Xenophobia and Racism Conference

Conference on Xenophobia and Racism

February 24-25, 2012
Lone Mountain Campus, Room 100

Presented by the USF Philosphy Department



Friday, February 24, 2012

9:00-9:30am   Morning Reception

9:30-10:00am   Welcome & Opening Remarks

10:00-11:00am   Alia Al-Saji (McGill University), “Cultural racism or Xenophobia? The racialization of Muslim veiling"

11:15-12:15pm   Lawrence Blum (University of Massachusetts, Boston), “Racialist and Culturalist Discourses: On Thomas McCarthy’s Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development”

12:15-1:45pm   Break for Lunch

1:45-2:45pm   Linda Martín Alcoff (Hunter College & CUNY Graduate Center), “Occupying Whiteness without Xenophobia”

3:00-4:00pm   Jorge Aquino (USF), “Manufacturing the Other of 21st Century White Supremacism: Xenophobia Redux as Conventional Electoral Politics”

4:00-4:30pm   Break

4:30-5:30pm   Eduardo Mendieta (SUNY, Stonybrook), “The Somatology of Xenophobia: Towards a BiopoliticalAnalysis of Disgust and Hate”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

9:30-10:00am   Morning Reception

10:00-11:00am   Kyoo Lee (CUNY, John Jay College), “What is Xenoracism?—To Learn More from Benjamin Franklin, ‘the First American’”'

11:15-12:15pm   Mickaella Perina (University of Massachusetts, Boston), “State Xenophobia, National Identity and (Sacred) Secularism”'

12:15-1:45pm   Break for Lunch

1:45-2:45pm   Cynthia Willett (Emory University), “Going to Bed White andWaking up Arab: On Xenophobia, Affect Theories of Laughter, and the Social Contagion of the Comic Stage” (co-authored with Julie Willett)

3:00-4:00pm   Jaideep Singh (CSU, East Bay), “A New American Apartheid: Racialized, Religious Minorities in thePost-9/11 Era”

4:00-4:30pm   Break

4:30-5:30pm   Ronald R. Sundstrom (USF): “On Xenophobia” (co-authored with David Haekwon Kim)

5:30-6:00pm   Closing Remarks

Conference Participants

Linda Martín Alcoff is Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Her writings have focused on social identity, epistemology and politics, sexual violence, Foucault, Dussel, and Latino issues in philosophy. She has written two books: Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self (Oxford 2006), Real Knowing (Cornell 1996); and she has edited nine, including Thinking From the Underside of History co-edited with Eduardo Mendieta (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), Singing in the Fire: Tales of Women in Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield 2003), Feminist Epistemologies co-edited with Elizabeth Potter (Routledge 1993), Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy, co-edited with Eva Feder Kittay (2006), Identity Politics Reconsidered co-edited with Michael Hames-Garcia, Satya Mohanty and Paula Moya (Palgrave, 2006); and Constructing the Nation: A Race and Nationalism Reader co-edited with Mariana Ortega (SUNY 2009). She is originally from Panama, but lives today happily in Brooklyn.

Alia Al-Saji is Associate Professor of Philosophy at McGill University. She works in the areas of phenomenology, feminist theory, critical race theory and French philosophy. She has recently published articles on the uses of Husserlian phenomenology for feminist theory, and on the racialization of veiled Muslim women’s bodies. She is currently completing a monograph on the temporality of embodiment entitled Bodies and Memories: Merleau-Ponty, Bergson and the time of difference. In this book, she develops a phenomenological account of the temporality of racializing perception, while exploring the critical and ethical possibilities for its interruption. Al-Saji is currently serving on the executive committee of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.

Jorge A. Aquino, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco. A member of the Latin American Studies program faculty, Aquino has chaired the university’s programs in Chican@./Latin@ Studies and Catholic Studies and Social Thought. He teaches courses on Latin American and U.S. Latino/a liberation theologies and religious history. He is finishing a book on racism and Christianity in the Américas entitled, Los Engaños de las Razas / Illusions of the Races: Capital, Christendom, and the Ideological Roots of Racism in Latin@mérica, to be published by Baylor University Press.

Lawrence Blum is Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of Friendship, Altruism, and Morality; A Truer Liberty: Simone Weil and Marxism (with V. Seidler); Moral Perception and Particularity; “I’m Not a Racist, But…”: The Moral Quandary of Race, and the forthcoming High School, Race, and America’s Future: What Students Can Teach Us About Morality, Diversity, and Community (Harvard Education Press, 2012).

Kyoo Lee is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College, CUNY, where she is also affiliated faculty for Gender Studies and Justice Studies Programs. In addition, she teaches courses and leads faculty seminars in feminist theories and comparative literature at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she started as a Mellon Faculty Fellow (2009-2010). Dually trained in Continental philosophy (Warwick Univ.) and literary theory (London Univ.), Kyoo Lee publishes widely in the intersecting fields of the theoretical Humanities such as Aesthetics, Asian American Studies, Comparative Literature/Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Critical Race theory, Cultural Studies, Deconstruction, Feminist Philosophy, Gender Studies, Poetics, Post-phenomenology and Translation. Her first and forthcoming book is titled Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Mad, Dreamy, and Bad (Fordham University Press. 2012), which explores Cartesian alterities such as blindness, madness, dreaminess and badness, in that order; currently, she is working or sitting on a few other “alterities” projects, including one that looks at intersectional differences between xenophobia(/philia) and racism.

Eduardo Mendieta is professor of philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is the author of The Adventures of Transcendental Philosophy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002) and Global Fragments: Globalizations, Latinamericanisms, and Critical Theory (SUNY Press, 2007). He is also co-editor with Jonathan VanAntwerpen of The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere (Columbia University Press, 2011), and with Craig Calhoun and Jonathan VanAntwerpen of Habermas and Religion (Polity, forthcoming), and with Stuart Elden of Reading Kant’s Geography (SUNY Press, 2011) He is presently at work on another book entitled Philosophy’s War: Logos, Polemos, Topos.

Mickaella L. Perina is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the program of study in Philosophy and Law at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her areas of research include political and legal philosophy, Caribbean philosophy, Continental Philosophy, and Critical Race Theory. Her writings focus on political identity, political membership, group rights, immigration, oppression, and Caribbean issues in Philosophy. She is the author of a book Citoyenneté et sujétion aux Antilles francophones, post-esclavage et aspiration démocratique [Citizenship and subjection in the Francophone Antilles, post-slavery and democratic demand] Paris, L’Harmattan, 1997 and of several articles including “Beyond Négritude and Créolité: The Ongoing Creolization of Identities”, C. L. R. James Journal: A review of Caribbean Ideas, Special Issue “Creolizing Rousseau”,volume 15, Number 1, Spring 2009, p. 68-91 and “Race and the Politics of Citizenship: the Conflict over jus soli and jus sanguinis”, International Studies in Philosophy, Issue 38.2, 2006, pp. 123-139.

Jaideep Singh is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University, East Bay, where he holds the Ranjit Singh Sabharwal Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies. In 1996, he co-founded the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) , the nation's first Sikh American mediawatch and civil rights advocacy organization. Professor Singh has taught numerous courses in the fields of Ethnic, Asian American, and African American Studies. His courses focus upon the centrality of race, gender, ethnicity, and class in both U.S. history and contemporary society. His first book manuscript, currently under review by Oxford University Press, focuses on illuminating specific instances of contemporary grass roots political organizing by Sikh Americans. Dr. Singh has also written extensively about the Sikh American community’s intense encounters with domestic terrorism in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. His next book documents and analyzes the community’s experiences post-9/11.

Ronald R. Sundstrom is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco; additionally, he teaches for USF’s African American Studies program and the Master of Public Affairs program for the Leo T. McCarthy Center of Public Service and the Common Good. He is the Co-Winner (with Brian Komei Dempster) of the 2010 USF Distinguished Teaching Award. His areas of research include race theory, political and social theory, and African and Asian American philosophy. He has published several essays and a book in these areas, including The Browning of America and The Evasion of Social Justice (SUNY, 2008). He is a co-editor for the Symposia on Race, Gender, and Philosophy.

Cynthia Willett is a professor of philosophy at Emory University. Her authored books include Irony in the Age of Empire: Comic Perspectives on Freedom and Democracy (Indiana, 2008); The Soul of Justice: Racial Hubris and Social Bonds (Cornell, 2001); and Maternal Ethics and Other Slave Moralities (Routledge, 1995). She has edited the anthology Theorizing Multiculturalism (Oxford, 1998) and is a co-editor for the Symposia on Race, Gender, and Philosophy.


Cynthia Willett: "Going to Bed White and Waking up Arab: On Xenophobia, Affect Theories of Laughter, and the Social Contagion of the Comic Stage" (coauthored with Julie Willett)

Laughter, like fear, is a socially contagious affect. These affects can alter a social climate, functioning like waves rather than like properties of discrete individuals. In the post 9/11 political theatre of fear, comedians take the center stage for political change. The border-crossing humor of such groups as the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour not only jolts perspectives but also generates solidarity across identities now revealed to be fluid. Through laughter a white suburbanite may find him or herself, having slipped through a wormhole of social space, side-by-side in gleeful celebration with the alleged Enemy-Arab. Rather than a salute to an elite style of political discourse, which calm appeals to reason often serve, a progressive strain of mocking humor demonstrates how we might dissipate fear, soothe raw nerves, and generate the laughter that makes xenophobic postures uncool. Contagious laughter is a serious force for solidarity.

Lawrence Blum: "Racialist and Culturalist Discourses: On Thomas McCarthy’s Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development"

I examine Thomas McCarthy’s claim in his new and important book, Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development, that a culturalist discourse has generally come to replace an explicitly racialist one in rationalizing racial inequality and domination in the contemporary U.S. and elsewhere. I distinguish four distinct though overlapping racialist discourses—biologistic, religious, ethnonationalist (the previous two prominent in South African racialist thinking), and culturalist. I also distinguish two forms of culturalist discourse—essentialist and changeable—only the first of which can be put to a racialist use. But there is also a distinction, not denied but not recognized by McCarthy, between exclusionist and dominative forms of both racialist and culturalist discourses; the European use of “neoracism” is meant to capture the exclusionist one. Finally I argue that some of the substitution of culturalist for racialist discourse (of domination) in the U.S. context is not a mere smoke screen for racism (as McCarthy implies), but is a genuinely distinct form of ethnoculturalist rationalization of ethnoracial inequality.

Jaideep Singh: "A New American Apartheid: Racialized, Religious Minorities in the Post-9/11 Era"

Since 9/11, a new racial classification has been in operation in the U.S. “Apparently Muslim,” although not an officially recognized racial category, has become a defining reality in the lives of those who fall under its scope. Those who have been encompassed by this designation are too often reminded in their daily lives— when traveling, when dealing with police, when applying for jobs, when receiving poor service in restaurants— that they have become de facto members of this new racialized group, defined primarily by their appearance, religious beliefs, and international events. Similarly, the experiences of the Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, and Arab American communities after 9/11have offered convincing evidence of an ongoing process in which religious identity has become racialized. I will describe this process and how it manifests in contemporary society, within the broader context of rising Christian supremacy.

Eduardo Mendieta:"The Somatology of Xenophobia: Towards a Biopolitical Analysis of Disgust and Hate"

We may not be born any particular gender or race, but the acculturation and socialization of social agents into either agent modality is never merely a psychic phenomena. Indeed, race and gender have psychic dimension, in such a way that we may speak of the psychic life of gender and race. Yet, race and gender are also fundamentally corporeal, somatic, embodied modalities of agency and subjectivity. If there is a fear of the other, if there is hate of another, this fear and hate is not just a mental event, a rational register, a cognitive mapping; it is primarily an affective and somatic event. To become gendered and raced means to learn to live our flesh in a particular way. We are born, barely alive and with a body that is not yet ours. We are born coming into the world in order to take up dwelling in a flesh that is negotiated contingently. To become a social agent means to be socialized into a certain body. To become ourselves means to learn to inhabit and live through and in a certain type of flesh. Thus, learning to relate in specific racial or gendered ways is to learn to live in our flesh in particular ways. Race and gender have a particular somatology, a logic of the flesh. In this essay I investigate what I will call the somatology of xenophobia by offering a biopolitical analysis of hate and disgust. This means that I will explore the ways in which bodies are socialized into certain modalities of docility or insurrection, submission or unrest that are instigated by certain affective and embodied responses to other bodies. Race is not in the mind; it is in the flesh, where ‘in the flesh,’ does not mean in the sense that we see race, but that we are educated to viscerally react to the markers of race. Race is the aftereffect of a visceral corporeal reaction that we have been socialized to experience. I begin with an analysis of the bestseller The Help. I will then turn to consideration of the history of education of the senses in early Ante-Bellum US as a way to investigate the production of a racist somatology. With the help of Mark M. Smith’s work on race and affect and Kathleen M. Brown’s work on bodies in early America, I will explore the education of a racist body, or more precisely of racist affect. I will conclude with an analysis of what I will call the biopolitics of race, rather than simply the etiology of hate, so as to update Sartre’s pioneering work Anti-Semite and Jew by way of Michel Foucault and Charles Mills.

Kyoo Lee: "What is Xenoracism? — To Learn More from Benjamin Franklin, 'the First American'"

How, in the U.S., do racism and nationalism interact? Do they embrace each other or, rather, tackle? When and where do the layers of intersectional differences between the two emerge, and why?

Tracing the foundational co-origination of that dual legacy of American modernity, as exemplified by the well-documented life of Benjamin Franklin the “first American,” this paper advances a concept, xenoracism: it is a curious cocktail of racism and xenophobia/philia (a socially-reinforced, fearful or hateful repulsion/overblown attraction towards strangers or foreigners) that is specific, if not unique, to the U.S. context, old and new; a host of U.S. based people of Asian or Latina/o descent or heritage, those ‘late’ comers from the older and ‘other’ non-European traditions, come to unsettle the still Anglo-centric national imaginary in some distinctive ways—as xenoracial others.

Xenoracism, especially the way it unfurls in ‘America, the land not only of plenty but (plenty of) immigrants, opportunities and freedom,’ constantly telegraphs something of a chimerical contradiction and irony. Let’s begin by noting that xenoracism cannot be categorically subsumed under racism such as anti-black racial biases and prejudices. The foreign outsider or visitor as the perpetual ‘third’ person over there, not you or me over here, is singled out against or optionally triangulated into the paired insiders, i.e., you and me who have been here forever and almost eternally bonded into a dialectically historicized ‘we,’ the ‘Ebony & Ivory,’ the ‘masters & slaves,’ etc.; in times of war and crisis that naturalizes rationing of resources including collective memories, such an affective territoriality of the people would get trans-articulated into the idioms of zonal defensiveness of subjects politically ethno-nationalized as such. See, for example, that reconstructive struggles in Postbellum America (1866-1913) were unfolding not just in racial terms which were rather part of the enabling premises, i.e., blacks & whites or whites & the rest of the country; what gave the progressive politics of post-Civil War politics its legitimacy was, more significantly, the bipolarized rhetoric of insiders vs. outsiders, i.e., the Mayflower Passengers & Its Associates including darker members vs. the FOBs. This transformative shift in identity politics was structurally transactional in the sense that the darker foundation of colonial America, its ideological character, had to be transplanted in exchange for it being civically redeemed and rebalanced. Such is how xenoracism becomes categorically, and practically, inseparable from racism, even in its more distinct “xeno” aspects: such ineluctably unten(ur)abe subjects of double alienation, cast out and edged out, are racialized into ‘they’ with implicit instantaneity and instant translatability, something akin to a third ‘race’ that the black-and-white couplet not only geometricizes but almost chemicalizes as such, as its outside. Marked inassimilable this way, those “perpetual foreigners,” at least admissible in proportion to their adaptability, remain, in the eyes of nativists, provisionary resources or occasional accessories. In this shifty, temporally hierarchized exclusionary discourse of xenoracism in the U.S. that keeps churning out useful yet disqualified immigrant (non)subjects, we can see how racism and reactionary nationalism interbreed, not just intersect, functioning as a smokescreen for each other.

Where are the breeding grounds for such U.S. brand of xenoracism? Could it have been imported, in part, from the U.K? Anglo-inflected settler ideology and amnesia, sedimented by Anglo-centric blindness, is an answer this paper pursues in the second half which explores geo-historical bases of this ‘constitutional’ paradox of bipolarity, ‘our’ inherited xenoracism, through the complex case of Benjamin Franklin, the ex-printer-turned-nationalist politician, the constitutionally Anglophobic Anglophile. For instance, what sense can we make today of Franklin’s “Anglified” fear of “possible Germanization” of Pennsylvania (circa 1751), his hatred of “stupid, swarthy Germans” as a race that is a threat to “our race of lovely white and red complexions”? To what extent is his “Anglific” advocacy of English-only-at-school traceable to various nationalistic sentiments and political agendas today such as the post-911 Islamophobia and systematic disinvestment in bi- or multi-lingual education? Melting dramas of fear, need, love, hatred and ignorance of the Other, all at once.

If American “xeno”-thinking has been structured by this very fatal ambivalence towards its own, repressed, originary xenoraciality, if this very schizophrenic shuttling between hospitality and hostility towards its ‘own’ other, as it were, is what propels the United States of Aliens forward, Homo Americana can perhaps articulate such a political aporia, this perverse perfectibility of its foundational ideals, at least in a truly, inventively “American” accent. Hence, back to our dear Ben.

Mickaella Perina: "State Xenophobia, National Identity and (Sacred) Secularism"

What is state xenophobia and is state xenophobia ever justified? State xenophobia is here understood as a fear (and not necessarily a hate) of foreigners/strangers or of foreign/strange conducts; such fear is determined by beliefs shared by state representatives which result in laws designed to protect the state from corruption. In this paper I argue that state xenophobia is a fear of what is perceived as a threat to the nation (or to the idea of the nation) and to its unity, stability and homogeneity; it is a fear of others and of their conducts perceived as threats that is a crucial part of the ethics of political exclusion. Throughout the paper I examine, and test my argument against, a single case study namely France—a European state accused of state xenophobia in 2008 by a number of grassroots organizations in light of immigration policies initiated and implemented by the then new “ministry for immigration, integration, identity and mutually dependent development.”

First I examine the particularities of state xenophobia (as opposed to individual xenophobia) via an analysis of immigration policies and a study of how individuals’ conducts are policed by the state. Second I analyze how the (French) state regulates and prohibits—but often do not criminalize—practices conceived of as strange and unacceptable and symbols regarded as fundamentally foreign. I argue that such legislation, legitimized by claims about French secularism and/or by claims about French national identity, are created in response to a fear of specific practices deemed illegitimate in the public secular arena and made legitimate by conceptions of secularism that elevate it to the “sacred.” These legislations are determined by the belief that these strange conducts, incompatible with secularism, will ultimately corrupt the state itself. Islamic practices in today’s France constitute only an example; the list of practices associated with strangeness, subjected to state xenophobia and therefore denied state protection is regrettably, but as I demonstrate not surprisingly, long.

Jorge Aquino: "Manufacturing the Other of 21st Century White Supremacism Xenophobia Redux as Conventional Electoral Politics"

The election of President Barack Obama prompted great expectations of a post-racial turn in U.S. politics, one that seemed to promise the normalization of anti-racist political activism, electoral campaigning, and policymaking. In fact, the opposite has occurred: With the first black U.S. president has come an intensification and expansion of invidious discourse against several racialized minorities — particularly blacks, Latino/as, documented and undocumented immigrants, and persons of Arab, South Asian, or Muslim identity. I argue that Obama’s election — rather than inoculate the American body politic against its ancient penchant for racial divisiveness — recapitulated white anxiety. With the economy in a shambles after the 2008 financial crisis, the white nativism that typifies periods of national anxiety resurged with an especially xenophobic slant. This presentation examines the national elections in 2008 and 2010, cycles dominated by the rise of the Anglo-identitarian Tea Party movement, white attacks on minority and ethnic studies, the mainstreaming of Islamophobia, and the use of race-baiting and racial melodrama by major-party candidates to advance an exclusionary crypto-politics of white privilege. I assess these new expressions as examples of the re-normalization of racialism that has taken hold in mainstream U.S. politics.

Linda Martin Alcoff: “Occupying Whiteness without Xenophobia”

This talk is an opportunity to think aloud about the present day character and experience of those who occupy whiteness as a lived, embodied identity in the context of the contemporary United States. The lived experience of whiteness must be understood in its relation to whiteness as an imaginary, or collective unconscious, that affects, and infects, the subject-formation of those designated as white people, as well as of those who are aspiring to be white. I believe we can find traces of this white imaginary in both academic sources as well as street level discourse, and in expressive cultural forms both high and low. And what we’ll see is that whiteness today is, without doubt, as Nell Painter has suggested, “not what it used to be.” In fact, whiteness today is in the midst of turmoil, facing its impending loss of majority status, experiencing multiple narratives of its meaning, a loss of both its invisibility and its hegemony. Flight from whiteness is a temptation I will argue against as unfeasible; the alternative is transformation. How can we radical race theorists take advantage of this moment of turmoil and objective crisis to contribute to a subjective transformation of whiteness in the most productive, and realistic, way? I will argue against both racial eliminativism, which would hope that whiteness fades away, and I will also argue against the essentialist view that whiteness is irrevocably tied to racism. Although we know that racism has been central to the past of whiteness; the question is what will be its future.

Alia Al-Saji: “Cultural racism or Xenophobia? The racialization of Muslim veiling"

There has been debate in recent years regarding whether the stereotyping of Muslims in several Western settings, e.g. France, the United States and Canada, can properly be called “racism”. Should other terms—notably xenophobia or Islamophobia—be used to capture phenomena of anti-Muslim discrimination? Another alternative, it is suggested, may be to revise the term “racism” so as to indicate the “newness” and distinctiveness of the form of racism found in these phenomena; the terms “neo-racism” or “cultural racism” are then employed. My purpose in this essay is twofold. First, to examine the phenomenology of “Islamophobia” or “cultural racism”, arguing that this is indeed a form of racism. Second, however, I want to ask after the politics that frames the phenomenon of anti-Muslim prejudice as not really “racism”. My aim is, at once, to try to understand the process that undergirds this phenomenon and to ask why it misrecognizes itself, how it involves an elision of itself as racism. This has to do with the way in which bodies are perceived in “cultural racism” or “Islamophobia”: a form of racialization that relies on a strict nature-culture division with respect to the body. This division enables a mode of self-justification by which the cause of intolerance or prejudice can be attributed to cultural-religious material practices (clothing, food, behavior) rather than biological bodies (skin color, phenotype), hiding the racism at stake. The focus of my analysis will be Western attitudes towards, and perceptions of, Muslim women who veil, attitudes evidenced in the contexts named above.

Ronald Sundstrom: “On Xenophobia” (co-authored with David H. Kim)

Xenophobia within nations is a major and morally serious impediment to realizing justice for refugees, immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. In addition, it is an obstacle to justice to individuals and groups, though they maybe citizens, are associated with foreign others. In this paper I examine xenophobia as an impediment to justice by analyzing the concept of xenophobia, its meaning and role within the political culture of societies, and how it is morally diminished. I claim that civic ostracism is at the core of contemporary xenophobia; that it is at the root of nativism and should be understood as related yet distinct from that idea; and, likewise, despite practical and historical connections, it is distinct from racism. I refer to examples from around the world, though, most of my examples concern the United States; this is in no small part due to my pluralistic conception of xenophobia and argument that is best understood as site-specific.

Although I identify a conceptual core to xenophobia, and distinguish it from related social phenomena, my account is pluralistic and not monistic. How xenophobia operates is site-specific, and indeed may be group-specific, involving different beliefs, attitudes, and effects for different target groups. To properly and usefully identify how xenophobia works it is vital to not overgeneralize and to miss its relevant specificities that lead to various forms of oppression; as Iris Marion Young wisely observed in Justice and the Politics of Difference, there are forms of oppression and injustice that go beyond distributive injustice.

Finally, starting from the thesis (developed by Charles Mills in his The Racial Contract) that how liberal Democratic nations imagine membership (not surprisingly) shelters xenophobia, I go on to argue that how nations self-defensively imagine racism (surprisingly) also shelters xenophobia. Thus, within popular political rhetoric xenophobic ideas or attitudes are defended as being not racist or even anti-racist. Narratives of racism have been nationalized, such that it is fairly easy and common to deny a link between historical racism and xenophobia against a foreign other that does not seem to participate in the idealized and nationalized narrative of racism. It is thus that nationalized narratives of racism shelter xenophobia. Identifying xenophobia and attacking it directly aids to tear down this inhospitable shelter.