To silence racism or let it speak 4

March 31, 2006

Racism needs to be confronted wherever it rears its ugly head and this, I believe, is best done through the public repudiation of racist views and an examination of the intellectual context that enables such views to gain purchase.

Why is it considered racist to suggest that black people are less intelligent than white people but it is not considered problematic to suggest that black people are not worthy of inclusion in the disciplines we teach?

How many sociology core courses regard W. E. B. Du Bois as integral to the discipline? How many philosophy core courses teach non-Western thinkers?

Until we reconsider the basic assumptions of what constitutes knowledge and whose knowledge we consider important enough to teach, such explicit forms of racism will continue to be legitimated by underlying implicit ones.

Gurminder K. Bhambra

Sussex University

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