Thursday, June 18, 2015

From diversity to accepting racism: a paradox

If you accept diversity, shouldn't you accept the racist, too? Being a racist is one more way of being diverse?

4 comments:

Dan Gillson said...

It depends on the scope of the word "accept". If it's narrowly construed, yes. If it's broadly construed, no. Narrow construal would be accepting that racists should enjoy the full range of their constitutionally protected speech, however offensive. Broad construal would just be the doctrine of the preferred first speaker, wherein the responses of subsequent speakers should refrain from the full range of their constitutionally protected speech, which is stupid.

DougJC said...

"If you accept diversity, shouldn't you accept the racist, too? Being a racist is one more way of being diverse?"

The diversity-acceptance argument seems to be entirely about how good it is to shift our perception of physical, character, mental traits of individuals from moral to non-moral categories. While it seems possible to convince oneself that skin-color, culture, IQ, sexual orientation are morally-irrelevant attributes of people, it seems impossible to do the same for traits such as racism that directly or indirectly cause harm to others. Mistreatment of others (whether justifiable or not) must always be a moral category and can not be made non-moral or morally irrelevant.

Dan Gillson said...

Doug,

Racist beliefs aren't harmful per se, unless of course you're counting offensive or wrong, which racist beliefs definitely are, as harmful.

DougJC said...

Dan,

Yes, let me say, rather, that beliefs about limiting fair treatment of others (like racism) seem to be fundamentally morally-relevant attributes of a person, so diversity-acceptance wouldn't even try to argue that attribute into the irrelevant column.