Here’s an article from Slate’s Jamelle Bouie.
I always laugh at Right-leaning thinkers that call themselves “thought criminals” or “rebels” by upholding “classical liberalism”. I don’t know how defending the works of dead white guys that have dominated intellectual thought for over 300 years can be considered “rebellious”.
Little do they know, as Bouie points out, the Enlightenment has been FAR more influential than they realize…right up to shaping modern racism.
If you want to be a rebel, you have to say “fuck Kant, Locke, Hobbes, Descartes, Hume, Leibniz, etc, etc.” God knows I love Immanuel Kant, but he also released some pieces of shit works, and I’m sure he was a piece of shit himself. But we don’t have that critical eye. Instead we’re taught (to quote the great documentary The Filth and the Fury) “It’s great. You’re not.”
White people can easily accept this because Europeans greatly benefited from the Enlightenment. As for everyone else? Well, Native Americans were nearly killed off and Africans continued to be enslaved. Oh, and we partially have the Enlightenment to thank for eugenics. Again, as Bouie pointed out, there were many works that were released during the Enlightenment that upheld the notion of White superiority. They were probably just as influential as anything else released during those days, but modern intelligentsia simply ignores them now. So, just imagine having to read the works of someone that hated you because of your skin color and then told that this person was genius and a founder of Western thought.
Would that make feel welcomed to be a part of this great Western tradition?