Persuasive Speech On Racism

Persuasive Speech On Racism-18
Your language would be factually accurate but (as I like to call it) morally opaque, because it blunts the fine edge of moral awareness and critique.

Your language would be factually accurate but (as I like to call it) morally opaque, because it blunts the fine edge of moral awareness and critique.

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But morally opaque language doesn’t have do be deliberately misleading.

Morally opaque speech is wrong, whether performed intentionally or unintentionally.

So when a lot of people talk about Jim Crow, there is a sense in which they simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

It’s not that they’ve intentionally distanced themselves from the hideous truth, and that their ignorance is motivated by bad intentions.

This point has important implications for the practice of philosophy; especially, but not exclusively, the practice of public philosophy.

If we use terms like “Jim Crow” when communicating with those who are not well informed about the racial history of the United States, we risk speaking about a morally significant subject in a way that obscures its true moral gravity, and we are thereby unwittingly engaged in a morally questionable act. Instead of using names like “Jim Crow,” how about using explicit descriptions, for instance by referring to that period during which White people routinely terrorized, abused, tortured, oppressed, and murdered Black people with impunity?

However, the term “racism” is unclear for a different reason than “Jim Crow” is.

“Jim Crow” is unclear because most people don’t understand what it means, but “racism” is unclear because it means too many different things to too many different people.

Yet another way to cash out the notion of racism is to see it as a kind of systematic indifference to the wellbeing of racialized others.

It’s not that one hates the members of a certain race, or necessarily that one thinks of them as racially inferior—it’s just that one doesn’t give a damn about them.


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