chapter  31
15 Pages

Race, Luck, and the Moral Emotions

WithSamantha Vice

This chapter utilizes the label "black" in the inclusive political sense still standard in post-apartheid South African political and theoretical discourse, to refer to a variety of identities that have occupied an inferior racial position. So in this inclusive sense, "black" applies to people of various ethnic and national origins— African; Afro-Caribbean, and South Asian in the United Kingdom; African Americans and Asian Americans, American Indians, and Latino/as, in the United States; people of mixed race. Particular black identities may have significantly different racial experiences, but "black" is still a politically and morally powerful category. The chapter explores the implications of taking moral luck seriously in the discussion about racial identity. It shows that such luck renders self-directed emotions of blame and guilt from both whites and blacks inappropriate. White people's relative success in the world is ill-gotten, inherited through an unjust system and enabled by the secure structures of their lives.