Why Race and Gender Are Separate Issues
Justin E. H. Smith
Will there be no end to this tiresome "national conversation" as to whether a black man trumps a white woman, or vice versa, on our nation's list of the wronged? One possible end might arrive, of course, when another white man is elected in November and American politics returns to business as usual. In the meantime, I would like to join the conversation, if only in order to bring to light the inanity of the relevant comparison, based as it is on a presumption of analogy between two social groups that are distinguished, conceptually and in reality, from the dominant group for entirely different reasons: in the one case, the distinction is based on a relatively short, 500-year history of economic subordination; in the other, it is a consequence of an evidently universal structural feature of human societies.