Following the tragic Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub, both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called for a return to “the spirit of 9/12,” a reference to a dark period of racism, surveillance, and state sanctioned Islamophobia after the September 11th attacks. In the United Kingdom, instances of xenophobia and Islamophobia have reportedly surged following the EU referendum, leaving migrants and minorities, particularly Muslim women, vulnerable to attack and discrimination. As events unfold and the "Brexit" debates continue, we present a reading list of key titles that shed light on the origins of Islamophobia and ways we can organize to fight it.
First published in Libération. Translated by David Broder.
Far be it from me to minimise the dramatic consequences the UK’s vote will have for the British as well as for Europe. But I am struck by the way in which the French and foreign newspaper headlines present us how things are "After Brexit…" With very few exceptions all of them seem to take it for given that a divorce has indeed taken place. In reality, while we are certainly entering into a turbulent period, the outcome is not at all clear.
Akwugo Emejulu, Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, examines how white supremacy has operated before and after the UK’s EU referendum and argues that the visibility of racism following the Brexit vote must not obscure the conditions for its possibility. Her co-authored book, The Politics of Survival: Minority Women, Activism and Austerity in France and Britain is forthcoming with Policy Press.
Despite vociferous claims to the contrary, Brexit really is about race—but not in ways we might expect. In this seemingly ‘post-race’ era, Brexit shows us how whiteness, as a power relation, operates in ways to cast itself as both a ‘victim’ and an ‘innocent’ simultaneously.
In light of the result of the EU referendum, we publish Antonis Vradis’ piece comparing the Greek and British EU referenda. Vradis makes the case for the necessity of a left resurgence after the reactionary far right Brexit campaign. Vradis is a geographer at Durham University, looking at Europe's urban transformations under austerity, and also at how the management of the migrant crisis is transforming the continent - as part of the Transcapes collective. He blogs at The Slow.
Martin O'Neill, Senior Lecturer of University of York, analyses the response from the Labour right against Jeremy Corbyn.
As I write these words at 2 pm on Monday 27 June, the parliamentary Labour Party’s coup against their current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, looks unstoppable, with more than twenty shadow ministers offering their resignations. Those quitting include not only those identified with the right and centre of the party, but also a number, such as Angela Eagle, Lisa Nandy and Owen Smith, associated with the party’s soft left. Corbyn’s days as leader may be numbered, but Labour has an enormous task on hand to offer the country a vision of how to move forward from the political and economic earthquake of the Brexit vote.