White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of U.S. Police Racial Profiling and Homicide


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.4 X 0.5 X 8.4 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Naomi Zack is professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon. She is author and editor of a dozen books, including The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (2011) and Ethics for Disaster (2009).


We associate philosophy with insights into timeless matters, but philosophy is also capable of sharply illuminating the here and now. In this courageous intervention in the debate on a subject that has galvanized national attention--the police killings of unarmed young black men--philosopher Naomi Zack challenges conventional wisdom both black and white, urging a rethinking of our conceptions of white privilege and the best approach to theorizing social justice.--Charles W. Mills, CUNY Graduate Center
Through her fundamental belief in equal protection for all human persons, Naomi Zack demands our attention with a legal, political, and ethical vision that does not falter. Indeed, in this text--one that invites critical discussion and controversy regarding such contemporary, philosophically, and politically hot topic issues as white privilege--Zack is committed to clarifying, critiquing and undoing the continued weight of injustice.--George Yancy, professor of philosophy, Emory University
Lucid assessment...[of racism] is hard work and not for the faint of spirit. Naomi Zack's White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of U.S. Police Racial Profiling and Homicide is a case in point. It consists of three essays plus a preface and conclusion. Remarks by the author indicate it was prepared in the final weeks of last year, with the events in Ferguson, Mo., fresh in mind. But don't let the title or the book's relative brevity fool you. The author is a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon -- and when she takes up terms such as 'white privilege' or 'black rights, ' it is to scrutinize the concepts rather than to use them in slogans. Despite its topicality, Zack's book is less a commentary on recent events than part of her continuing effort to think, as a philosopher, about questions of race and justice that are long-standing, but also prone to flashing up, on occasion, with great urgency -- demanding a response, whether or not philosophers (or anyone else) is prepared to answer them.--Inside Higher Ed
Odds are by the time you read [this review] another young Black man will have been shot and killed by a police officer. It is out of this fierce sense of urgency that Naomi Zack wrote White Privilege and Black Rights. Her short book reads more than anything else as a desperate attempt to understand the current crisis facing young Black men and the police officers who kill them.... While she may describe its focus as narrow, the book's conceptual and methodological ambit is broad, encompassing philosophy, legal analysis, history, and public policy.... Such a critique it seems must be exterior to the legal process. One hopes that as a legal outsider, Zack continues her important contribution to such a critique.--Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books