by Kevin Currie-Knight
The second in a planned series of dialogues between Sheena Mason (SUNY Oneonta) and Kevin Currie-Knight (East Carolina) on philosophies of race. In this dialogue, Sheena and Kevin flesh out the difference between saying that race is a social construction and (Sheena’s position) that race isn’t real in any sense.
3:23 – Kevin’s Confusion: what is the difference between saying that race isn’t real at all, and saying that race isn’t biologically real but IS a social construct? 9:53 – If we can use racialized language reliably in every day life, how can we then say that race doesn’t signify anything ‘real’ in some way? 19:31 – Is there a strategic difference between saying that race is real as a social construction and saying that race isn’t real at all? The benefits of race skepticism. 39:14 – How belief in the reality of race causes us to bungle so many conversations (such as the viral confrontation in Arizona State’s multicultural center). 55:47 – Does social constructionism about race lock you into racialized thinking in a way race skepticism doesn’t? 1:02:48 – Is it an indefensible stereotype to call someone a “sellout” or “traitor” to their “race”?