Trevor Noah: The Racist

I listened to this yesterday and laughed my head off. For anyone mixed race, I think you are really going to love it too. Or if you’re South African. Or liberal. It is just fantastic. You’d better hurry as there’s only 4 days left on the iplayer.

What really got me though was that what Trevor Noah makes a huge joke about is what I am writing about in my next chapter. He is mixed race South African, but not black enough, not white enough, and in South African terms, not coloured or mixed enough either. His transnational travel allows him to ‘almost’ become black, even white, in different contexts, but always falls short. It is a very funny – and astoundingly resonant – look at racial identity and the perceptions that surround it. Race is only malleable and fluid to a certain extent before its borders harden – and make no mistake, our social assumptions like those borders to be in place. I really like Arun Saldanha’s piece around machinic geographies of race because it accounts for this contradictory dynamic in a way that is theoretically rigorous. I am trying myself to work out which theoretical framework to use — machinic race, performativity and race, sociological constructions of biology, passing…… better get back to that redrafting…..

 

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