|Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-03-17 01:39Z by Steven|
The LSE Review of Books
London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
As the newest edition to the Provocations series from Biteback Publishing, The ‘R’ Word challenges the idea that we have entered a ‘post-racial’ society in which race no longer represents a significant obstacle to opportunities. Drawing upon his own personal experiences, Kurt Barling questions the often paradoxical prevailing discourses surrounding race and racism in contemporary society. Although Amal Shahid suggests that the resolutely autobiographical nature of the account is occasionally inhibiting, she finds this book a lucid, accessible and effective engagement with issues surrounding racism, written with journalistic flair.
If you are interested in this book, LSE alumnus Kurt Barling will be speaking at an LSE alumni event, ‘The ‘‘R” Word: Racism and Modern Society’, on Tuesday 26 April 2016, alongside Provocations series editor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, LSE academic Dr Caroline Howarth and LSE’s Student Union Anti-Racism Officer, Jasmina Bidé.
The ‘R’ Word. Kurt Barling. Biteback Publishing. 2015.
Many believe that the society we live in today is a ‘post-racial’ one and that race is no longer an impediment to opportunities. And yet, over the course of the year to April 2015, out of all people stopped and searched by the Metropolitan Police in Britain, about 38 per cent were people of ‘Black appearance’ and approximately 14 per cent were of ‘Asian appearance’. Of these, around 21 per cent of the former and 16 per cent of the latter were subsequently arrested. This implies that the rates of stop and search as well as arrests were significantly higher for non-white subjects, even as recently as 2015 (113)…
…The major strength of the book lies in the particular issues that it addresses, some of which find parallels in several contemporary societies. For instance, Barling demonstrates how over time there has been a denial of racism in public discourse. The growing multiculturalism of Britain has led people to believe that racism in its rudimentary form no longer exists. On the other hand, a parallel discourse has emerged that argues for a White English victimisation. This sense of majority victimisation has become a part of many diverse societies, ranging from the USA to India…
…Being of mixed race himself, Barling makes the question of ‘who speaks for whom’ less controversial…
Read the entire review here.