Charles Mill begins his book explaining the overall difference between white and black philosophy. As a whole, I really like both his ideas and his writing style. Perhaps my favorite party of the first chapter was his mentioning of Ralph Ellison. I have never read Invisible Man. I think it got taken off my senior year reading list the year before I was a senior. Bummer. However, Mill has really inspired me to read the book…if I find time, of course.
Anyways, the part in this chapter that stuck out to me was the part where Mill asserts that those who are those who are “most solidly attached to the world have the luxury of doubting its reality, whereas those whose attachment is more precarious, are those compelled to recognize that it exists.” I think this is an absolutely fantastic statement. Philosophers, students, teachers, etc., forget how lucky they (we) are to be able to remove themselves from the world and philosophize about whatever they desire. I never really thought of questioning one’s existence as being a luxury…in fact, I kind of saw it as a burden. Personally, I think the point of white philosophy, if I can use that phrase so boldly, is to hypothetically question the ways in which reality works and how humans interact within it.That’s an incredibly vague and generic answer, but oh well. Anyways, I think it’s only possible for a select group of humanity to be able to question the world in this way. If the world does not oppress you, if it does not come down upon you so hard that it might as well be physically harming you, then you sure as hell can question whether or not it even exists. This is because you do not feel the weight of the world every day. If you can provide food for yourself then you do not feel the pain of hunger. If you have a happy family then you do not feel the pain of abuse and neglect. If you are financially secure then you do not feel the pain of not knowing how you’ll make it. Of course, whites technically created the modern world, so they're much freer to work within it and define it the way in which they please.
I don’t really know where this is going, but I guess there’s somewhat of pretentiousness in white philosophy. Mill mentions that black philosophy is purely political because their philosophy is their relation to a world that is against them. So what’s the point of white philosophy? To show off the ability to talk about abstract concepts? I’m sure a lot of people can agree, but I often get frustrated with philosophy. I don’t yet fully understand the point of just talking about abstract ideas that seem to have little relevancy in our lives. However, I see a point to black philosophy; it’s more tangible, there’s perhaps more of a means to an end.