The Age of Enlightenment is popularly linked to the spread of race and racism. The writings of Enlightenment philosophers clearly portray these facts. Immanuel Kant, for instance, classified citizenship into passive and active. A passive citizen is under state’s protection and has to obey the state’s law, but such citizenship does not grant an individual the right to contribute in law making.

On the other hand, an active citizen is expected to take part in law making process. Although scholars have often felt that the distinction is neither liberal nor democratic, Weinrib (2008) argued that the classification exists in all democracies which separate mere inhabitants (like tourists) and those with voting rights.

Kant’s actual view of race comes out in Jamelle Bouie’s work. According to Bouie (2018) Kant believed that perfection of humanity exhibited by white race was unmatched by any other race. Even more, Kant asserted that only whites were most affectionate, passionate, all talented, civilized, obedient, and had highest capacity to govern. In general, Kant considered skin color a crucial factor in determining superiority or inferiority. An example is Kant’s comment on a statement from an African (Bouie, 2018). He claimed that the black nature of the fellow was a clear indication of his stupidity.

It is quite unfortunate that even today, the world is still dominated by the Enlightenment ideas of white superiority. Claudia Rankine explained that racism and micro-aggressions happen every day. These sometimes come out as slip of the tongue but there are many incidents of intentional offensives online, in sports, on TV, etc. (Rankine, 2014). Each incident of racism may seem mild but they cause accumulative stress which interferes with the victim’s ability to perform, speak or continue living. Rankine made it clear that what some whites see as news is the (unfortunate) real-life experience for the blacks.