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Black Rights/White WrongsThe Critique of Racial Liberalism$
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Charles W. Mills

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190245412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190245412.001.0001

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Racial Exploitation

Racial Exploitation

(p.113) Chapter 7 Racial Exploitation
Black Rights/White Wrongs

Charles W. Mills

Oxford University Press

What philosophical framework should be used to theorize racial injustice?This chapter argues that the appropriate approach is to (a) retrieve and elaborate the concept of “white supremacy” as an alternative, more accurate global socio-political paradigm; (b) develop an analysis of a specifically racial form of exploitation; (c) uncover and follow the trail of the W. E. B. Du Bois-inspired concept of the “payoff of whiteness”; and then (d) locate normative demands for racial justice within this superior descriptive conceptual framework. This theoretical framing would better capture the workings of the actual “basic structure” and shift attention from “racism” to illicit white benefit. The chapter closes with a discussion of how white moral motivation for bringing about racial justice (not historically a reliable ally) might possibly be supplemented by group-interest-based motivation.

Keywords:   racial justice, white supremacy, payoff of whiteness, racial discrimination, white group interests

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