In this episode of The Forum Podcast, Dr. Sheena Mason (Theory of Racelessness) returns for another timely deep dive into the Theory of Racelessness, which reflects two philosophical positions on “race” that are uncommonly taught & commonly misunderstood: skepticism—the belief that race does not exist in nature—& eliminativism—the position that the concept of race, whatever it is, should be eradicated from human society.
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Dr. Sheena Mason’s theory of racelessness is a methodological & pedagogical framework for analysis that illustrates how the undoing of racism requires the undoing of “race.” Her theory inspires a more astute identification & analysis of racism. It stops the unintentional reification of racism by ceasing to uphold race ideology and its corresponding language. Theory of racelessness is also a philosophy of race that extends & explores the boundaries of racial skepticism & delineates more precise paths toward racial eliminativism, which she interprets as enabling us to transcend racism finally. Such transcendence allows us to recognize our individual & collective cultural & ethnic pluralism, a prerequisite awareness that leads society toward embracing a genuinely liberal cosmopolitanism.
The theory of racelessness reflects two philosophical positions on “race” that are uncommonly taught & commonly misunderstood: skepticism—the belief that race does not exist in nature—& eliminativism—the position that the concept of race, whatever it is, should be eradicated from human society. The core tenets of the theory of racelessness are as follows: Race does not exist in nature. Race does not exist as a social construction. Everyone is raceless. Racism includes the belief in race as biological or a construction & the practice of racialization. Racism is not everywhere & is not the cause for every perceived “racial” disparity or negative interaction. We can overcome racism. Her forthcoming book Theory of Racelessness: A Case for Antirace(ism) (2022)—under contract with Palgrave Macmillan as part of an African American & Africana philosophy series—describes, defines, & applies my signature theory to African American literary studies, a representative case study.
- How to identify and define philosophies of race
- Why we should separate culture, class, and ethnicity from race
- What is the theory of racelessness
Watch Dr. Sheena Mason Discusses ‘Theory of Racelessness’ on BNC News