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Minority Women and AusteritySurvival and Resistance in France and Britain$
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Leah Bassel and Akwugo Emejulu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447327134

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447327134.001.0001

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Theorising and resisting ‘political racelessness’ in Europe

Theorising and resisting ‘political racelessness’ in Europe

(p.19) Two Theorising and resisting ‘political racelessness’ in Europe
Minority Women and Austerity

Leah Bassel

Akwugo Emejulu

Policy Press

In this chapter we examine the construction of political racelessness (Goldberg 2006) in Europe and how it is reproduced and legitimised in ways that violently erase and exclude minority women and their interests from the European polity. We begin this chapter with a discussion of why political racelessness is a central feature of postcolonial amnesia in Europe. We move on to discuss how political racelessness is achieved and defended in Europe through the cultivation of ‘white ignorance’ and ‘white innocence’ (Mills 2007; Wekker 2016). We then turn to examine how the white European left—despite a long tradition of anti-racist and anti-fascist resistance—perpetuates political racelessness at the expense of minority groups and minority women in particular. We conclude with a discussion about how we might theorise minority women’s activism in a context of white ignorance in Europe.

Keywords:   Political racelessness, Racial contract, White ignorance, White innocence, White European left, Epistemic justice, Modernity, Lived experience, Solidarity, Politics of knowledge

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