Racism as Civic Vice

Ethics 131 (3):539-570 (2021)
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I argue that racism is essentially a civic character trait: to be a racist is to have a character that rationally reflects racial supremacist sociopolitical values. As with moral vice accounts of racism, character is my account’s primary evaluative focus: character is directly evaluated as racist, and all other racist things are racist insofar as, and because, they cause, are caused by, express or are otherwise suitably related to racist character. Yet as with political accounts of racism, sociopolitical considerations provide my account’s primary evaluative standard: satisfying the sociopolitical standard of racial supremacy is what makes racist character racist.

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Jeremy Fischer
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