Essay on Ethics in Black Like Me by John Griffin

Decent Essays
Black Like Me is the incredibly interesting story of John Griffin, a Caucasian man who decided to try being African American in the south during the 60s. In this analysis paper I will be addressing the ethics of this project, his potential self-deception, his ability to pass unnoticed as an imposter, along with his courage for attempting such a dangerous project in the Deep South. His project was a success and a remarkable accomplishment for such an individual.
Racism violates universal rights, and therefore is ethically wrong says Asking Ethical Questions. John Griffin when disguised as an African American experienced a great deal of racism. Undeniable what he experienced was ethically wrong, but was his experiment also ethically wrong?
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In addition when he is switching back and forth from black to white he mentions how he could sponge the dye off and return to white. At the start of the book he mentions how the only thing the same about him was his sweat. If the dye could so easily be removed by the sponge then wouldn’t him sweating and wiping the sweat away remove some dye? Or his sweat would be a much darker color. At the end stops taking his pills and is relying merely on the dye.
One thing that really stuck out to me in this book is where he says “racists are not the pipe smoking type.” The reason this quote really stood out to me is that it’s such a blatant stereotype on the author’s behalf. His whole idea is to see the other side of racism. An issue with racism is the belief of stereotypes. His own use of stereotypes makes him seem less credible. In Questioning Our Egocentrism self-deception is defined as humans living with the unrealistic but confident sense of fundamentally figuring out the way things actually are. Undeniable Griffin saw much more of the lives of African Americans than any other Caucasian American at the time. However I think he was self-deceptive. If you pay attention to the time frame of the events his actual time as an African American went from November 7th 1959 to December 14th 1960 this means he was an African American for 396 days. Actually it’s even less then that as he
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