The Photographs of Mary Beth Meehan

In his 2009 anatomy of the financial crisis, First As Tragedy, Then As Farce, Slavoj Žižek noted that ‘it is a sign of the maturity of the US public that there have been no traces of anti-Semitism in their reaction to the financial crisis.’ It remains impossible to generalise about the implications of the crisis for race relations, the positions available in America today – most invisible in the controversies surrounding the murder of Trayvon Martin case or the racist law against immigrants in Arizona – suggest that the application of identity politics to austerity-era politics risk masking the tensions between different economic classes with a false and distracting plurality. And yet the refusal to differentiate between the ‘99%’ is surely just as dangerous. Within this contradiction the true nature of race and class relations must lie. Continue reading