On Race, Writing, and Publishing (Part I)
It seems to me the traditional approach scholars, academics, activists, cultural critics, civil servants, politicians, ministers, etc. have taken to effect racial healing and reconciliation in this country have been wrong. The current scholarly methods that seek to ameliorate race-based dialogue and relations among people of different racial and ethnic groups are not producing any positive and transformative results in society.
For example, both scholars and publishing houses are complicit in infuriating the race problem in this culture. Because our free market capitalism is also driven by a race-based ideology, the need to produce race-based materials to satisfy the race-based consumers is urgent and strongly encouraged. Race-based scholars/writers make a career by producing race-based materials to satisfy the demand of the publishing press and the consumer.
Because both scholars and publishing companies operate from this shared racial ideology, our current race-based products and texts do not contribute meaningfully and constructively to the urgency of racial harmony and the deconstruction of this shared racial ideology. This unholy alliance is destructive to human flourishing and societal growth.
We need new methods—both theoretical and practical— to rethink about the relationship between writing and publishing, scholarship and society. We need new methods to reassess the conundrum of race, to engage in healthy and non-threatening race-based conversations, and to produce new products that are emancipative in content and intent.
We need to reimagine the role of scholarship and writing in the twenty-first century society and culture, as to foster sustaining and long-lasting public transformation, and contribute to a more equitable civil society, and balanced political order. Engaged scholarship and publishing that operate in the best interest of the public…toward the common good must not follow the race-based free market capitalism. Engaged scholarship and effective publishing must aim at advancing the cause of human freedom, the liberation of the mind, and the ultimate emancipation from our race-based free market capitalism and race-based publishing.
On the other hand, we recognize that race-blind scholarship is not sound and emancipative scholarship. Colorblind writing is not effective writing at all; it is not advancing human knowledge and learning. Colorblind scholarship or writing does not promote conscientization among those living in the margins of society nor is it sending liberative signals to the oppressed about his or her oppressor, the roots of his/her oppression, and about the creators of social evils to which he/she is a victim.
To be continued…