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Conceptualizing and Theorizing About the Idea of a “Post-Racial” Era



I critically examine the eliminativist theories of race or racism, and the behavioral theory of racism, which provide the theoretical foundation, respectively, for the nominalist and substantive conceptualizations of the idea of a post-racial era. The eliminativist theories seek to eliminate the concepts of “race” or “racism” from our discourse. Such elimination indicates a nominalist sense of the idea of a post-racial era. The behavioral theory of racism argues that racism must be manifested in obviously harmful actions. And because such harmful actions are not prevalent today, this implies that we are in a post-racial era in a substantive sense. I conceptualize some subtle forms of racism that are prevalent today, which cannot be captured by the behavioral theory, but can best be captured by doxastic theories of racism. I conceptualize a substantive idea of a post-racial era, and then argue based on such conceptualization, that we are not in a post-racial era because subtle forms of racism are still prevalent today.