Friday, 23 July 2010
Who Are We
Award winning Barbadian born British Journalist Gary Younge's new book Who Are We is out. It's an intriguing exploration on the themes of identity and why it should matter in the 21st century.If Obama was raised by his white mother, why is he the first black president? Why do muslims feel more at home in America, which invaded Iraq, than in France, which opposed the invasion? Younge says "We are more alike than we are unalike. But the way we are unalike matters.To be male in Saudi Arabia, Jewish in Israel or white in Europe confers certain powers and privileges that those with other identities do not have. In other words, identity can represent a material fact in itself." Moving between memoir and searing analysis and reporting on everything from South African townships to Irish beauty pageants, Younge shows how many citizens of the modern world-from the American conservative to the islamic fundamentalist, from the established elite to the second generation immigrant - are now retreating into their personal identities as a means of survival in the face of a state seemingly indifferent to their lives.
I met Gary last night and he's a warm, funny,engaging and highly intelligent man. His level of critical thinking makes you see the world through several lenses. The book is an excellent, fascinating read.