In the United States today, much interpersonal racism is driven by corrupt forms of self-preservation. Drawing from Jean- Jacques Rousseau, I refer to this as self-love racism. The byproduct of socially-induced racial anxieties and perceived threats to one’s physical or social wellbeing, self-love racism is the protective attachment to the racialized dimensions of one’s social status, wealth, privilege, and/or identity. Examples include police officer related shootings of unarmed Black Americans, anti-immigrant sentiment, and the resurgence of unabashed white supremacy. This form (...) of racism is defined less by the introduction of racism into the world and more on the perpetuation of racially unjust socioeconomic and political structures. My theory, therefore, works at the intersection of the interpersonal and structural by offering an account of moral complacency in racist social structures. My goal is to reorient the directionality of philosophical work on racism by questioning the sense of innocence at the core of white ways-of-being. (shrink)
This essay explores the intersection of racism, racial embodiment theory and the recent hostility aimed at immigrants and foreigners in the United States, especially the targeting of people of Latin American descent and Latino/as. Anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiment is racist. It is the embodiment of racial privilege for those who wield it and the materiality of racial difference for those it is used against. This manifestation of racial privilege and difference rests upon a redrawing of the color line that is (...) meant towards preserving exclusive categories of political membership. The charge of racism, however, is elided by the fact that this hostility takes the form of a specious embracement of law and lawfulness. “Illegal” in this sense not only captures the actions of those who enter the United States through clandestine or informal means, but, in light of the history of immigration and citizen- ship law, the term operates as a racial trope that designates non-white status, thus marginalizing and alienating certain immigrants from ongoing nation-formation processes. I explain the source for anti-immigrant hostility in the United States, which I take to be connected to the longevity of white normativity as the basis for American identity. I then critically assess how the idea of national belonging is crucial to the perpetuation of white-ways-of-being, especially when citizenship has historically been a venue for the embodiment of racial and even colonial privilege. I conclude by posing several questions about the nature of racial identities and racism that suggest new avenues for further research on racial embodiment in a “postracial” era. pp. 65–90. (shrink)
This work explores the increasing militarization of borders throughout the world, particularly the United States border with Mexico. Rather than further rhetoric of "border security," this work views increases in guards, technology and the building of walls as militarized action. The goal of this essay is to place the onus upon states to justify their actions at borders in ways that do not appeal to tropes of terrorism. This work then explores how a logic of security infiltrates philosophical discussions of (...) "the right to exclude," thereby curtailing the ability to see borders in any other way than as a locale that must be militarized. Specifically, I analyze the work of Michael Blake and his juridical theory of immigration restrictions. I argue that his work necessitates the walling of borders and removal of those who create new obligations for current members of existing political institutions. (shrink)
This essay explores the extent to which comparative philosophy can assist decolonial struggle. In order to accomplish this task, I offer not only a description of philosophy's colonization but also an account of how this discipline remains subject to the coloniality of knowledge. In short, insofar as race, gender, class, and sexuality are considered irrelevant or accidental to the production of philosophical knowledge, professional philosophy replicates, if not continues, what Rajeev Bhargava terms the epistemic injustice of colonialism. One response to (...) the colonization of philosophy is “diversification” by means of putting into conversation philosophers, systems, and ideas from differing cultures or regions throughout the world. While a step forward, insofar as philosophical comparisons occur primarily on an East–West axis, philosophers are not necessarily addressing the biases, prejudices, racism, and exceptionalism endemic to their discipline. In fact, such a directionality typically reinforces the sense of historical development that undergirds Western philosophy's self‐understanding. This essay, therefore, offers a series of recommendations for how to radicalize comparative philosophical efforts so as to address global epistemic injustice and aid in the process of decolonization. (shrink)
This essay is about the loss of voice. It is about the ways in which the act of writing philosophy often results in an alienating and existentially meaningless experience for many budding philosophers, particularly those who wish to think from their racialized and gendered identities in professional academic philosophy.
This article offers a response to Michael J. Monahan's engagement with and criticism of Grant Silva's article “Racism as Self-Love.” So as to demonstrate how Monahan's idea of “ur-contempt” fits alongside the author's project and supplements his attempt to challenge the variety of forms of moral obfuscation employed by white nationalists and other racists today, this response begins with an overview of the central critique of moral responsibility for racism that Silva's work offers. At stake is the attempt, by unabashed (...) white supremacist and others, to bank on historical acts of racial oppression and reap the benefits of elevated social status while evading responsibility for that past. The goal in this project is thus to demonstrate the entanglement of interpersonal and structural forms of racism while also describing how racism unfolds in the present in order to challenge the types of moral evasion for racism that Monahan and Silva are concerned with. (shrink)