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Penn State University Press

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Critical Philosophy of Race

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This article offers a response to Michael J. Monahan’s engagement with and criticism of Grant Silva’s article “Racism as Self-Love.” So as to demonstrate how Monahan’s idea of “ur-contempt” fits alongside the author’s project and supplements his attempt to challenge the variety of forms of moral obfuscation employed by white nationalists and other racists today, this response begins with an overview of the central critique of moral responsibility for racism that Silva’s work offers. At stake is the attempt, by unabashed white supremacist and others, to bank on historical acts of racial oppression and reap the benefits of elevated social status while evading responsibility for that past. The goal in this project is thus to demonstrate the entanglement of interpersonal and structural forms of racism while also describing how racism unfolds in the present in order to challenge the types of moral evasion for racism that Monahan and Silva are concerned with.


Accepted version. Critical Philosophy of Race, Vol. 9, No. 1 (January 2021): 16-26. DOI. © 2021 The Pennsylvania State University Press. Used with permission.

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