Political Blackness in Multiracial Britain

By Mohan Ambikaipaker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
“They Do Not Look Like People
Who Would Do This”
Amina’s Struggle Against Everyday
Political Whiteness

In Britain, ethnic minority communities are ambiguously positioned in relation to Britishness, and they are racialized as different from white Britons. A large body of research has shown that white violence against racial, religious, and ethnic minorities has occurred and continues to occur across the British Isles. White violence and racism are not limited to urban England, where there are large concentrations of ethnic and religious minority communities, but also occur in the contexts of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and in rural areas where there are sparse ethnic minority populations (Armstrong 1989; Arshad 2003; Hopkins 2004; Neal 2009; Connolly and Khaoury 2010; Chakraborti and Garland 2011). Many ethnographic research studies have confirmed that non-white phenotypical differentiation, anti-immigration discourses, and nonwestern cultural and religious differences are still grounds for racialized dynamics that impact ethnic, racial, and religious minorities even within intimate and mixed-race family contexts (Nayak 2004; Brown 2005; Twine 2011). In other words, raciology (the ascription of hierarchical social meaning and status to phenotypical and ethnicized differences) saturates everyday social life and civil society in twenty-first-century Britain.

The afterlife of British Empire discourses, including reworked tenets of imperial white supremacy, influences everyday white British perspectives. Symbolic wounds often catalyze reassertions of white supremacy and allegiance to an imagined sense of a monocultural British identity—an identity that the immigration of formerly colonized subjects into Britain presumably

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