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Resolving the tensions between white people's active investment in racial inequality and white ignorance: A response to Marzia Milazzo

Citation

Moore, R, Resolving the tensions between white people's active investment in racial inequality and white ignorance: A response to Marzia Milazzo, Journal of Applied Philosophy pp. 1-11. ISSN 0264-3758 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© Society for Applied Philosophy, 2018, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/japp.12306

Abstract

This article responds to Marzia Milazzo's article ‘On white ignorance, white shame, and other pitfalls in critical philosophy of race’ (2017), in which Milazzo argues that the concepts white shame, white guilt, white privilege, white habits, white invisibility and white ignorance are pitfalls in the process of decolonisation. Milazzo contends that the way these concepts are theorised in much critical philosophy of race minimises white people's active interest in reproducing the racial status quo. While I agree with Milazzo's critique of white shame and white guilt, I argue that these affective responses are fundamentally different to the remaining concepts. Drawing on critical whiteness studies and agnotology, I argue that white privilege, white invisibility and white ignorance are valuable conceptual tools for revealing (as opposed to minimising) white people's active investment in maintaining racial inequality. Whereas Milazzo sees a contradiction between white people's active interest in maintaining racial inequality and concepts like white invisibility and white ignorance, I argue that, correctly theorised, these concepts resolve this apparent contradiction. I contest Milazzo's call to reject white privilege, white invisibility and white ignorance, arguing that these concepts are useful tools in the project of decolonisation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:racial inequality, white ignorance, white privilege, decolonisation, whiteness studies
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Moore, R (Dr Robyn Moore)
ID Code:125658
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-04-27
Last Modified:2018-12-04
Downloads:0

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