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Darby, Derrick, , . Reparations and Racial Inequality
2010, Philosophy Compass 5 (1): 55-66.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord, Contributed by:

Abstract: A recent development in philosophical scholarship on reparations for black chattel slavery and Jim Crow segregation is reliance upon social science in normative arguments for reparations. Although there are certainly positive things to be said in favor of an empirically informed normative argument for black reparations, given the depth of empirical disagreement about the causes of persistent racial inequalities, and the ethos of ‘post-racial’ America, the strongest normative argument for reparations may be one that goes through irrespective of how we ultimately explain the causes of racial inequalities. By illuminating the interplay between normative political philosophy and social scientific explanations of racial inequality in the prevailing corrective justice argument for black reparations, I shall explain why an alternative normative argument, which is not tethered to a particular empirical explanation of racial inequality, may be more appealing.

Comment: This text provides a clear overview and introduction to debates about reparations for decendents of African American slaves. It also surveys quite a bit of empirical data surrounding racial inequalities. It would fit well in a course that considered questions of social justice, racial inequality, or reparations.

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Imafidon, Elvis, , . Africa and the Unfolding of Difference: An Introduction
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer, 1-11
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Björn Freter

Abstract: This chapter provides introductory comments or preliminary remarks to the Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. It begins by defending the claim that difference stands under as the foundation of the unfolding of African philosophy as an academic discipline and the unfolding of many lived experiences in African spaces both in Africa and in the Diaspora. Hence, African philosophy of difference is a critical reflection on the place of difference in the African experience. The chapters in this handbook thus explore various and specific aspects of such lived experiences and the roles difference or alterity play in their unfolding. The handbook is thus divided into five sections with each section exploring key aspects of the importance of difference in the understanding of the African experience. The first section provides conceptualizations of difference in African thought. The second section explores various aspects and provides critical comments on the question of racism, particularly the institutionalized racial discrimination by whites against blacks due to racial differences. The third section examines some key issues emerging from the role difference plays in the unfolding of African experiences such as epistemological issues, the language issue, the role of art in the institutionalization of difference, and moral issues. The fourth section explores the important roles that difference plays in questions of disability, gender, and the non-human other. The last section examines how difference plays key roles in the unfolding of lived experiences in specific African places such as the experience of xenophobia in South Africa, the Skolombos in Calabar, Nigeria, and the land distribution question in Zimbabwe. The chapter concludes that this handbook is an important contribution to alterity discourse in African philosophy not because it exhausts the issues involved, but because it provided a robust discussion that would provoke further reflections and discussions.

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Matsuda, Mari, , . Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim’s Story
1993, In: Words that Wound; Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment, by Mari J. Matsuda, Charles R. Lawrence III, Richard Delgado, and Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, published by Westview Press
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Patricia A Blanchette

Introduction: The threat of hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi skinheads goes beyond their repeated acts of illegal violence. Their presence and the active dissemination of racist propaganda means that citizens are denied personal security and liberty as they go about their daily lives. Professor Richard Delgado recognized the harm of racist speech in his breakthrough article, Words That Wound, in which he suggested a tort remedy for injury from racist words. This Article takes inspiration from Professor Delgado’s position, and makes the further suggestion that formal criminal and administrative sanction – public as opposed to private prosecution – is also an appropriate response to racist speech.

In making this suggestion, this Article moves between two stories. The first is the victim’s story of the effects of racist hate messages. The second is the first amendment’s story of free speech. The intent is to respect and value both stories. This bipolar discourse uses as method what many outsider intellectuals do in silence: it mediates between different ways of knowing in order to determine what is true and what is just.

Comment: Argues for legal restrictions on hate speech in the United States, in keeping with an emerging international recognition of the harms of hate speech and the rights of the victims of such speech. Useful in discussions of free speech (e.g. after reading Mill), in discussions of hate speech and minority rights, and in discussions of American and international conceptions of rights.

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Myambo, Melissa Tandiwe , , . Class Identity, Xenophobia, and Xenophilia. Nuancing Migrant Experience in South Africa’s Diverse Cultural Time Zones
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer, 465-488
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by:

Abstract: In 2008 and 2015, South Africa’s most deadly and violent xenophobic attacks erupted. Dozens of people were killed and thousands displaced. The dominant storyline in the media and the academy cast the figure of the migrant as the perpetual victim of xenophobia and as the ultimate Other. There was not enough emphasis on nuancing that statement to indicate that it is not all migrants who run the risk of deadly xenophobia even though xenophobia is pervasive across all South African socioeconomic classes. Deadly attacks only took place in specific microspaces, or Cultural Time Zones (CTZs). Those living in the CTZ of the informal settlement (shanty town) were most vulnerable. Migrants in economically privileged CTZs like the wealthy suburbs do not typically become victims of xenophobic violence. In this paper, I attempt to examine the relationship between (micro)space and migrant experience. Through an analysis of South African cities as a cluster of radically different CTZs where language, skin color, race/ethnicity, education, socioeconomic class, etc. function in different ways to impact the migrant experience, I try to uncover the nuanced reasons why working-class migrants who work and live in socioeconomically deprived CTZs may experience violent xenophobia, while middle-class professionals, especially those from Western countries, often enjoy high levels of xenophilia. This chapter employs the philosophy of Cultural Time Zone theory to explain this paradox and explore how some migrants are considered culturally “closer” to the South African Self, while some are viewed as culturally more “distant” Others.

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Zimmermann, Annette, , . Criminal Disenfranchisement and the Concept of Political Wrongdoing
2019, Philosophy & Public Affairs 47 (4), 378-411.
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Annette Zimmermann

Abstract: Disagreement persists about when, if at all, disenfranchisement is a fitting response to criminal wrongdoing of type X. Positive retributivists endorse a permissive view of fittingness: on this view, disenfranchising a remarkably wide range of morally serious criminal wrongdoers is justified. But defining fittingness in the context of criminal disenfranchisement in such broad terms is implausible, since many crimes sanctioned via disenfranchisement have little to do with democratic participation in the first place: the link between the nature of a criminal act X (the ‘desert basis’) and a fitting sanction Y is insufficiently direct in such cases. I define a new, much narrower account of the kind of criminal wrongdoing which is a more plausible desert basis for disenfranchisement: ‘political wrongdoing’, such as electioneering, corruption, or conspiracy with foreign powers. I conclude that widespread blanket and post-incarceration disenfranchisement policies are overinclusive, because they disenfranchise persons guilty of serious, but non-political, criminal wrongdoing. While such overinclusiveness is objectionable in any context, it is particularly objectionable in circumstances in which it has additional large-scale collateral consequences, for instance by perpetuating existing structures of racial injustice. At the same time, current policies are underinclusive, thus hindering the aim of holding political wrongdoers accountable.

Comment: This paper critically assesses existing arguments in the philosophy of criminal law on the permissibility of criminal disenfranchisement; develops a novel negative retributivist argument; argues that current criminal disenfranchisement are much too overinclusive, but also underinclusive.

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