Image: Sebastião Salgado, Coal Mining, Dhanbad, Bihar, India, 1989
Adolph Reed Jr. is the towering radical theorist of American democracy of his generation!
[Walter Benn Michaels is] cunning, brilliant, acutely suggestive, often exhilarating to read.
–Eric Lott, TRANSITION
Denouncing racism and celebrating diversity have become central to progressive politics. For many on the left, it seems, social justice would consist of an equitable distribution of wealth, power and esteem among racial groups. But as Adolph Reed, Jr. and Walter Benn Michaels argue in this incisive collection of essays, the emphasis here is tragically misplaced. Not only can a fixation with racial disparities distract from the pervasive influence of class, it can actually end up legitimising economic inequality. As Reed and Michaels put it, “racism is real and anti-racism is both admirable and necessary, but extant racism isn’t what principally produces our inequality and anti-racism won’t eliminate it”.