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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #223 - The classic subversion: Studs Terkel, Race. Oral Histories of American obsession, 2010 (fr) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 01 Feb 2013 08:43:50 +0200


" I shall never get to the point where I can sit next to a Black without realizing he is Black "Studs Terkel, incredible collector of stories, fades humbly before the dozens of testimonies, hard moving, mind-blowing, sometimes steeped in contradictions. Plurality of anonymous voices that are heard how American society is structured by racial divides: understanding the other through the color of the skin. ---- Collected words say as much as moving deep ruptures since AQME racial segregation until the 1940s-50 movement for civil rights, leading to regression of the Reagan era and the rejection of the Affirmative Action " Reagan came to power because of the racial issue ... In the spirit of whites, welfare means Black. "

Cross words from the Black American member of the Ku Klux Klan, the Sicilian immigrant workers in Texas, Terkel portrays an obsessive America sick of his race, crossing both racism and denial. About the interviewees, white or black deconstruct the discourse of racism is a matter of irrational fears rooted in the most backward strata of the population. They clearly show that racial oppression is inherent in the functioning of the capitalist system. It is institutionally, implemented by the holders of power in social mechanisms.

It is this relationship between race consciousness and class consciousness that is the reality of the black condition, totally related to his position as a social class in post-slavery America.

Even when Studs Terkel gives voice to Hispanic or Asian, it's always about the relationship between blacks and whites that racial question invites itself. A Japanese-American acculturation explains that he had to submit: adopt the manners, language and prejudices of the dominant culture. Assimilation to this company involves the integration of the racism that underlies it.

Stud Terkel listens and transmits. This is a dramatic dive in the heart of the racist logic by those who suffer but those who practice it.

Racist or obvious, nor analytical demonstration, the accumulation of these ordinary stories becomes an essential instrument of reflection, a time when this side of the Atlantic, the perverse ideology of anti-white racism attempts gain legitimacy.

Gisèle (AL Paris North East)

Studs Terkel, Race. Oral Histories of American obsession, Editions Amsterdam, 2010, 560 pp., 23.40 euros
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