2022-03Thematic Section
Not for the Faint of Heart: Becoming an Antiracist Philosopher in a Society Polarized by Critical Race Theory


This paper examines the polemical nature of anti-racist education and discourse in America today. On one side of this issue are those who think of the efforts toward inclusion, diversity, and the pursuit of social justice in academia as serving positive ends. On the other side are those who oppose and vilify such efforts as evidence of the destructive ethos of liberal education. This has led to a situation where universities and schools across the country have seen professors and teachers, including philosophers, experience backlash for speaking seriously and courageously about confronting the problem of racism in society. One recent example of this anomaly is the kind of faux outrage or moral panic that drives the hysteria against Critical Race Theory, an inquiry that examines the intersection of race and law in the United States, as well as unearthing the reality of structural racism in America, often disguised in the mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice. This faux moral panic has been used by legislatures across the country, as the raison d’être, to pass bans and enforce policies or rules that restricts how professors (including philosophers), and teachers can talk about race, systemic racism, structural oppression, or the problem of racial injustice in the classroom. In this paper, I explore how this polemical situation creates significant challenges and unique possibilities for the discourse of philosophy, especially for those who are interested in becoming antiracist philosophers, in the context of such legal rules and restrictions. This is not for the faint of heart.


anti-racist philosopher, Critical Race Theory (CRT), diversity, philosophy, racism

How to cite:

Oluwayomi, Adebayo. “Not for the Faint of Heart: Becoming an Antiracist Philosopher in a Society Polarized by Critical Race Theory.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 6, no. 3 (2022):  5-23. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2022.0022.


Adebayo Oluwayomi
Department of Philosophy, West Chester University
700 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19383, USA


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