I planned to write about human relationships with robots in the movies Robot and Frank and Ex Machina. I will do so later, but with the earthquake in Nepal and the events in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray on my mind, I wanted to say something about relationships between human beings.
Nonviolence has been in the news this week, with articles such as Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Nonviolence as Compliance” and Benji Hart’s“Baltimore’s Violent Protestors are Right.” There’s even an article on Gandhi and Baltimore by Tom Hawking.
If nonviolence is understood as passively acquiescing to injustice (as the click bait headline of Coates’s article suggests while the actual article does not), then it’s my duty as a philosopher to point out that it’s simply inaccurate to claim that this is nonviolent philosophy as understood the tradition of Gandhi and King.
But honestly I’m not interested in being another white person to lecture African Americans about nonviolence. I’m also not interesting in being another white person to use the situation in Baltimore to make sweeping claims about violence and social change, which I find just as problematic.
In this post I am addressing my fellow white Americans, because we are the people most in need of the principles of nonviolence.