterity. On the one hand, it will argue that Karl-Otto Apel provides an adequate justification for a Kantian-type ethics that would support that equality between rational agents that those in the phenomenological tradition in part 1 insisted upon without sufficiently justifying. On the other hand, Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenology attends to the question of alterity by descibing the ethical dimensions of the encounter with the Other. While these two philosophers are taken to represent antagonistic trends in contemporary philosophy, such as that of German versus French philosophy or modernity versus postmodernity, this book will integrate their diverse but complementary projects within a common philosophical architectonic, a two-tiered ethical theory, modeled on Husserl's distinction between the transcendental and life-world (or pretranscendental) poles. Apel's transcendental pragmatics, which integrates within itself the hermeneutical life-world phenomenology of Heidegger and Gadamer, concentrates on questions of justification and validity on a transcendental plane akin to Husserl's, whereas Levinas locates his phenomenology of alterity at a pretheoretical level functioning on the same level as the life-world for Husserl.
In articulating this architectonic, it will be important to adjust and attune the different levels to each other. Since the architectonic is Husserlian in inspiration and since Levinas admits the Husserlian ori gins of his own philosophy, it will be necessary in chapter 5 to consider how transcendental pragmatics harmonizes with Husserlian phenomenology, particularly in developing aspects already present in Husserl's transcendental philosophy, and yet corrects it in other aspects. The presentation of transcendental pragmatic ethical theory and its justification will follow on this rapprochement with Husserlian phenomenology. While Apel's transcendental pole establishes a notion of equality on the basis of discourse itself, it also opens toward alterity, but it requires the supplementation and radicalization of Levinas's phenomenology of alterity at a pretheoretical, life-world level, as shall be shown in chapter 6. That chapter will show that Levinas's notion of the Third is the point where his phenomenology meets transcendental pragmatics and that his critique of reason enriches rather than contradicts transcendental pragmatics. A final section in chapter 6 will elucidate how this delicate reconciliation between these divergent standpoints, in which the distinctiveness of each and the capacity of each to complete and challenge the other is preserved, will of necessity be an uneasy one.
In the final two chapters, I will attempt to illustrate the significance and relevance of this two-tiered ethics, which reconciles transcendental pragmatics and the phenomenology of alterity, by bringing it to bear on the question of affirmative action-an issue to which the previous discussions of discrimination are still relevant and in which the ideals of equality and responsiveness to alterity clash head-on. Although affirmative action originally aimed at restoring to equality those who had suffered centuries of exclusion, ironically in these days many complain that it is an unethical policy which violates the standard of equality by unjustly discriminating against white males and thus creating a new excluded alterity. These final two chapters will argue that affirmative action is at the least an ethical policy, apart from considerations of its constitutional or legal appropriateness. The first of these last chapters will show how deontological concerns have led to a refashioned and limited definition of affirmative action, and it will offer an understanding of equality (treating people not equally or the same but "as equals") that has been transformed through exposure to the excluded Other and that would justify a compensatory approach to affirmative action. The final chapter will defend affirmative action as an adequate form of compensation by opposing positions that claim its inadequacy because it is over- or underinclusive, because it cannot be proven that discrimination is the cause of the exclusion of those supposedly deserving compensation, and because it turns the tables on white males by discriminating against them.
By attempting to provide an ethical warrant for affirmative action, this book will do more than show the relevance of the two-tiered ethics to a concrete moral and political issue. The entire discussion of affir mative action has often proceeded with unexamined or unjustified notions of human solidarity, equality, compensation, inclusion, social causality, diversity, and so on. Moreover, reflections upon affirmative action often take place within a broader philosophical context that they rarely make explicit. I attempt to remedy these deficiencies by proceeding as phenomenology always has, illuminating on transcendental and pretranscendental planes the taken-for-granted, unacknowledged presuppositions at play. Because of unexamined presuppositions, opponents of affirmative action find it unethical, without even being aware that there are alternative ways to understand the basic concepts and alternative frameworks with which to approach the question. By making explicit such alternatives and arguing for their plausibility, this book seeks to persuade its reader in favor of affirmative action. But it also takes its place in the history of political and social philosophy, one of whose great founders, Plato, saw so clearly that Thrasymachus's dictum that might meant right required the Republic's long and searching reply since Thrasymachus presupposed much that he did not even recognize about human nature, epistemology, metaphysics, rationality, and even the character of philosophy itself. It is rare to see a synthesis of Levinas and Apel, and even rarer to see such a synthesis proving its relevance to a key practico-ethical topic in contemporary society.
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