When Racism Isn’t the Only Problem by Alfie Kohn


When Racism Isn’t the Only Problem

By
 
Alfie Kohn 
alfiekohn.org
8 min



I’ve been thinking lately about policies that are multiply flawed. Drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge is a bad idea not only because it threatens wildlife but also because it exacerbates the climate crisis. Diverting taxpayer funds to religious schools undermines public education while simultaneously breaching the wall between church and state. You get the idea.

Now consider policies that have been rightly condemned as racist (in their impact and sometimes even in their intent) but that are also objectionable for other reasons. Racism is surely a sufficient basis for demanding change, but if other core values are imperiled by the same policies, our case is much stronger, both morally and practically, when we invoke those values, too. Here are seven examples.

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