February 6, 2017
As much as we would like to think that we live in a post-racial world as apparently evidenced by the election and re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, the sad reality is that in most settings the overt racism of the past has been subtly replaced by a neo-racism which replaces the rhetoric of skin color with a rhetoric of national origin as a marker of difference. In this paradigm Mexican becomes an analogue for illegal immigrant and Arab becomes the equivalent to Muslim. Coming from the University of Michigan, it took my temporary residence at one of Europe’s most elite educational institutions for me to come face to face with neo-racism myself. We were sitting at dinner when the topic of names and their meanings came up.