Ian Buruma at Persuasion argues that if there is a problem with Enlightenment thought, it is not because of its ‘whiteness’, but because of the way claims to universalism have been co-opted in indefensible political-military conquests. This should not make us blind to what was, and remains, valuable about the ideas and culture it has shaped:
The best argument for continuing to read Homer, Ovid, Shakespeare or Jane Austen is not to teach people to think like whites. Quite the contrary, the whiteness of these writers is their least interesting facet. We should read them because they express a common humanity. The same is true of Du Fu, the 8th-century Chinese poet, or the best of Persian and Arab poetry, or The Tale of Genji, or indeed Léopold Senghor or James Baldwin. These are important not because they represent voices from different “communities,” but because all people can recognize something of themselves in them.