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Haitian, Jamaican) and African (e.g. Cape Verdean, Nigerian) immigrants in the US offer important points of comparison: while there might be solidarity with African Americans on some issues such as police brutality and housing discrimi- nation, the different cultural identities and political experiences of these groups are also the source of heterogeneity and even conict.22
Dyson avoids the problem that a strong right to forget creates: in forgetting, individuals not only forget the problematic and negative aspects of the group or cultural identity, but also forget what is empowering and enlightening. Both Hill and Dyson reject a narrowly construed “black identity” that enforces group loyalty at the expense of individuality, but Dyson does so in a way that retains a keen understanding of how black resistance to oppression is a particular example of a universal human yearning for freedom and equality.23 By taking Dyson’s approach to culture and identity, we can retain Hill’s emphasis on individual autonomy but reject his assumption that group-based identities are inherently essentialized.24
Moderate cosmopolitanism, then, is open to history and memory as constitu- tive of individual and group identities. It is also open to a multiplicity of identities within racial, cultural, and national groups that also are partially constitutive of collective and individual identities. Thus, rather than viewing moderate cosmopolitanism as a resting place on the way to radical cosmopoli- tanism, we can defend it as a satisfactory moral and political position in its own right.25
Further, memory is arguably an essential component of prominent theories of justice as put forth by John Rawls and Robert Nozick. Both of their theories can be read in a way that supports the remembrance of historical injustices as a component of achieving justice in the present. Rawls emphasizes a stable political order in which rights, liberties, opportunities, and access to basic social goods are distributed by his two principles of justice. If the distribution of
22 For one example of the shared concerns of, and cultural differences between, African American and Caribbean immigrant communities in the US, see Reuel Rogers, “Afro- Caribbean Immigrants, African Americans, and the Politics of Group Identity,” in Yvette Alex-Assensoh and Lawrence Hanks (eds), Black and Multiracial Politics in America (New Y o r k : N e w Y o r k U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 2 0 0 0 ) , p p . 1 5 – 5 9 . 2 3 For a supporting argument that universal and particular identities co-exist in tension, see George Katsiacas, “The Latent Universal Within Identity Politics,” in George Katsiacas and Teodros Kiros (eds), The Promise of Multiculturalism: Education and Autonomy in the 21st Century (New York: Routledge, 1998), p. 80. Katsiacas identies the internal contradiction of “the universalistic promise and a particularistic chauvinism” within any identity. Hill sees group identities as inherently parochial and chauvinistic. Dyson recognizes that while they can be parochial, they need not be; instead, if de-essentialized, they enable both individual a n d g r o u p a u t o n o m y a n d e m a n c i p a t i o n . 2 4 This also is informed by the discussion of multiculturalism and its critics in George Katsiacas and Teodros Kiros, “Editors’ Introduction,” in The Promises of Multiculturalism, p. 4. Hill views multiculturalism as restricting individual autonomy and self-identication, and Dyson views multiculturalism as supporting individual autonomy and self- identication.
25 Martha Nussbaum’s combination of local attachments and loyalty to humanity, or Alain Locke’s concept of “culture-citizenship,” help us to stake out a cosmopolitanism that values both de-essentialized cultures and culture-transcending principles and solidarities. See Nussbaum, “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism” and “Reply,” in For Love of Country, pp. 2–17, and pp. 131–144; and Leonard Harris, “Alain Locke and Community,” The Journal of Ethics 1 (1997), pp. 239–247.