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Is judging a person by their intelligence analogous to racism? A person can't help the genetics that determines their intellectual capacity and the belief in the superiority of intelligent people seems to arguably be a basis for social inequalities.

Great question! Some preliminary thoughts: Racism seems to involve treating a group of persons who share an ethnic identity with derision, disrespect, and partial disadvantage. Accounts of racism today are controversial, but I propose that a comprehensive account of racism should involve both action as well as attitudes. What you write suggests that one reason why racism is inappropriate / unjust / wrong, is that persons cannot help being a certain ethnicity. I suggest, however, that racism would be wrong whether or not one could voluntarily adopt or abandon a race or ethnicity. If I converted to Judaism and, in the eyes of the world I became Jewish, anti-semitism would still be wrong even though I could have remained a Christian. In a related way, I suggest it would still be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals whether or not a person can choose whether to be homosexual or not. It should be added as a side point that the very category of "race" is vexing. Some think of race as a...

Why is it that when a white person says a racial slur, such as "nigger" it is thought to be the most heinous crime. However, when a non-white, in particular blacks call whites "crackers" it is dismissed as nothing. Why is there such a double standard in American society? Why is reverse racism rampant more than ever? Whites have to fear of being shunned for voicing their injustices, because if they do, they will be called a racist. If a white is mistreated due to race in the work place nothing occurs. On the other hand, if it happens to a black it gets mass media coverage. The politics are backwards, the NAACP, pushes racial equality for blacks, yet they are immersed with racism towards whites; not all are but it has been displayed. If a white were to make an Organization for the advancement of their race it would be an outcry for its dismantle. Shouldn't all race Organizations be abolished since we're under the same umbrella, the Human race? I too often experienced this firsthand, being of black decent. I...

This is a timely issue! For about 30 years now I believe that there has been a working definition on many (but not all) campuses in the USA of defining "racism" not as a general denigration of a person or institution or event by virtue of race but as a denigration of a person or institution or event by virtue of race by a person in a position of superior social (political - economic) power. I am not saying that for more than two decades that has been the majority position, but it has been one that definitely has played a role in class discussions and, in one case I know at my college one philosopher teaching an ethics course almost did not get tenure because he did not endorse this more specific definition. Whether or not this more specific definition has an important, fruitful role to play today, ideally we need to get where race (and today the very concept of "race" is highly contested) as well as gender is not used to discriminate, oppress, etc. In many cases especially involving overt behavior...