A leading political philosophy journal made an interesting decision to intellectually back the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the June issue, without a single contribution from a black scholar.
“You have a major social movement that comes about because of police violence and a failure of the state to respond effectively,” said Melvin Rogers, Political Scientist at UCLA. “You put together a symposium … and construct it in such a way that replicates the very problem the movement is trying to respond to. The signal this sends to scholars of color that care about this is that they, too, are invisible.”
If a single black scholar cannot make it on to a symposium about a movement centered around their very race, then some leading black academics are beginning to wonder: do black minds matter?
“This is not an abstract philosophical question. There are real goods at stake when we talk about which voices count,” said Yale University philosopher Chris Lebron.
Lebron and several other members of the African American academic community wrote letters condemning the lack of awareness shown by the journal.
“We accept the point eloquently and forcefully made by our colleagues that this is an especially grave oversight in light of the specific focus of Black Lives Matter on the extent to which African-Americans have been erased and marginalized from public life,” the journal responded.
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