In recent essays on race I’ve caught some flack. My definition of racism apparently suffers mainly from its symmetry. One man committing a crime against another on account of race is racism irrespective of whether the man committing the crime is of a oppressing or an oppressed race. To put it bluntly, Hitler and the Nazis were guilty of racism. This fact does not depend on the point that they were wrong about the Jews being in cahoots and in control of the capital and intellectual currents in Europe. If they were correct and Jews in the halls of power and the banks did in fact have plans and power would not justify Auschwitz and Dachau and so on. The hatred and racism of the white gang burning crosses and throwing stones through windows of a black family because they are black is no different than a black gang raping a white girl because she is white. Both are pure examples of racism. 

So, if you think that racism depends on positions of power and authority and class lines drawn on racial grounds ask yourself this, Do you really think that Hitler is regarded a racist only because he was wrong? 

Consequential-ism is a meta-ethical theory that judges the rightness of decisions based on an evaluation of their consequences. This in turn it seems to me reduces ethics to economics. Consequence after all is at the end of the day is about costs. Ethics however is is also called the study of beauty and the good. Ethics is about choice. And we choose that which we perceive as good and which is beautiful. So, when you turn to ethics … which way of thinking do you prefer …  cash or Beethoven? 


Filed under: Mark O.Offbeat Questions

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