Friday, April 19, 2013

Achieving Our Humanity

On Tuesday's class we talked about how America and the world could achieve a post racial philosophy from the thoughts of Eze in his book, Achieving Our Humanity. The current state of our philosophy is one that has been constructed to answer the problems of the white man. For example, when the Founding Fathers say that all men are created equally, they in fact meant all white men and not humanity like we would like to believe. A racial philosophy also alludes to the world's history of colonialism and the distinction and colonization of the "other," or anyone who wasn't white. On Tuesday Henry pointed out that in order to reverse this white supremacist philosophy, a post racial philosophy (not a post racial world) would have to be our goal. Attempts at a post racial world, where we have elected a Black president and instituted colorblind policies in an effort toward cultural browning are not enough. The only way to achieve a post racial philosophy is through devaluing hierarchical systems and also through the distribution of history through classes like we are in now. In Eze's words, we must educate the future and present through "a commitment to modern history in general, and to an open textured understanding of black racial memory and not a biological racial essence. This would provide a sound basis for philosophical criticism of black history as well as a basis for an ethically informed economic and cultural critique of anti-black racism"(Eze). In class we took this to mean that changes must be made in the clear cut, right-wrong structure of education. There is currently a focus on the sciences, which foster an environment of factuality, although more philosophy classes should exist that place this system of right and wrong into a historical and cultural context. This historical and cultural context can be seen in politics, religion and even in the way "other" people treat themselves and each "other". If we suppose that this is the way to create a post racial philosophy and achieve our humanity, then my question is, what's taking us so long? Dr. Johnson mentioned that even Rhodes has changed in the types of classes it offers to include a class on the philosophy of race, so what other structural changes need to be made in order to finally achieve our humanity?   


1 comment:

  1. I think part of what is taking so long is the problematic way we view racism in our society. Despite tons of evidence to the contrary, people seem to believe a person becomes a racist because of some deep seeded personal flaws, rather than living in a racist society.
    Rhodes has a long way to go and I think part of that is going to come from accepting more diverse students, a focus on service work that is less condescending, and actually discussing race on campus.