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Summary & Reflection: Racisms By Kwame Anthony Appiah (Essay Sample)


Complete 2 pages, typed, double-spaced summary/reflection papers. Each paper should briefly summarize every primary source reading for a given day (roughly a page) and then offer your own critical reflection on some aspect of the readings for that day (roughly a page).
4.20 due: Responsible Society: Appiah, Racisms (pp. 689-699)
4.23 due: Responsible Society: Alcoff, Racism and Visible Race (pp. 699-707)


Racisms by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Kwame Anthony Appiah in his article, Racisms, brings out some very interesting elements about racism. He is quick to mention to the readers that, there are differences that are inherent in the various races that are associated with their characteristically unique nature. By this, he refers to the element of differences that are morphological (Appiah). An African descendant will have different hair color and even skin color from white which is an obvious sign of their racial differences. However, these are not characteristics that show the differences in intellectual or other abilities. Kwame mentions that there are two types of racial profiling, which include the extrinsic and the intrinsic racists. The extrinsic will follow a set of beliefs that are clearly inferior to intellectual derivatives. This includes the aspects such as where a white person will simply assume that they are superior by the mere fact that they have white skin. This is rather skewed and astonishing that despite all the evidence available against such a stand, one believes that they are superior simply because they look different. This is an element that is largely associated with an assumption that goes beyond what is literally skewed data (Appiah). In the case of the intrinsic racial prejudices, these are people that simply assume that there are differences in reference to the moral backgrounds. By simply being related to another person, that brings out the element of the differences and more importantly the differences in superiority. There is an ironic approach which is commonly applied where it is related to a great person they assume that they have a moral interest in that person.
It is a common approach, for discrimination to take the form of an extrinsic approach. This is relative to the fact that, there have been such prejudices in the past. During the slavery era, most of the minorities were considered inferior. This is not because they are inferior in any way, but simply because they have a skin color that is considered to be of a lower class than the rest such as the whites. This has been a common approach, especially where intellectual elements are concerned. Over the years, there have been cases of African Americans and even Jews being victimized in various parts of the western nations because they are thought of as inferior (Appiah). Ironically, the evidence is unwaveringly convincing that some of the minorities are actually much more intelligent in different fields than the higher ranking whites. Sports and physical activities, music are the fields where African Americans show greater results when it comes to intellectual prowess, the minority

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