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What Is Race Abolition?
Ending the career of a destructive ideology
Those of you who are acquainted with my work will know that I am a race abolitionist. Race abolitionism has two components. One is what philosophers call “descriptive”—that is, pertaining to how the world really is—and the other is what philosophers call “normative”—that is, pertaining to how the world should be. On the descriptive front, race abolitionists regard race as a fiction. And on the normative front, race abolitionists hold that the fiction of race is destructive, and should be eliminated. I’ve explained why I hold this view in two of my books: On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It and Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power of Dehumanization. My spouse, the philosopher of science Subrena Smith is also a race abolitionist. Earlier this year, we co-authored an article titled “The trouble with race and its many shades of deceit,” published in New Lines magazine, where we jointly set out our position.
Our latest effort promoting this perspective is an interview on Amri B. Johnson’s excellent Reconstructing Inclusion podcast. Whether you are sympathetic with our position, unsympathetic with it, or you are intrigued and curious to find out more, you can listen to the conversation here.