What's Wrong with 'White Talk' - Alison Bailey
From Jeffrey Sudduth on February 14th, 2017
Be better anti-racists — replace White Talk with open vulnerable discussions to better see the problems of, and possible solutions to, injustice caused by white privilege.While rejecting racism, recognizing shared experiences, and praising equality, sound great, White Talk can shutdown important conversations. As Dr. Alison Bailey explains, it steers discussion toward the moral goodness of the speaker and away from white privilege, effectively defending the speaker from vulnerabilities like feeling like a participant in privilege or absorbing painful testimony about its harms. Bailey suggests that rather than defend against these vulnerabilities, a better response is to use their power to become open to understanding privilege and to motivate change. Further, she gives us concrete guidance on how speakers can break their patterns of White Talk to be better anti-racists.This event is part of the UIS New Voices on Racial Justice Series organized by Dr. Roxanne Kurtz, UIS Philosophy Associate Professor.Dr. Alison Bailey directs the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Illinois State University where she is also a professor of philosophy. Her research addresses issues at the intersections of feminist theory, moral and political philosophy, philosophy of race/whiteness studies, and epistemology. Concerns for social justice drive her selection of philosophical problems, which she then works through by appealing to "real life" examples taken from narratives, social science research, and public policy. She recently co-edited a special issue of Hypatia on "The Reproduction of Whiteness: Race and the Regulation of the Gendered Body," with Jacquelyn N. Zita. Her recent work on philosophical issues related to racism and resistance has appeared in Hypatia, Whiteness: Feminist Philosophical Perspectives, Feminist Ethics Revisited, and Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. She and Chris Cuomo have just co-edited The Feminist Philosophy Reader. Her current research interests include race in feminist bioethics, and philosophical responses to intersectionality.