Why anti-racism is doing more harm than good
Debates about race are back and they’re only getting bigger. The US government has licensed a heart drug to be used only on African Americans. A pharmaceutical company is trialling a white-only anti-hepatitis drug. A genetic study claims that Jews are more intelligent because of their history of money lending.
There has recently been a massive upsurge in scientific racial research, and in STRANGE FRUIT, Malik reveals this rise is paradoxically due to the efforts of liberal anti-racism; a movement that celebrates human difference over human commonalities.
Navigating readers through the historical and scientific thinking on the subject, Malik shows that races are a social construct – they do not actually exist. Stressing that scientists should be allowed to study population differences without the distortions of political race debates, Malik provides a gripping and essential guide to understanding difference in a multicultural world.
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About the Author
Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey, UK. He writes regularly for The Times, the Guardian, Prospect, and New Statesman, and has made a number of acclaimed TV documentaries. His books include The Meaning of Race: Race, History and Culture in Western Society (1996), and Man, Beast and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell us about Human Nature (2000) which Professor Steve Jones has described as ‘a ray of commonsense in a fog of pseudo-science'.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Malik sets out to define a middle ground between the 'race realists' (essentially respectable racists, who argue that there are immutable genetic differences between racial groups that ensure a hierarchy of aptitudes and intelligence) and the diehard antiracists, who believe that even acknowledging that black people appear to be better sprinters than white people is tantamount to the reintroduction of slavery. He makes a good job of it as well; his arguments are detailed and intelligent, but not so technical as to discourage non-scientists.Essentially, though, this isn't a book about race as such; its central message is a defence of Enlightenment ideals of reason, science and free speech, against bigots on one side and cultural relativists on the other. My only regret is that I don't think it will change many people's minds; the best hope is that it will give comfort to those who hang on to reason in an increasingly stupid world.