Paul Warmington Book Launch

Permanent Racism: Race, Class and the Myth of Postracial Britain

27 February 2024

The Repair-Ed team along with the Race, Coloniality and Education Research Group welcomed Professor Paul Warmington to Oxford to celebrate his new book –  Permanent Racism: Race, Class and the Myth of Postracial Britain.

Professor Warmington gave an incredibly powerful talk about the recent backlash against Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the UK. He offered important historical perspectives to these so-called ‘culture wars’, arguing that they are in fact part of a much longer and deeply rooted desire to erase the idea of race in British political and public discourse. Professor Warmington argues that a kind of ‘post-racialism’ is declared by the state to minimise and deny the social salience of race as a structuring force of social life. In turn, the myth of post-racialism enables  aggressive opposition to anti-racist movements and to frameworks such as CRT – which we have seen happen with serious consequences for marginalised communities.

One of the key aims of the Repair-Ed project is to ensure that the structural injustices of racism and classism in education systems are more fully understood and more widely recognised – precisely in order for these injustices to be collectively addressed. This means centring structural injustice in public discourse and debate, rather than seeking to erase it as the ‘postracial’ myth would have it. Professor Warmington’s book provides a brilliant steer for our work – drawing upon critical race studies and Black Atlantic thought to acknowledge and respond to Britain’s lived racial politics.

The book is available to purchase here.

About Paul Warmington:

Paul Warmington is a Visiting Professor at the Research Centre for Global Learning (GLEA), Coventry University and a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Identities and Social Justice, Goldsmiths, University of London. Paul is an internationally recognised scholar, whose work is rooted in Black Atlantic thought and focuses on education and social justice, and on Black intellectual movements. He began his career in further education in the late 1980s and has worked in higher education at the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Warwick. His work has been covered in The Guardian, Times Education Supplement and The Voice. He recently contributed to BBC1’s landmark documentary Subnormal, on the placing of Black children in ESN schools during the 1960s and 70s. His book Permanent Racism: Race, Class and the Myth of Postracial Britain was published by Policy Press in January 2024.