A white, male philosophy professor said he believes “reason” and rational thought are “white male constructs,” and apparently, racist.
In an interview with The New York Times, Professor John Caputo seems anxious to bring philosophy into the discussion of “white privilege,” and make the contorted assumption that because the great philosophers like Kant, Socrates and Aristotle were white, that their entire philosophical toolbox was laden with racism.
Apparently, Professor Caputo sees “non-white” philosophers spending a lot of time criticizing white professors and he thought white people should too, The Daily Caller reports.
“‘White’ is of the utmost relevance to philosophy, and postmodern theory helps us to see why,” Caputo says in the interview. “I was once criticized for using the expression ‘true north.’It reflected my Nordo-centrism, my critic said, and my insensitivity to people who live in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, no such thing had ever crossed my mind, but that points to the problem. We tend to say ‘we’ and to assume who ‘we’ are, which once simply meant ‘we white male Euro-Christians.’
He tries to draw a connection between the philosophy of “reason” and racism.
The end result of critiquing whiteness, Caputo suggests, is the realization that the supposed “reason” underlying philosophy is just another form of white privilege … or something of that nature.
“I think that what modern philosophers call ‘pure’ reason — the Cartesian ego cogito and Kant’s transcendental consciousness — is a white male Euro-Christian construction,” he says. “White is not ‘neutral.’ ‘Pure’ reason is lily white, as if white is not a color or is closest to the purity of the sun, and everything else is ‘colored.’ Purification is a name for terror and deportation, and ‘white’ is a thick, dense, potent cultural signifier that is closely linked to rationalism and colonialism. What is not white is not rational. So white is philosophically relevant and needs to be philosophically critiqued — it affects what we mean by ‘reason’ — and ‘we’ white philosophers cannot ignore it.”
And what is to be done about it? Well, criticizing democracy, freedom, our criminal justice system and just about anything else. And who’s to blame for all this? The “Christian Right.”
The scandal is that the Christian right has too often been complicit with a politics of greed and hatred of the other.”
You just knew it was coming down to blaming Christians, right?