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The glamour of trauma

by Brendan O’Neill

Afua Hirsch, quite unintentionally, has provided us with a searing insight into the 21st-century politics of identity. Her narcissistic study of her personal identity – Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging – is intended to be a memoir-cum-treatise on what it’s like to be black and of African origin in Britain in the early part of the millennium.

But it works far better as a glimpse, an often terrifying glimpse, into the myopia and backwardness and insatiable appetite for victim status that motors the identitarianism that is now the dominant ideology of the bourgeoisie. This book documenting a well-educated woman’s descent into the self-obsessive and self-victimising cult of identitarian thinking should serve as a warning to everyone to reject this politics.

Norva Sling – Yaya I Oppas [Kindermeisje] – keramiek – collectie Museum Savonet Curaçao – foto Aart G. Broek –

I’m struggling to remember the last time I cringed so often while reading a book. Brit(ish) is in essence the story of a spectacularly privileged young woman trying to convince herself, and us, that she’s a victim of oppression. It’s the Four Yorkshiremen dialled up to 11. Ms Hirsch is a writer for the Guardian and frequently appears on broadcast media.
Please, do read on here on the Spiked website, March 2018.



on 13.03.2018 at 14:45

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