Vienna Academic Press launched a new book on anti-racism, edited by Prof. Peter Herrman and Prof. Tom Zwart

In the beginning of the 2021 new year, Vienna Academic Press has launched a new book: Between Ignorance and Murder - Racism in Times of Pandemics, edited by Prof. Peter Herrman and Prof. Tom Zwart. This book comes out at a timely occasion for anti-racism education when George Floyd murder trial is going on in the U.S. court.

The work is fundamentally rested on two pillars. First, the international web-conference on Addressing Contemporary Forms of Racism: Challenges Posed by the Pandemic and the National Responses on July 3rd, 2020, hosted by Cross Cultural Human Rights Centre of Vrije University Amsterdam and other academic institutions. The conference provided a platform for connecting scholars from different parts of the world.

An opening statement for this conference was given by Prof. Tendayi Achuime, who is the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The presentations given have important theoretical significance and practical value to eliminate racism and promote inclusiveness for the international community.

Second, the pandemic as point of reference for a new wave of racism and prejudice, conjoined by especially one case of an attack: the brutal murder of George Floyd by U.S. police force and bystanders on May 25, 2020. Video showed white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly cried out, "I can't breathe."While this incidence had been not linked to the pandemics as global threat, it clearly gave evidence of the ongoing parochialism, dominant on the global political stage. As such, experiencing racism as part of a contemporary global health crisis is going much beyond its topicality.

In this work, Tom Zwart discusses the aggravated racism in the Netherlands society that happens against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the Cross-cultural Human Rights Centre has been assisting the minority community in combating racism in the Netherlands. In his observation, Prof. Tom Zwart found out that the younger generation of the minority group are much more vocal and assertive in combating racism, so he is positive that the minority community in the Netherlands can expect a public direct rebuke.

Brij Mohan finds that the wake of coronavirus pandemic poor and black families have disproportionately suffered the ravages of natural catastrophe as well as social engineering. He claims that the Inequality Engine is driven by ideologies that sustains White Privilege, Black Plague and many systemic brutality and injustice.
To unveil the dilemmas and challenges in combating racism and racial discrimination in the USA, Serges Kamga examines the right to equality as conceptualised by the Enlightenment philosophers whose ideas on equality cascade through the American Constitution. The paper argues that Aristotle’s notion of equality was inegalitarian to the core ‘as it did not include women and slaves, supported the domination of intellectual over manual workers and masters over slaves for the sake of a well-ordered society’. These views were supported by John Locke who was of the view that Blacks have no history and did not contribute to humanity. Ultimately, Kamga finds that it took the scientific thought of the Enlightenment to create an enduring racial taxonomy and the ―color-coded, white-over-black ideology with which we are familiar today in the USA. This racial taxonomy is well hidden under the formal equality echoed by the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Augastine Hungwe explore the episteme-historical construction of Africans and people of African descent as the racialized, inferior, dispensable ‘Other’ as a global phenomenon.

Peter Herrmann argues that human existence is always essentially about social existence. Thus, the murder of George Floyd had been the suffocation of a man, and also part of the killing of social spaces, of society.

Krish Chetty displays the income and wealth inequalities in South Africa.The underlying cause of the inequalities have roots in capitalist class system which treat people differently based on income. Opportunities for the rich are far greater and more easily accessible than those experienced by the poor. Access to food, basic services (such as water, electricity, sanitation) and justice is often delineated along racial lines. These differences and challenges have been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.
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