Conflict & Justice

Europe and race

KD says Europe's economic culture differs from ours in many big and small ways. For instance, Europeans tend to think more about saving their money as opposed to spending, but that race also plays a different role in each country's economic outlook: there's a notion of saving money which is salient here. But the broader concern about caring for vulnerabilities, and so in the States race is associated with vulnerability and poverty because it's associated with excluded populations. (So is the discussion of race in Britain and in Europe different then too?) Yes, because there's a different relationship to visibly racial others here. In the States, there's a sort of moral debt for founding our country on slavery. People in Britain and Africa and Asia are deeply moved towards the steps we're taking to repay that debt and erase that debt. In Britain because of the relationship to the colonies, it's a bit different, so the sense of repaying a debt didn't start until the middle of the last century. In Britain people were invited initially to become and only as people started to come into Britain was there significant differentiations between British citizens and people from colonies. But all of those barriers are relatively recent. So there's not the sense of the debt of having built the country. (The U.S. is also more diverse than many Europeans countries.) Of course the majority of ethnic others in England are mostly South Asian and most of the population live in London. Outside the cities England is largely white. (Do you look now on your homeland in the States where racism still exists and probably always will, but do you look at it in a different way especially because you're in Britain and seeing it differently?) There's a kind of knee jerk anti-Americanism in Europe and anything that has to deal with anti-complexity coming from America, well it's quite expected. This also means people aren't thinking much about what they're doing. I've always said to people in Britain that white people can change.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)