Queer Nation on Coke & Sochi
Kansas pro-discrimination bill

Is the US a Racial Democracy?

 JASON STANLEY and VESLA WEAVER  discuss “the liberty of the ancients,” which "consists in having a voice into the policies and representatives that govern us."  And how that liberty is denied to African-American men through our current criminal justice system in a way that perpetuates America's racial democracy previously embodied in slavery and Jim Crow.

They write:

“Man is by nature a political animal,” declares Aristotle in the first book of his “Politics.” “Nature, as we often say, makes nothing in vain, and man is the only animal whom she has endowed with the gift of speech … the power of speech is intended to set forth the expedient and the inexpedient, and therefore likewise the just and the unjust.” Aristotle here means that humans fully realize their nature in political participation, in the form of discussions and decision making with their fellow citizens about the affairs of state. To be barred from political participation is, for Aristotle, the most grievous possible affront to human dignity.

In the United States, blacks are by far the most likely to experience punishment and surveillance and thus are most likely to be prevented from realizing human dignity. 


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