Identity politics and perceived racism are combining into an explosive mix.
Racism should not exist because there is only one human race. This is one example of the poor use of language in our poorly educated society. Rather, the issue is different ethnicities and how much emphasis one puts upon these.
Kenhinde Andrews, the author of Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the Twenty-First Century said on BBC Newsnight last night 5 Jul 2018 that 1. the unity of all people of African descent both in the African Continent and in the worldwide diaspora should encourage repatriation of Africans to their homeland, which sounds rather similar to Jews returning to their homeland in Israel, and that 2. reform and legislation cannot change his perceived ‘racism’ in the DNA of the global system, which he perceives as dominated by ‘white supremacism’ . He thinks ‘nothing short of revolution can bring freedom to the black people’.
At a stroke, he ignores and contradicts the Christian Gospel and the testimony of multitudes of black Christians to their freedom, without social revolution. Possibly he has yet to learn it.
Andrews thinks that the Haitian revolution against French colonialism in 1791-1804, the only successful slave rebellion in history, began the emancipation of slaves and it was this resistance that started the end of the slave trade and ‘not morality in Britain’. At one stroke his history of black nationalism has written William Wilberforce (1759–1833) and the UK struggle for slave emancipation out of world history. All forms of nationalism tend to foment grievance politics.
The unity of Africa envisaged by Pan-Africanism is long overdue. It seeks to organise collectively using the Continent’s natural resources, but the spirit and aim needs to carefully articulated. Andrews denied that he espouses violence, but admits that reparation would be revolutionary because to compensate Africa would bankrupt civilised society.
The British Commonwealth emerged from the decolonialism of the British Empire, in a steady withdrawal of British Colonial rule, sometimes with good results and too often with bad results – India and Pakistan in 1947, Israel in 1948 – and the African countries have had many decades to manifest good governance but too many are falling short.
‘Take back control’ is being adopted by many disparate groups and a new consensus is replacing the globalisation of recent decades.
Nations need steady hands on the tiller as ‘too big to manage’ globalisation is replaced by nation states. Alliances are being redrawn but grievance politics will not help.
The problem is the refusal to recognise that ethnicity is not a fundamental identity but one’s beliefs are. Malcolm X said that if blacks do not think black then he is sorry for them. There are many black Christians who live quite peacably with white Christians, and the last time I looked, there are many black people in high positions in public and private life in the UK.
Identity politics is grievance politics – using one’s identity to try to elicit a sympathy vote to secure favours; but how does this fit with the secular equality doctrine that discrimination is wrong?
The philosophy is wrong. Instead of the Christian doctrine of ‘love thy neighbour’ we have the secular doctrine of ‘love your ethnic group’ as if it is superior to other ethnic groups. The resulting social unrest foments personal discontent, the price paid for abandoning Christianity.
‘If the Son of God shall make you free, you shall be free indeed’ Jn 8:36.
Christian freedom is available to everyone without the necessity of waiting for society to change.