Race Lines and the Rhetoric of Distinction through the Académie française
1 had it—of a specific group of people, or as an indicator of feudal valor, be- comes a complex concept challenging any group considerations: Low class Europeans (feudal days’ peasants), who were so far away from being a ‘race’ of anything in line with their kings, suddenly become types of ‘race’ over the colonized, considered to be “belated races” as Sarraut termed it. We will get to know, factually, whether with race as feudal nobility and race as ethnicity, the word “race” has joined the Académie in its mystery, and why it has be- come even harder to define race after colonial interactions. We may come to discover whether the feudal mentality of race, distinction, nobility and what sustained it in colonial confrontations—that cruel wisdom of dehumanizing, subjugating, exploiting, keeping down and objectifying other races as Sarraut explained—changed at all in spite of Sarraut’s own revised doctrines of 1923, or even in the very year 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was made. This would be a good place to find out why Benedict Anderson concluded that “The dreams of racism actually have their origins in ideologies of class, rather than in those of nation” (An- derson, p.149); whether an individual who, from a tradition of self-assumed or conventional superiority always thinks that s/he has to exercise that supe- riority against anyone coming into contact with him or her; or whether other, traditionally or historically poor, low class colonists became ‘racist,’ i.e., use...
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