Out of the Binary and Beyond the Spectrum: Redefining and Reclaiming Native American Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Philosophy, United States on 2018-08-14 02:56Z by Steven

Out of the Binary and Beyond the Spectrum: Redefining and Reclaiming Native American Race

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018
pages 216-238
DOI: 10.5325/critphilrace.6.2.0216

Alex R. Steers-Mccrum
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Race in the United States is most often talked about in terms of black and white, sometimes as a spectrum running from whiteness to blackness. Such a conception does not map onto actual racial structures in the United States and excludes Native Americans. This article will criticize this binary, detailing a theory of race in which colonialism and racism are prior to racial formation, following Patrick Wolfe and Michael Omi and Howard Winant. In assembling this theory, this article attempts to bridge philosophical critical race studies and Native American and Indigenous Peoples studies. It argues that to be a member of a race is to be in a relationship of dominance and resistance with settler colonialism. It discusses the implications of a political mode (following Tommie Shelby) of Native race in greater detail, including how it can be differentiated from ethnicity and tribal identity, and how it might be politically useful in anti-domination solidarity. Finally, the article examines the similarities and differences between Native race as construed here and concepts of being Indigenous, suggesting that what Indigenous is at the global level, Native race may be at the local.

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Black on the Outside, White on the Inside: Peter Abelard’s Use of Race

Posted in Articles, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, Religion on 2018-08-14 02:39Z by Steven

Black on the Outside, White on the Inside: Peter Abelard’s Use of Race

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018
pages 135-163
DOI: 10.5325/critphilrace.6.2.0135

Colleen Mccluskey, Professor of Philosophy
Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

In his reply to Heloise’s complaints in the fourth of the so-called personal letters, Peter Abelard (a twelfth-century theologian) draws upon the figure of the Ethiopian queen from the biblical Song of Songs, who proclaims that she is black on the outside but beautiful on the inside. While some scholars have interpreted his discussion as a commentary on the persona of a nun, this article considers what Abelard’s remarks might mean for understanding the development of the concept of race in Western thought. In particular, it considers whether Abelard’s discussion, both in the letter and in his metaphysical writings, challenges the common (although not universal) position that Europeans did not develop a concept of race until at least the early modern period. It examines these texts to determine the extent to which his remarks reveal congruities or differences with later more explicit conceptions of race.

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“The Fixity of Whiteness”: Genetic Admixture and the Legacy of the One-Drop Rule

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2018-08-14 02:25Z by Steven

“The Fixity of Whiteness”: Genetic Admixture and the Legacy of the One-Drop Rule

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018
pages 239-261
DOI: 10.5325/critphilrace.6.2.0239

Jordan Liz

There has been increasing attention given to the way in which racial genetic clusters are constructed within population genetics. In particular, some scholars have argued that the conception of “whiteness” presupposed is such analyses is inherently problematic. In light of these ongoing discussions, this article aims to further clarify and develop this implicit relationship between whiteness, purity and contemporary genetics by offering a Foucauldian critique of the discourse of race within these genetic admixture studies. The goals of this article, then, are twofold: first, to unearth some of the presuppositions operative in this genetics discourse that make possible a biological conception of race; and second, to examine some of the social and historical origins of those presuppositions. To this end, this article provides a brief genealogy of racial purity beginning with its formal legal codification in the one-drop rule.

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Racial Mixedness in the Contemporary United States and South Africa: On the Politics of Impurity and Antiracist Praxis

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy, South Africa, United States on 2016-07-18 23:26Z by Steven

Racial Mixedness in the Contemporary United States and South Africa: On the Politics of Impurity and Antiracist Praxis

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 4, Issue 2, 2016
pages 182-204

Desiree Valentine, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Philosophy; Department of Women’s Studies
Pennsylvania State University

This article is motivated by a concern about the increasing embrace of apolitical and ahistorical notions of racial “mixedness” and “impurity.” It draws on recent examples from the United States and South Africa in order to direct attention to the difficulties of identifying logics that, on the face of it, seem to evade conventional claims of racism, but nevertheless, as it will argue, rely on racist notions that must be challenged. These include examples in the United States and South Africa of individuals self-identifying as a stand-alone mixed race category (and furthermore espousing this as a “pure” category of belonging) as well as white Afrikaners in South Africa uncritically appropriating claims to mixed heritage. This article is critical of these phenomena because of what it finds to be a lack of politically and historically situated understandings of the notions of purity and impurity and their relation to racism.

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The Myth of the White Minority

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2015-11-19 01:39Z by Steven

The Myth of the White Minority

Critical Philosophy of Race
Volume 3, Issue 2, 2015
pages 305-323

Andrew J. Pierce, Lecturer
Department of Philosophy
Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut

In recent years, and especially in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection, projections that whites will soon become a minority have proliferated. In this essay, I will argue that such predictions are misleading at best, as they rest on questionable philosophical presuppositions, including the presupposition that racial concepts like ‘whiteness’ are static and unchanging rather than fluid and continually being reconstructed. If I am right about these fundamental inaccuracies, one must wonder why the myth of the white minority persists. I will argue that by reenvisioning whites as a minority culture struggling against a hostile dominant group, and by promoting white solidarity as a response to a (fabricated) crisis, such predictions actually serve to defend and legitimize white supremacy.

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