The following is the Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) International organization’s statement on anti-Black racism and Philosophy. The MAP chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign stands in solidarity with our parent organization and our Black colleagues.
We are outraged and heartbroken by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, among countless others who have lost their lives due to racist violence and police brutality, and by the continued violent response by police against protestors. As an organization committed to social justice in and outside of academia, we stand against systemic and structural racism, white supremacy, and the long-standing oppression faced by Black communities and other communities of color in the United States and beyond.
We call on philosophers – particularly on white philosophers, who form the vast majority of our profession – to take a public stance against white supremacy and racist violence; to engage critically with the ways our own community and institutions contribute to the perpetuation of white supremacy, anti-Black racism, and police brutality; to support anti-racist organizing in their on and off-campus communities; and to educate themselves about the issues involved. We encourage those who are currently teaching to recognize the effects of the current situation on their students, and to provide proper accommodation for those enduring trauma or taking part in anti-racist organizing. We also call on white philosophers not to ask or expect Black department members to take up special burdens in educating them, and to focus on concrete steps white philosophers can take to reduce the grip of racism in their own departments.
We take this to be an important moment of reflection for those of us who have not been personally affected by anti-Black racism, and to commit to doing better in the future. In this spirit, we strongly recommend that departments work on recognizing and elevating the voices of Black philosophers in their hiring, admissions, and curriculum decisions, and on ensuring that anti-racist education is an integral part of philosophical education at all levels. In consultation with Black graduate students, we are working on collecting a list of concrete recommendations for philosophers and Philosophy departments, which we will share soon.
This is also a moment of reflection for MAP, whose membership and leadership is primarily non-Black. We commit to doing more to address anti-Black racism in academic philosophy and consulting Black graduate students and faculty about the best ways to move forward. We commit to providing more resources for Black philosophers specifically; setting up a mentorship network for Black graduate students and graduate students of color; prioritizing funding and promoting events that work towards elevating Black voices; providing more resources and opportunities for non-Black allies to educate themselves on anti-Black racism; and organizing an APA session in the coming academic year on anti-racist activism and pedagogy.
Minorities and Philosophy International