"To maintain racist beliefs you often have to avoid reality"

American philosopher Lewis Gordon is visiting South Africa this week and is scheduled to speak at the Numsa Research and Policy Institute in Johannesburg on Wednesday, on the role of Communism and Class in Radical Black Thought. He sat down with Eusebius McKaiser to unpack the issue of racism and race denialism.

Sometimes what people believe and what they do is not the same thing. In the process some people will swear for instance they are not racist as they exhibit every racist belief, manifestation.

Lewis Gordon, american philosopher and author

The problem is connected to a form of moralism. The thing with moralism is when we get moralistic... certain descriptions we make about people impute all kinds of other things to them.

Lewis Gordon, american philosopher and author

One of the first things you learn in a racist society is how to deny racism, one of the second things you learn is how to lie to yourself in how you deny racism.... to maintain racists beliefs you often have to avoid reality.

Lewis Gordon, american philosopher and author

Gordon explains why people are defensive when called racists.

He says at the heart of the problem is a 'noxious fallacy', the notion of a purely good and perfect human.

Our imperfections are elements of ourselves that we work at constantly. So we forget that sometimes the issue when we meet a person who may have a problematic belief, is not to condemn the person immediately, but to ask and work with the person about whether the person is committed to doing something about that problematic belief.

Lewis Gordon, american philosopher and author

Because sometimes mistaken beliefs have interesting elements of how human beings relate to each other, he says.

Gordon responds to the question; can black people be racist?

The problem with those kind of arguments is that they completely evade the empirical reality. The empirical reality is you know that you can find out about black people and racism when black people have a whole lot of power in the world.

Lewis Gordon, american philosopher and author

Click on the link below to listen to the full discussion...


This article first appeared on 702 : "To maintain racist beliefs you often have to avoid reality"


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM
Read More
'Pravin Gordhan made the mistake of thinking that Singh still has a conscience'

'Pravin Gordhan made the mistake of thinking that Singh still has a conscience'

‘Wait until they are standing before a judge and there’s a 15-year sentence hanging over them.' Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Entrepreneur transformed her home into art gallery

Entrepreneur transformed her home into art gallery

Hlengiwe Vilakati, Jo Anke Gallery owner, and manager explains her home-based art gallery.

North West EFF call on police to prioritise racism cases #ColignyMarch

North West EFF call on police to prioritise racism cases #ColignyMarch

EFF members in the North West are marching to the Coligny Police Station after Matlhomola Moshoeu's alleged killers granted bail.

"I'm no longer going to watch Isidingo"

"I'm no longer going to watch Isidingo"

Will Isidingo lose viewership over it's episode tackling racism?

Holomisa: National convention needed to address ANC, land, racism and more

Holomisa: National convention needed to address ANC, land, racism and more

UDM's Bantu Holomisa says marching alone won't address SA's issues and explained the agenda for his proposed National convention.

Opinion: What whites can learn from Anti-Zuma protests

Opinion: What whites can learn from Anti-Zuma protests

Zuma's racist rhetoric about the recent mass protests is diverting from the real issue of a corrupt and morally defunct state.

Popular articles
Zille: The disaster management plans are in place for Day Zero

Zille: The disaster management plans are in place for Day Zero

Helen Zille, Western Cape Premier, talks on the preparations for the day Cape Town's taps shut off.

1001 water tips: Blogger collects and shares water saving tips

1001 water tips: Blogger collects and shares water saving tips

Writer, blogger and editor, Helen Moffett, gives innovative ways to save water as Day Zero approaches.

[LISTEN] Gigaba started the rot at Eskom - economist

[LISTEN] Gigaba started the rot at Eskom - economist

Chief economist Dr Iraj Abedian says ministers Malusi Gigaba and Lynne Brown carry full responsibility for the crisis at Eskom.

100s of millions paid out after Vrede dairy farm scam was exposed - Sam Sole

100s of millions paid out after Vrede dairy farm scam was exposed - Sam Sole

amaBhungane investigative journalist says years after revealing Free State government's dealings with Estina, the scam continued.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.