Can someone be morally responsible for how they perceive? I’ve been thinking a lot about a genre of racist memes that occasionally come across my feed. There will be a picture of a white woman next to a Latino man with a caption about how he murdered this woman and this is why we need to stop undocumented migration. If it were a picture of a white man, people would say that person needs to be prosecuted for murder. The white man would be perceived as an individual that committed the crime. But in these memes, the Latino man is not perceived as a person that committed the crime. He is a synechdoche. He is taken as a part representing the whole, like Homer’s forty sails that set forth for Troy, where sails stand in for ships. Returning to my post on appearing, there is a sort of transcendental aesthetic, a logical of visibility, governing how the Latino is seen. And as a result, it is not that man that needs to be prosecuted for his crime for such people, but the entire group of which he is a member. The racism is not at the discursive level of propositional thought, but at the very level of their perception and how others appear to them. Their very way of seeing things is ethically wrong. If this is true, then the question arises of how we can work at the level of this transcendental aesthetic, this regime of visibility, to transform the very sense of the visible and how things appear.

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