Racism and Impure Hearts

In Michael Levine & Tamas Pataki (eds.), Racism in Mind: Philosophical Explanations of Racism and Its Implications. Cornell UP (2004)
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If racism is a matter of possessing racist beliefs, then it would seem that its cure involves purging one’s mind of all racist beliefs. But the truth is more complicated, and does not permit such a straightforward strategy. Racist beliefs are resistant to subjective repudiation, and even those that are so repudiated are resistant to lasting expulsion from one’s belief system. Moreover, those that remain available for use in cognition can shape thought and behavior even in the event that one has recognized their falsehood. Yet if one is intent upon combating the racism within one’s mind, one is not without effective cognitive countermeasures that can render one’s racist beliefs ineffectual.
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