This critique of identity is absolutely and emphatically not a proposal that race should be put second or waved away. It is an insistence on recognizing the material reality of race as a social relation, and forming a more adequate theoretical understanding of it that can be useful for struggles against racism.
Asad Haider traces Spinoza’s question through the ideas of Wilhelm Reich and Stuart Hall, and argues that to make politics possible again we need to abandon the position of moral and political purity that can only rely on superstition.
The experiences of 1968 show us that it is possible to organize against racism as part of the structure of American capitalism — and to join together projects of street protest, popular education, workplace struggle, and political organization.
Since the conjuncture that marked the reception of Althusser’s works, it has become clearer that the the initial Anglophone interpretation of Althusser involved considerable conceptual mistranslation, and his texts have since then been cursed by a reputation which powerfully precedes the reading.
Today we must remember Heather Heyer and all those who left their homes in the morning to fight for justice, knowing that they might not come back. These people are never angels or saints. They are ordinary people, like you and me. Their refusal could not be silenced.