If a professor told you about pushback from their students, you might assume that their students are complaining about having too much homework, or that the assigned reading is boring. The philosopher Alison Bailey says that she often encounters a different, and much more problematic, form of resistance in her classroom. She calls it “epistemic pushback” and explains that students often do it without even noticing. On today’s episode, we discuss the phenomenon of “privilege protective epistemic pushback.” It’s a form of resistance in which students who are members of dominant groups derail classroom conversations that make them uncomfortable into an “epistemic home turf” where they feel more comfortable. Alison Bailey explains exactly what epistemic pushback is, and discusses the ways it slows down classroom conversations.

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Ethics On My Mind is our special bonus series for quick discussions of timely ethics issues. Earlier this month, large groups of white supremacists held rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia that erupted in violence, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others. These rallies are just the latest manifestations of a growing white supremacist movement in the United States. It can be easy for well-meaning white people to try to distance themselves from the hateful actions of a small number of self-identified supremacists. But as we’ll hear from the philosopher Alison Bailey and women’s studies scholar Tamara Beauboeuf, white oppression can take many forms. A behavior known as “white talk” is just one of these forms of oppression. For this episode of Ethics on My Mind, we’re re-releasing a segment about the behavior known as “white talk” from episode 6: The “Burden” of Whiteness.

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Ever wonder what role white people should people play in fighting against racism? The legendary feminist scholar and racial justice activist Peggy McIntosh has some ideas. Maybe you have also wondered, “why does it always feel like white people avoid the topic of race?” To answer this question, we bring on the philosopher Alison Bailey to discuss a phenomenon known as “white talk.” Join us on a journey through whiteness in the United States in which we explore a Crayola crayon factory, police stations in Massachusetts, and Donald Trump claiming to be “the least racist person you will ever meet.”

What do you think? Send us a voice memo to: examiningethics@gmail.com. Or leave a voicemail: 765-658-5857. We might feature your comment on a future episode!

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