Training is the Graveyard of Struggle: An Anti-Racist History

The following is the text of a talk given at Goldsmiths College’s Department of Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies on December 11, 2020. Anti-racist training should not be part of the demands we make because it’s the easiest way for our struggles to be co-opted and defanged. Training as a solution implies theories of racism…

The West is Dying – of Narcissism

In his signature 2001 general election speech, Conservative party leader William Hague argued that four more years under Tony Blair would turn Britain into “a foreign land” governed from Brussels and overrun with asylum seekers. Labour “thinks Britain would be alright if only we had a different people,” he claimed. The implication was that a…

For Black Panthers, Radicalization Entailed Self-Transformation

As a new generation rises up against racist police and vigilante violence, organizers are thinking through how to build a mass movement that fully engages the most marginalized. Useful lessons can be found in the history of the Black Panther Party, if one reaches beyond the imagery of leather jackets and shotguns. Susie Day’s new…

From Fanon to ventilators: fighting for our right to breathe

To neoliberal states, the pandemic is a racialized security threat and a market opportunity. Our fight is for the right to breathe — in every sense. Ruling elites are pursuing the convergence of two dreams in their response to COVID-19: a state dream and a market dream. The state dream entails emptying public space of…

Communities of Resistance book cover

On A. Sivanandan’s Communities of Resistance

Below is the introduction to a new edition of A. Sivanandan’s classic collection of essays Communities of Resistance: Writings on Black Struggles for Socialism. A. Sivanandan was the foremost intellectual of the black working-class movement in Britain during its insurgent heyday from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. The essays collected here, written between…

What could a progressive alternative to the failed “war on terror” look like?

Fifteen Terrorism Acts in the last 20 years have created an oppressive and racist legacy. The left must not shy away from promoting a new vision of “security”, argues a new report out this week. Twenty years ago, a backbench MP called Jeremy Corbyn criticised a new Terrorism Bill that Tony Blair’s Labour government was…

Incarcerating the Crisis book cover

Book review: Incarcerating the Crisis by Jordan Camp

There is a growing acceptance in the US that the war on drugs has led to a system of mass incarceration which, in many ways, resembles the Jim Crow system of segregation and disenfranchisement – as Michelle Alexander has argued. Even the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, who, over the last few decades, have backed almost every…

Race and America's Long War book cover

Book review: Race and America’s Long War by Nikhil Pal Singh

Until recently, US academia maintained a strong division between the analysis of racism and the analysis of capitalism. The former flourished within certain limits while the latter was neglected; each was artificially separated from the other. But that is no longer true. A body of work has emerged in the last few years that draws…