What is white privilege?
White privileges are the advantages that white people receive by virtue of being white. These advantages are thus unearned and unfair. One example is being able to speak in public without putting my entire race on trial. Another example is my ability to worry about racism without being seen as self-interested.
“Other people are raced, we [whites] are just people.”
White people’s race is often unmarked. For example, people look at a white woman as just a woman, whereas people look at a black woman as a black woman. We don’t mention the race of white people when describing them. Whereas if someone is black, we often use their race to describe, or identify, them.
What qualifies something as racist? Belief, Affective and Behavioral models of racism.
Common stereotypes illustrating Black Women's oppression (According to "Controlling Images" by Patricia Collins)
Philosophical Solutions to End Racism (Three Potential Solutions)
1) Racial Elimitivism
3) “Ameliorative” concept of race provided by Sally Haslanger (MIT philosophy professor)
The five features of a deeply derogatory term from "Speech and Harm" by Lynne Tirrell.
Must meet all five of these conditions to be considered deeply derogatory:
1. Insider/Outsider function - marking members of an out-group as out, and in so doing, they also mark the in-group as un-marked. For example, calling someone a ‘n****’ is deeply derogatory because it marks the person as part of an out-group, black people. It is also considered deeply derogatory because it is inescapable. One cannot simply choose whether or not to be black, he/she simply is or is not. Slurs, on the other hand, such as being a ‘snob’, are not deeply derogatory because they are considered lifestyle choices, or they can be escaped.
2. The essentialism condition - the term presumes that the members of the out-group are essentially inferior to members of the in-group. This doesn’t require the essentialism to be true, just that it is presumed.
3. Social embeddedness condition - the terms are connected to historical oppression and discrimination, and are extremely looked-down upon by society. To be deeply derogatory, the term must be rooted in socially, economically, and politically oppressive practices. The word itself is not what makes the term derogatory.
4. Functional variation - Boundaries are put in place, sometimes unintentionally, through one’s language. The boundaries can serve a variety of functions including specifying proper behavior, enacting power, inciting crimes, and rationalizing cruelty. For example, suppose Josh and Robert are friends and are both males. When they are talking one day, Josh tells Robert that he likes the color pink. Robert mocks Josh for liking pink and tells him that pink is a girl color. From then on, Josh decides never to wear pink, because, according to Robert, it is an unacceptable color for a male to like.
5. Action-engendering - the terms serve a purpose or are used to rationalize treatment of those who are labeled. For example, calling an adult woman a ‘girl’ could rationalize treating her as if she can’t make serious decisions. It could be rationalized because, in our society, children don’t have the same rights, or capabilities, as adults.
What qualifies as “philosophically interesting” racial profiling, according to Albert Atkin (Philosophy Professor at Notre Dame)?
Here are two considerations supporting the justice of such racial profiling and two considerations supporting the injustice of such profiling:
To qualify as “philosophically interesting,” the tool used to connect race to a profile must be accurate, appropriate, and used correctly. The use of this profiling must not be abusive. For example, police officers shouldn’t threaten/intimidate anyone when profiling. The use of this profiling must also be applied in proportion to broader concerns of fairness, other social benefits, and the scope of the tool one bases the profile on. For example, the profiling must not single out members of a particular race when statistical data shows that there are several races that correlate with a particular crime.
Those who support racial profiling argue that it is just if it is both socially beneficial and doesn’t cause any unacceptable harms. There are two harms to consider. The first is the harm of using race as an indicator of certain crimes. The second is the harm of law enforcement paying special attention to members of certain races.
Those who are against racial profiling argue that it is unjust because the social benefits do not outweigh the harms that it does. There are two harms of using racial profiling. The first is the harm of using race as an indicator of crime. This causes people to discount the harms done to members of a certain race, because they may believe that members of a particular race deserve to be discriminated against. Members of the targeted racial group may avoid going to certain public places because of this discrimination, which unjustly limits them. The second is the harm of being singled out by law enforcement. Law enforcement may unintentionally be racist by targeting members of particular races because of their gut feeling. For example, a study was done that shows Americans are more likely to think an object in the hands of a black person is a weapon.