Abstract

Whites in the United States are often startlingly ignorant about the existence and importance of both contemporary and historical racism. People in many different fields work to make maintaining this ignorance possible. In some of these cases, at least, because of the research commitments of the people actively promoting ignorance about racism in the United States, the work done to make this ignorance possible cannot be the result of “mere” culpable ignorance, but is itself a racist act, and is some evidence of racist intent. I argue that the casual dismissals of the importance of racism in the writings of contemporary defenders of the “hereditarian” hypothesis with respect to differences in average IQ scores between populations identified on the basis of “race” take this form. Current hereditarians are therefore, I argue, properly regarded as racist not because they support a politically unpopular scientific hypothesis, nor even (just) because they are guilty of culpable ignorance, but rather because their work reveals a deliberate and systematic attempt to minimize and ignore both the continued existence of racism, and the contemporary and historical effects of racism. It is this kind of work, I argue, that makes the maintenance of more widespread (and damaging) ignorance possible.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2165-8692
Print ISSN
2165-8684
Pages
pp. 160-182
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-20
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.