The great anticolonial philosopher Frantz Fanon once declared, “The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority, alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.” By “enslaved,” Fanon meant that both white people and non-white people were made less human, less free, by racism and white supremacy. True liberation of humanity, Fanon argued, would come when Black and White were “free” of the plague of racism itself, meaning when “ whiteness” no longer meant superiority over others.
Rudy Martinez’s assertion that “White death will mean liberation for all” is consistent with Fanon’s call for a world free of racism. Martinez is not calling for the death of white people or people who identify as white, but for an end to whiteness as an oppressive category. Like Fanon, he argues that both white and non-white people can be emancipated from racist ideas which chain and bind them into an oppressive system. This will require both no longer believing in the superiority of whiteness and no longer believing in the inferiority of those racialized in other ways.
The Campus Antifascist Network therefore rejects all attempts to accuse Martinez of racism. One cannot be racist by calling for the end of racism.
We do think that Martinez, an undergraduate student, should have chosen his language about science and race more carefully. The title of his column “Your DNA is an abomination”, directed at people socially designed as white, is inconsistent with scientific understanding. Race is not a biological category. It is a social idea.
But getting science wrong and being racist are also not the same thing.
CAN supports Martinez’s call for the end of racism itself. We support his criticism of a racist society that oppresses its victims of racisms and that only seeks to diminish their humanity.
The struggle for an end to racism is long but must be waged.