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nonsite.org is an online, open access, peer-reviewed quarterly journal of scholarship in the humanities, plus poetry, editorials, reviews, visual art and more. nonsite.org also features “the Tank,” a forum for comment on provocative new scholarly work. In its most recent issue, it published the essays from and featured a report on the Mitchell Center's March 31, 2021 Race and Politics Event, "Checking Your Privilege?" with EDUARDO BONILLA-SILVA (Sociology and African & African American Studies, Duke University); ASHLEY JARDINA (Political Science, Duke University); WALTER BENN MICHAELS (English, University of Illinois at Chicago); and HADASS SILVER (Political Science, University of Pennsylvania). The event was moderated by KATHRYN RADER (Mitchell Center Graduate Fellow), who provided the summary to nonsite.org.
In her summation, Rader argues that economic inequality is an enormous problem in a democratic society where citizens claim to value egalitarian norms. But this puzzling juxtaposition misses some fundamental points. The first is that racial identity is not merely a “celebration of difference,” nor is it a distraction from efforts to achieve economic inequality. Suggesting that attending to identity politics is what keeps us from fighting growing inequality is just barking up the wrong tree.