This week, the prestigious Journal of Political Philosophy published a series of articles under the heading “Black Lives Matter.” One problem: All the authors published in the series are white.
Via: Quartz Media
It gets worse. It turns out that the journal hasn’t published a single article on the philosophy of race since the Black Lives Matter movement began five years ago, the Yale philosophy processor Chris Lebron found, and wrote in an open letter about the “symposium” (a group of papers originally presented at a conference). “Voting, elections, immigration, global markets, and animals have gotten their time in the journal’s sun,” he wrote. But “the journal has failed to represent race in its pages.”
And it gets still worse. The editors of the Journal of Political Philosophy have also not deigned to feature a single black philosopher in its pages. As Lebron (who is moving to John Hopkins this summer) wrote: “So far as I can tell, not one black philosopher has seen her or his work appear in the pages of your respected journal, on race or any other topic.”
This failure cannot be ascribed to the lack of black philosophers working on either Black Lives Matter or other areas of political philosophy. As Melvin Rogers, political science and African American studies professor at UCLA writes in his own open letter, there are prominent non-white professors at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Barnard, Michigan, and plenty of other universities who are “positioned to easily say something meaningful about the [Black Lives Matter] movement and its connection to substantive normative issues.” Lebron himself, for example, has recently published a book on the philosophical foundations of Black Lives Matter.