An email from “Leon Marlensky,” the only consistent leftist remaining, as far as he is concerned. Here, he sounds off a bit over the Charleston, SC coverage. I have reprinted this here with Leon’s permission.

Dear Jack:

In the wake of the tragedy in Charleston, SC, the “R” word, predictably, has been thrown around with abandon.

If this doesn’t convince you of the soundness of my verdict—I won’t say truth, for I refuse to appropriate a Eurocentric epistemological/metaphysical fiction that continues to be used to vanquish the indigenous conceptual resources of the minds of those that it colonizes—that the right has decisively defeated the progressive agenda, I don’t know what else will.

There are a couple of considerations—as I’ve explained to you before, I prefer not speak of reasons, for the latter is a variation on reason or logos, which is of a piece of the same devious coercive ontology as truth—that bear my claim out. Before proceeding with my argument, however, I ask your forgiveness in advance for availing myself of the very same decadent logics that I’ve been the first to decry for their annihilation of marginalized discursive possibilities.

The bivalent logic of Aristotle and the standard bourgeois discourse will have to do for the time being.

First, “racism” is intelligible if and only if race is a meaningful concept. But race is a classificatory schema devised by European males during a specific time—the so-called “Enlightenment”—of European his story. Race is a conceptual tool invented by “whites” for the purpose of subsuming the identities of staggering diversities of flesh and blood particulars under a few monolithic, bloodless, lifeless abstractive generalities.

In continuing to speak of “racism,” a dastardly ethno-chauvinistic imperializing rhetorical construct is vindicated by both whites and people of color alike: Whites betray their bigoted delusions, however oblivious they consciously remain to them, while blacks and others—but especially blacks—reveal just how effective Europeans and their descendants have been in enslaving their minds.

Moreover, “racism” is immoral if and only if individualism is “true” or normative. Allegedly, so-called racism is evil because it is immoral to judge or pre-judge “the individual” on the basis of the morally irrelevant collectivity to which she or her belongs (i.e. has been assigned to by society). Yet “the individual” is but another artifact of European culture. No other peoples conceive of their identities in terms of the ideal of an emaciated, atomized individual unencumbered by a tribe, however the latter is imagined.

In affirming that “racism” is a great evil, we endorse that most pernicious brand of Occidental normativity, individualism, the same doctrine that has served as the moral core of an economic ideology, capitalism, that has been responsible for expropriating the resources of “the wretched of the Earth,” to borrow Fanon’s expression.

Rest assured my friend, the right has won. Remember this every time you hear some faux leftist drone on and on about the evils of “racism.”

Your Colleague in Thought,


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