Racism is something that has existed for as long humans been around.
It can be defined as discrimination against a set of people because of their race or ethnicity. Throughout many generations racism has been seen by some morally wrong and by others not. I will argue through Appiah’s view of racism why it’s morally wrong and argue that we have the moral obligation to end racism because of the effects and morally problematic intentions it creates in our society.For Appiah, racism is bad because it is irrational and makes a contrast between two types of racism. Extrinsic racism is the idea that there are moral differences between races because the racial essence involves morally relevant characteristics. These characteristics validate treatment of others to differ depending on the racial group they belong to. Some examples for this could be stereotypes such as Asians being typically good at math or Mexicans being agricultural workers.
Appiah views racism as prejudice being the premise of racial difference. Partially prejudice is a part of racism but a social construct also exist that oppresses against particular racial groups. Evidence to disprove someone about their beliefs about racial essences could help change how certain people perceive certain races but many people resist giving up privileges they believe they deserve. The word race itself seems to have a negative connotation as if we are completely different.The effects and consequences due to racism give one the obligation to end discrimination towards people because of their skin color. Utilitarianism is the idea that the morality of an action is to be judged solely by its consequences.
Depending on the consequences or the outcome is what determines if one’s intentions were right or wrong. It holds the idea that whatever produces the greater good for the greater number is the best option. By saying this he is claiming that pleasure has intrinsic value and forms the foundation of morality.
Utilitarianism demand end to racism because it’s treats people differently based on their measure of happiness and while a utilitarian can appeal to their principles to justify their actions toward a person racist can too. When we act surely our own happiness may be taken into consideration, nevertheless it is irrational to act on the essence of others people happiness because we don’t have direct permission to it. A racist could argue that another race had degraded his capacity of happiness and that could be used to justify his unjust treatment towards a group of people to serve his own needs. No one would be able to disprove him. We have the moral obligation to end racism due to it forming morally problematic intentions. Kant believed that the rightness or wrongness of action should be judged solely by moral maxim or intentions that motivate one. Kant viewed morality through categorical imperatives which are commands we must follow regardless of our desires.
Essentially it is our moral obligation but, how does one figure out what’s moral or immoral? A Kantian would ask themselves what the general rule behind the action their considering, so for example when a person is treated differently because of nonmoral reason like skin complexion it leads to a contradiction. If you accept the maxim or rule of racism then one is universalizing the action, making it fine for everyone to be racist. As an individual, I often stereotype people because of their skin color and in doing so according to Kant’s theory I make it ok to stereotype everyone even though often they’re false misconceptions.
The race is this unreal reality in which people are marked because of what their appearance depicts or where there from. Racism in both utilitarianism and Kantian contain faults in which injustices occur. For Appiah racism is irrational because it marginalizes a certain set of people for an immoral reason.