attached below is my rough draft please check the professor’s notes to fulfill his requirements.
Knowledge of Justice Paper
“Knowledge linked to power, not only assumes the authority of ‘the truth’ but has the power to make itself true. All knowledge, once applied in the real world, has effects, and in that sense at least, ‘becomes true.’ Knowledge, once used to regulate the conduct of others, entails constraint, regulation and the disciplining of practice. Thus, ‘there is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time, power relations (Foucault 1977,27).” This brings us to the point I want to make, which is that knowledge without power is useless. Knowledge without the power of putting that knowledge to use properly makes it useless. Knowledge depends on power.
In his book Power/Knowledge Michael Foucault argues that knowledge is not random. Those who have power, have the power to determine which knowledge is legitimate, and which isn’t. We live in a world where people with power get the opportunities due to their efficacy. People with efficacy have power to get things done, produce, make a difference, alter course of events, and have the power to determine who falls beneath them.
Knowledge could be good, or it can be bad it depends on how it’s used. Applying knowledge can impact those around us. Especially applying false knowledge, or knowledge we don’t know. For example, growing up we hear about people of different groups from people within our own group, then we begin labeling them, and seeing them as different just because we were told so. We fail to realize how strong of an effect applying it might have, or how racist we are acting. Racism started by applying unknown knowledge, it started by the domination of a person based on their essentialist category.
America has faced racism for a very long time and we have seen racial progression over time, but we still have a long way to go. When people stop believing in stereo-types, stop labeling each other, applying knowledge that they aren’t sure about then we would have a chance in putting an end to racism, and an end to the negative effects that it has on our community.
Throughout history, African Americans were singled out, and were all seen as thieves and as outlaws but they weren’t the ones telling their stories. They didn’t always have a chance in telling their story, but when they did people starting relating to them, and understanding their struggle. It’s all about the angle of the story, who is saying the story, and who has the upper hand.
Nowadays in the hip-hop industry all rappers are pretty much outlaws but because they are the ones in control of story and presenting it they become famous, rich, etc. However, if a judge was to tell the rappers story, the rapper would most likely end up in prison. This is the perfect example on how the perspective of the story changes the outcome entirely. Same thing goes with the book The Sellout, because its Paul Beatty telling his own story, he can control the outcome, and can make his story as effective as possible.
The sellout is a satirical novel that is based on the post-racial America. The writer of the novel took an unprecedented decision to talk about a topic that many feared to speak of at that time, racism. This is an entirely comic masterpiece which is often viewed as one of the most honest reflections on race in America. Considering the race of the narrator who is black, the novel presents an opportunity for us to understand race intersects with the experience of an African American in America.
To a greater extent, the novel has played a prominent role in informing the human understanding of racism in America. At the beginning of his narration, he gives a clear picture of how the African Americans were depicted and tagged at that time. He says; “This may be hard to believe, coming from a black man, but I’ve never stolen anything.” (Beatty, 2015). This implies that the experience of African Americans was not that good in America at that time. The African Americans were often viewed as thieves because of their racial identification.
The novel has employed very stinging levels of satire of race and class. He has used satire as an effective vehicle to create knowledge about race in America. He has used significant levels of humor to bring out his central theme of racism (Walls, 2017). His first sentence; “This may be hard to believe, coming from a black man, but I’ve never stolen anything” is satirical (Beatty, 2015). He depicts the African Americans as thieves in a very satirical and humorous manner. It is, therefore, justifiable to conclude that the novel has used satire to convey the theme of post-racial America.
Seeing as how the book became a major success, it adds to my point of how the perspective of the story is important, and how it plays a role in the outcome. In conclusion one shouldn’t apply improper knowledge, because as Foucault has taught us all knowledge once applied to the real world has effects, and these effects might be tremendous.
When only certain people or groups of people control knowledge, oppression is a possibility. Knowledge can be controlled by discourses, or a series of ideas and statements that seem to support the dominant group. Knowledge can also be controlled by ideological state apparatuses, or things that we don’t know for sure, we are taught either by society, religion, or science. An example of an ideological state apparatus would be that in Christianity men are the rightful households to the house according to god. However, today knowledge is mostly controlled by the social media, hence making easier to control and spread that knowledge. So, one should have the power of determining which Knowledge is legitimate, in order to avoid the manipulation that was intended. In conclusion, Knowledge without the power of putting that knowledge to use properly makes it useless. Knowledge depends on power.
Foucault, M. (1972-1977). Selected Interviews and other writings.
Beatty, P. (2015). The sellout: A novel.
Walls, S. (2017). The Sellout by Paul Beatty review – a galvanizing satire of post-racial America. The Guardian. Retrieved from; https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/04/the-sellout-by-paul-beatty-review-galvanizing-satire-post-racial-america Top of Form