Getting Serious about Race

With every passing election, it seems clearer and clearer that the Western world's rich democracies are going through a fundamental political realignment. Out goes the old left/right political divide that we grew up with; in comes a new open/closed division. The fit is far from perfect, but generally speaking, the new order pits centrists against extremists of all stripes, the highly educated against those with less education, and those who consider themselves citizens of the world against those who identify with smaller worlds. Its central debates concern the mobility of capital, goods and ideas, but above all the mobility of people. Even the arguments over the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership pale in comparison with those over migration. The last week alone has seen uproar in the United States over Texas Senate Bill 4 (considered to be anti-immigrant in nature) and in Europe over the British government's initial proposals on the fate of citizens of other European Union countries who have migrated to Britain.