"I'm Not a Racist, But..." : The Moral Quandary of Race

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Not all racial incidents are racist incidents, Lawrence Blum says. "We need a more varied and nuanced moral vocabulary for talking about the arena of race. We should not be faced with a choice of 'racism' or nothing." Use of the word "racism" is pervasive: An article about the NAACP's criticism of television networks for casting too few "minority" actors in lead roles asks, "Is television a racist institution?" A white girl in Virginia says it is racist for her African-American teacher to wear African attire.Blum argues that a growing tendency to castigate as "racism" everything that goes wrong in the racial domain reduces the term's power to evoke moral outrage. In "I'm Not a Racist, But...", Blum develops a historically grounded account of racism as the deeply morally-charged notion it has become. He addresses the question whether people of color can be racist, defines types of racism, and identifies debased and inappropriate usages of the term. Though racial insensitivity, racial anxiety, racial ignorance and racial injustice are, in his view, not "racism," they are racial ills that should elicit moral concern.Blum argues that "race" itself, even when not serving distinct racial malfeasance, is a morally destructive idea, implying moral distance and unequal worth. History and genetic science reveal both the avoidability and the falsity of the idea of race. Blum argues that we can give up the idea of race, but must recognize that racial groups' historical and social experience has been shaped by having been treated as if they were races. ...

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    Author: By (author)  Lawrence Blum
    Format: Paperback
    More Product Information 1: Table of contents
    1. "Racism": Its Core Meaning
    2. Can Blacks Be Racist?
    3. Varieties of Racial Ills
    4. Racial Discrimination and Color Blindness
    5. "Race": What We Mean and What We Think We Mean...

    More Product Information 2: Review quote
    "Blum's thoughts support his main argument: that calm, reasoned deliberation about injustices can give us the moral vocabulary we need to do better as a society." * Boston Review * "Discussing various scholarly perspectives on the construction of racial categories, Blum calls for a balance between 'ridding ourselves of the myth of race' and understanding the role of race in social inequality and in history." * Publishers Weekly * "Few topics are in such desperate need of clear analysis as the subject of race.... In this concise volume, Blum brings the precision of a moral philosopher to bear on this perennial American dilemma, with generally helpful results.... A fresh and important contribution to applied social philosophy, recommended for general readers, upp......

    More Product Information 3: About Lawrence Blum
    Lawrence Blum is Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His previous books include Moral Perception and Particularity and Friendship, Altruism, and Morality. ...