"Equality: Beyond Dualism and Oppression"


by John L. Hodge


Chapter 6

of Anatomy of Racism

ed. David Theo Goldberg (University of Minnesota Press, 1990)



Essay on Equality


This chapter continues where Cultural Bases of Racism and Group Oppression left off.

It presents the ideal of equality as the alternative to oppressive institutions based on dualistic thinking.

The following quote from the chapter’s introduction states what the chapter is about:


“The many forms of oppression, including racism and sexism,

are sustained by an ancient moral concept–the dualism of good and evil. . . .

“The dualism of good and evil contains assumptions that enable those accepting it

to believe that they have greater moral worth than those they oppress.

Their victims, on the other hand, are seen as bad or as motivated by evil.

The treatment of their victims is not viewed as oppression at all, but instead is believed

to be justified as the victory of good over evil.

Dualism helps create and sustain oppression by enabling it to appear rational.


“A conception of human equality stands in opposition to the dualistic justifications of oppression.

This conception is that all human beings are of equal worth. . . ."


 It is the only moral conception that serves as a foundation for practical judgments of right and wrong while making the justification of oppression--including the oppression of oppressors--impossible.”



ORDER HERE: Anatomy Of Racism