Ghassan Hage & Jessica Gerrard on Toxic Whiteness, 2 May 2019

Building on the argument of his recent book Is Racism an Environmental Threat?, Ghassan Hage traces the transformation of White ethno-nationalism into a toxic ecological problem, diffused through all aspects of society. As racism has become a pervasive environmental threat what is the impact of academic critique? Should academics fight, rather than just discuss and analyse? If so, how? Jessica Gerrard asks: what are the practices of inequality and injustice that belie the intensification of far-right politics and violence? She tracks the exclusion and expulsion of particular categories of people as structural conditions of capitalism’s idea of ‘the good life’. Liberal progressive politics paradoxically risks replicating the violence of exclusion by identifying racism as the product of ignorance and poverty—the fault of the ‘uneducated’—rather than the product of elitist (and well educated) power.