In an article on the web site of the Canadian Public Well being Company entitled “Inequalities in Well being of Racialized Adults in Canada,” one reads that “populations who’re racialized in relation to a ‘white’ or non-racialized social group expertise stressors together with inter-personal and systemic discrimination all through the life course,” that “racialized adults are much less prone to really feel that their well being is both good or glorious,” and that “racialized Canadians are disproportionately impacted by inequalities in protected and secure housing.”)
As a linguist, I used to be struck by the repeated use on this article of a brand new previous participle that I used to be not accustomed to — “racialized”. I started to marvel concerning the implications underlying using this verb type, which suggests the existence of a verb “to racialize”.
So I appeared on the web to see if I may discover different types of this verb. My search turned up examples corresponding to the next: “Coleman Hughes on how America racializes its residents”; “Not all racializers do the identical factor after they racialize”; “Discourses which are racializing and othering muslim*ladies [sic] can maintain hegemony, by disguising their particularities”.
The previous participle of this verb due to this fact represents the particular person or group to which it’s utilized as having undergone the motion of being racialized by some agent who’s represented as a racializer. This results in the query as to who’s doing the racializing. An extra search on the web confirmed that the reply to that query is invariably the identical — whites.
Behind that little previous participle “racialized”, consequently, there lies an entire worldview which sees the relations between completely different races by way of racializer/racialized or, in different phrases, oppressor/oppressed. As Robin Diangelo states in White Fragility, “white folks raised in Western societies are conditioned right into a white supremacist worldview as a result of it’s the bedrock of our society and its establishments,” and this worldview “brings into existence whites and nonwhites, full individuals and subpersons.”
The identify of this worldview is Important Race Concept, and its underpinnings are primarily Marxist. It divides the world into two opposing energy teams: the oppressor (capitalists/whites) and the oppressed (employees/nonwhites). Since the whole lot is ruled by power-relations on this system, the one recourse of the oppressed is to make use of no matter energy they must stand up in opposition to the oppressor and throw off his yoke: as one of many foundational thinkers of Important Race Concept, Ibram X. Kendi, has written in Tips on how to be an Antiracist: “The one treatment to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The one treatment to previous discrimination is current discrimination. The one treatment to current discrimination is future discrimination.”
One doesn’t must be a linguist so as to see that the division of the world into racializer/racialized is a recipe for battle and violence, and never for the decision of unjust discrimination.
As Edward Feser factors out in his e-book All One in Christ. A Catholic Critique of Racism and Important Race Concept, “if one had been to switch expressions like ‘whiteness’ and ‘white supremacy’ with phrases corresponding to ‘Jewishness’ and ‘Jewry’, it might be tough to differentiate Important Race Concept literature from the ugly propaganda of Nazism. Its claims are comparably excessive, even when it has not (but?) led to comparable ranges of violence.” Feser advocates that the best way ahead entails “not Important Race Concept’s cancel tradition and hermeneutics of suspicion, however rational discourse and mutual understanding. Not the demonization of any race as inherently oppressive, however solidarity and mutual respect.”
Amen to that.