In the sixth episode of the Symposium Ethics Podcast, host Jermaine McDonald speaks with Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the Susan B. Morgan Professor of Religion at Goucher College, about her latest book, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, on the one-year anniversaries of a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the three-second shooting of Tamir Rice by police officers on a playground in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Excerpt from Kelly Brown Douglas
This notion of what I call Anglo-Saxon Exceptionalism, because when we talk about American identity we have to be honest about the fact that that identity was forged as an Anglo-Saxon identity, what we are trying to do now is somehow amend people into that American identity (or not) and protect that American identity. This is where I talk about “Stand Your Ground” because Whiteness continues to stand its ground. When we talk about this Anglo-Saxon/American Exceptionalism, if indeed one believes that that they are a superior people and that they have some special connection to a certain set of superior values and etcetera, then it stands to reason that you believe that your way of life and being needs to be spread across the world … That’s imperialism. You always see yourself, over and against others who are not like you. You are always standing in opposition. That’s one of the things that America’s notion of exceptionalism does, it stands in opposition to all others. That’s what Whiteness does. Whiteness always defines itself in opposition to. … It becomes impossible in [this] narrative to say that Black lives or any other lives matter because what that means in this narrative is, “Oh my goodness, that’s a threat to Whiteness.”
- The intro music is entitled “Without You” and can be found at www.freestockmusic.com. Direct link here.
- The outro music is entitled “Concrete Jungle” and can be found at www.freestockmusic.com. Direct link here.
- The mission statement of “Black Lives Matter,” as quoted in the podcast, can be found at www.blacklivesmatter.com/about under “What Does #BlackLivesMatter Mean?”.