The Magical Thinking of Reformism


Reformism Isn’t Liberation, It’s Counterinsurgency

You can’t abolish systemic anti-Blackness and racial-colonial violence by protecting the system itself

The logic of ‘reform’


The reformist counterinsurgency pivots on a fervent belief that the spirit of progress, national improvement, and patriotic belief will prevail over a fundamentally violent order. In practice, this belief approximates a kind of pseudo-religion.


Dylan Rodríguez is a 2020 Freedom Scholar, President of the American Studies Association (2020–2021), and Professor at the University of CA, Riverside.

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