Don’t Assume I Will Teach Race

My AOS is in Applied Ethics and my AOC includes Logic. I applied for the job I currently hold because these two areas were advertised in the job listing. During my first semester on the tenure track, I was asked to join the Latin American Studies Minor Committee whose charge was to develop a new minor in Latin American Studies. I have no expertise in Latin American affairs or in Latin American Philosophy, and there are many other faculty at my institution with such expertise. There is a faculty member in the Philosophy/Religion department who has the relevant professional credentials but is not Hispanic and was not asked to join the committee. The inference that I was asked to sit on this committee because I am Hispanic is irresistible.

I am a professional philosopher, not a professional Hispanic philosopher; I want that to be clear. My place of birth is irrelevant to my professional activities. I have now devoted two decades of my life to developing whatever philosophical ability I have; because of that I expect to be treated as a professional, not as a minority. The day whites without professional credentials in European studies are approached to teach such studies because they are European Americans, is the day I will teach Latin American affairs. It will never be professional to ask people to do things because of their ethnic backgrounds.