This unique collection brings together selections from the work that has defined our understanding of racism. Every significant contribution to the analysis of racism over the past 50 years are comprised in this one book, including extracts from Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Cox's Marxist theory, Carmichael and Hamilton's introduction of the term ‘institutional racism’ and recent textual analyses. Ordered chronologically, so that the reader can work through the narrative of changes coherently, each contribution is introduced by the editors and the whole collection is bound together by introductory and concluding chapters. The result is an unparalleled teaching and study resource. No other book presents the highlights, range and complexity of the various attempts to unravel racism, in such a comprehensive and panoramic way.
Chapter 18: Essence, Accident, and Race*
Essence, Accident, and Race*
The author asks, in essence, is racism accidental? While the great religious traditions have been proselytizing and universal in their appeal, racism, rooted in the belief or attribution of biological inferiority for some groups, is particularistic. How did racism emerge in the context of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? The author proposes that intellectuals and religious leaders developed the philosophical, linguistic, and pseudo-scientific foundation for racism as a response to colonialism and imperialism emerging fully in the sixteenth century. Despite the claim of Locke, Hume, Descartes, Voltaire, and many others, claiming objectivity, much of their work and statements about racial differences among people justified racism. The author proposes that the philosophical methodology utilized by these thinkers, and defended ...