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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Quotes worth saving (17): George Yancy

[This is a section from an interview with the philosopher George Yancy, from the excellent that is edited by Clifford Sosis]

How do you see the future of philosophy?
It will have an abysmal future unless it becomes far more relevant to actual human suffering, pain, rage, death and dying, and oppression.       
Disconcerting trends?
Of course, while I don’t see this as a trend, I would say that one disconcerting reality is the failure of us, male philosophers, to confront our sexism in and outside of the profession. Guys, stop the bullshit. Another disconcerting aspect would be the pathetic ego-driven, “god-like” pretensions of so many philosophers. Come on, you ain’t all that. None of us are. Man, the arrogance is appalling. By the way, that shit isn’t exclusive to white folk. Black philosophers and philosophers of color are also guilty of this. Lastly, disconcerting is the continued lack of a robust interdisciplinary ethos within philosophy.           
There are more multiple voices within the field, though still too few; and there are differently embodied folk and thereby different epistemic and value-laden horizons that challenge various oppressive practices and assumptions.    
What do you make of the black lives matter movement?
Powerful. And politically necessary. Yet, profoundly disconcerting that in 21st century North America Black people find it necessary to make the declaration that their lives matter. You know, it is actually within that declaration, contrary to those who don’t understand it, that all lives matter. In other words, Black Lives Matter is a universal that is inclusive of all lives mattering. I think that this implied universality is linked to being treated as the damned of the earth, the lowest of human refuse. By the way, it does not follow (and has not historically followed) that White Lives Matter is inclusive of all lives mattering. Historically, and in our contemporary moment, white lives continue to have a certain ontological premium attached to them. In fact, the logic of whiteness is both viciously binary and dehumanizing in its exclusionary structure.  Black Lives Matter is a movement that Black people have shaped since our coming to this country in chains. It’s not new, but more of the necessary same.       
Man, you don’t stop. Simply put. He is a conduit through which white America expresses its most vile desire for white purity. An apocalyptically dangerous white man who sees himself as the center of the world. That kind of hubris bespeaks realities of genocide. 


Claude said...

I would have so much to say. But I'll keep it to a simple 'Thank you' to George Yancy, and your post, for making me think.

god-free morals said...

Isn't he good?

I especially like this from his personal website:

I have come to think of philosophy as a form of passion, which means a form of suffering. Why suffering? Again, the weight of these issues move my spirit, they shake my body (literally). Philosophy is more than what takes place within the theater of academic settings; it is about something that I embody, something that weighs heavily upon my heart and soul; it is an expression of how I stand before this great existential enigma (call it existence/being) and suffer under the magnitude of its mystery.

Sean Jeating said...

For the same reason I wonder why there is a call for children's right, women's right, elderly people's right etc., etc. ...