Equality Trouble: Sameness and Difference in Twentieth-Century Race Law

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-07-22 19:40Z by Steven

Equality Trouble: Sameness and Difference in Twentieth-Century Race Law

California Law Review
Volume 88, Issue 6 (2000)
pages 1923-2015

Angela P. Harris, Professor of Law
University of California, Davis

In this Essay, Professor Harris suggests that “race law” consists not only of antidiscrimination law, but law pertaining to the formation, recognition, and maintenance of racial groups, as well as the law regulating the relationships among these groups. Harris argues that a constant tension in the story of race law in the past century has been the effort to reconcile constitutional and statutory norms of equality with the desire for white dominance. In the first part of the century, it was assumed that the fact of racial difference required management through sound public policy; in the second part of the century, race gradually became understood as an arbitrary distinction that the law should ignore. Neither treating race as difference nor as sameness, however, has succeeded in accomplishing racial justice.

Read the entire article here.

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Reflections: An Anthology of African-American Philosophy, 1st Edition

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Law, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, United States, Women on 2012-02-06 05:26Z by Steven

Reflections: An Anthology of African-American Philosophy, 1st Edition

Cengage Learning
2000
464 pages
Paperback ISBN-10: 0534573932  ISBN-13: 9780534573935

Edited by:

James Montmarquet, Professor of Philosophy
Tennessee State University

William Hardy, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Tennessee State University

This anthology provides the instructor with a sufficient quantity, breadth, and diversity of materials to be the sole text for a course on African-American philosophy. It includes both classic and more contemporary readings by both professional philosophers and other people with philosophically intriguing viewpoints. The material provided is diverse, yet also contains certain themes which instructors can effectively employ to achieve the element of unity. One such theme, the debate of the “nationalist” focus on blackness vs. the many critics of this focus, runs through a great number of issues and readings.

Table of Contents

  • Preface.
  • Introduction.
  • PART ONE: FOUNDATIONS-RACE AND RACISM.
    • 1. W.E.B. DuBois: From The Souls of Black Folk.
    • 2. Molefi K. Asante: Racism, Consciousness, and Afrocentricity.
    • 3. Kwame Anthony Appiah: Racisms.
    • 4. J. L. A. Garcia: The Heart of Racisms. Contemporary Issue: Views on “Mixed Race”.
    • 5. Naomi Zack: Mixed Black and White Race and Public Policy.
    • 6. Lewis R. Gordon: Race, Biraciality, and Mixed Race-In Theory.
  • PART TWO: MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY-NATIONALISM, SEPARATISM, AND ASSIMILATION.
    • 7. Martin R. Delaney: The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored Peoples of the United States.
    • 8. Frederick Douglass: The Future of the Negro, The Future of the Colored Race, The Nation’s Problem, and On Colonization.
    • 9. Marcus Garvey: From Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey.
    • 10. Maulana Karenga: The Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles): Their Meaning and Message.
    • 11. Molefi K. Asante: The Afrocentric Idea in Education.
    • 12. Cornel West: The Four Traditions of Response. Contemporary Issue: “Ebonics”.
    • 13. Geneva Smitherman: Black English/Ebonics: What it Be Like?
    • 14. Milton Baxter: Educating Teachers about Educating the Oppressed. Feminism, Womanism, and Gender Relations.
    • 15. Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?
    • 16. Patricia Hill Collins: The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought.
    • 17. bell hooks: Reflections on Race and Sex.
    • 18. Angela P. Harris: Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory.
    • 19. Charles W. Mills: Do Black Men Have a Moral Duty to Marry Black Women? Contemporary Issue: Women’s Rights and Black Nationalism.
    • 20. E. Francis White: Africa on My Mind: Gender, Counterdiscourse, and African American Nationalism.
    • 21. Amiri Baraka: Black Woman. Violence, Liberation, and Social Justice.
    • 22. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
    • 23. Malcolm X: Message to the Grass Roots.
    • 24. Howard McGary: Psychological Violence, Physical Violence, and Racial Oppression.
    • 25. Laurence M. Thomas: Group Autonomy and Narrative Identity. Contemporary Issue: Affirmative Action.
    • 26. Bernard Boxill: Affirmative Action.
    • 27. Shelby Steele: Affirmative Action. Ethics and Value Theory.
    • 28. Alain Locke: Values and Imperatives.
    • 29. Michele M. Moody-Adams: Race, Class, and the Social Construction of Self-Respect.
    • 30. Laurence M. Thomas: Friendship.
    • 31. Cornel West: Nihilism in Black America.
    • 32. Katie G. Cannon: Unctuousness as a Virtue: According to the Life of Zora Neale Hurston. Contemporary Issue: A Classic Question of Values, Rights, and Education.
    • 33. Booker T. Washington: Atlanta Exposition Address.
    • 34. W.E.B. DuBois: The Talented Tenth.
  • PART THREE: PHILOSOPHY AND RELATED DISCIPLINES.
    • 35. Patricia J. Williams: Alchemical Notes: Reconstructing Ideals from Deconstructed Rights.
    • 36. Regina Austin: Sapphire Bound!
    • 37. Derrick Bell: Racial Realism-After We’re Gone: Prudent Speculations on America in a Post-Racial Epoch.
    • 38. John Arthur: Critical Race Theory: A Critique. Contemporary Issue: Racist Hate Speech.
    • 39. Charles Lawrence and Gerald Gunther: Prohibiting Racist Speech: A Debate. Aesthetics.
    • 40. James Baldwin: Everybody’s Protest Novel.
    • 41. Larry Neal: The Black Arts Movement.
    • 42. Angela Y. Davis: Billy Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”: Music and Social Consciousness.
    • 43. Ralph Ellison: Blues People. Contemporary Issue: Rap Music.
    • 44. Crispin Sartwell: Rap Music and the Uses of Stereotype.
    • 45. Kimberle Crenshaw: Beyond Racism and Misogyny: Black Feminism and 2 Live Crew. Philosophy and Theology.
    • 46. David Walker: David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United stated.
    • 47. James H. Cone: God and Black Theology.
    • 48. Victor Anderso: Ontological Blackness in Theology.
    • 49. Anthony Pinn: Alternative Perspectives and Critiques. Contemporary Issue: Womanist Theology and the Traditionalist Black Church.
    • 50. Cheryl J. Sanders: Christian Ethics and Theology in a Womanist Perspective.
    • 51. Delores Williams: Womanist Reflections on “the Black Church,” the African-American Denominational Churches and the Universal Hagar’s Spiritual Church.
  • SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING.
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Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2011-04-02 18:04Z by Steven

Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters

Stanford University Press
2009
312 pages
11 tables, 15 figures, 16 illustrations
Cloth ISBN: 9780804759984
Paper ISBN: 9780804759991
E-book ISBN: 9780804770996

Edited by:

Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Professor of Asian American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Shades of Difference addresses the widespread but little studied phenomenon of colorism—the preference for lighter skin and the ranking of individual worth according to skin tone. Examining the social and cultural significance of skin color in a broad range of societies and historical periods, this insightful collection looks at how skin color affects people’s opportunities in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America.

Is skin color bias distinct from racial bias? How does skin color preference relate to gender, given the association of lightness with desirability and beauty in women? The authors of this volume explore these and other questions as they take a closer look at the role Western-dominated culture and media have played in disseminating the ideal of light skin globally. With its comparative, international focus, this enlightening book will provide innovative insights and expand the dialogue around race and gender in the social sciences, ethnic studies, African American studies, and gender and women’s studies.

Contents

    Contributors

  • Introduction: Economies of Color—Angela P. Harris
  • Part I The Significance of Skin Color: Transnational Divergences and Convergences
    • 1. The Social Consequences of Skin Color in Brazil—Edward Telles
    • 2. A Colorstruck World: Skin Tone, Achievement, and Self-Esteem Among African American Women—Verna M. Keith
    • 3. The Latin Americanization of U.S. Race Relations: A New Pigmentocracy—Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and David R. Dietrich
  • Part II Meanings of Skin Color: Race, Gender, Ethnic Class, and National Identity
    • 4. Filipinos and the Color Complex: Ideal Asian Beauty—Joanne L. Rondilla
    • 5. The Color of an Ideal Negro Beauty Queen: Miss Bronze 1961-1968—Maxine Leeds Craig
    • 6. Caucasian, Coolie, Black, or White? Color and Race in the Indo-Caribbean Diaspora—Aisha Khan
    • 7. Ihe Dynamics of Color: Mestizaje, Racism, and Blackness in Veracruz, Mexico—Christina A. Sue
  • Part III Consuming Lightness: Modernity, Transnationalism, and Commodification
    • 8. Skin Tone and the Persistence of Biological Race in Egg Donation for Assisted Reproduction—Charis Thompson
    • 9. Fair Enough? Color and the Commodification of Self in Indian Matrimonials—Jyotsna Vaid
    • 10. Consuming Lightness: Segmented Markets and Global Capital in the Skin-Whitening Trade—Evelyn Nakano Glenn
    • 11. Skin Lighteners in South Africa: Transnational Entanglements and Technologies of the Self—Lynn M. Thomas
  • Part IV Countering Colorism: Legal Approaches
    • 12. Multilayered Racism: Courts’ Continued Resistance to Colorism Claims—Taunya Lovell Banks
    • 13. The Case for Legal Recognition of Colorism Claims—Trina Jones
    • 14. Latinos at Work: When Color Discrimination Involves More Than Color—Tanya KaterĂ­ Hernandez
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index

Read the Introduction here.

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Erasure and Recognition: The Census, Race and the National Imagination

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-05-03 01:35Z by Steven

Erasure and Recognition: The Census, Race and the National Imagination

Northwestern University Law Review
Number 97, Number 4 (2003)
Pages 1701-1768

Naomi Mezey, Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center

This Article is concerned with the constitutive power of the census with respect to race. It is an examination of the U.S. Census as an aspect of what Angela Harris calls race law, “law pertaining to the formation, recognition, and maintenance of racial groups, as well as the law regulating the relationships among these groups.” While others have noted and explored the epistemological and constitutive functions of the census race categories, my aim is to unpack this insight in the context of two specific examples of categorical change and contest: the addition of a Chinese racial category in 1870 and the debate over a multiracial category in 2000. In addition, I analyze the differing sites of categorical reimagining in each instance, further exploring how the census has been deeply influential in two different directions: informing, defining and naming the racial identity of specific groups, and informing an imagined racial identity of “the nation.” The census is a kind of mass public performance of nationality; it is both a legal and cultural mechanism for imagining the American nation, a nation that has always represented itself with racial specificity. Over 200 years the content and significance of its racial categories have varied considerably, but the census appears to consistently play a crucial role in both constructing and reinventing a national identity and influencing the self-definition and identity of a number of subnational groups. In short, this paper is about how census classifications have contributed to our understanding of race, to the grammar and logic of identity discourse, and to a particular way of imagining the nation. Its primary aim is to explore some of the dynamics between official racial counting, popular conceptions of race, and racialized views of the nation. In doing so, it will address a series of questions. When do census or other legal categories seem to drive popular notions of race? When do popular understandings of race seem to drive official categorization? When and how are the politics of racial classification mobilized toward national inclusion or exclusion? A secondary aim of this Article is to aid in enlarging our sense of what “law” is by investigating alternate legal forms; in this case, by pursuing how a state apparatus like the census is not just legal by virtue of its constitutional and statutory origins, but in the way it generates and enforces cultural norms, race-based rights and disabilities, and the boundaries of identity.

Table of Contents

I.     INTRODUCTION
II.   NATION, NUMBERS, AND POWER
III. ENUMERATION AS DISCIPLINE: COUNTING THE CHINESE
IV.  ENUMERATION AS ASPIRATION: THE DEBATE OVER A MULTIRACIAL CATEGORY
V.   CONCLUSION

…2. Policing Racial Identity.

Embedded in the congressional testimony on census categories is another debate about the role of the census in the production of identity: it is a debate about what race is, how we confer and “administer” it, and who gets to define its contested contours. And the answers to those questions matter to how we imagine ourselves as a nation.  It is in this sense that the battle over a multiracial census category participates in the larger politics of “racial formation,” and control over racial identity. This debate has serious implications for our national imagination at a time when there is deep ambivalence about the racial choices available to us.

In policing the boundaries of their different racial identities, the civil rights groups seek to protect a particular vision of the group against attack from both within and without. From within, they have to confront the dissent or exit of those likely to identify as multiracial, and from without they have to fight against deracialization by those who see a multiracial category as a step toward colorblindness. The danger in both cases is the ease with which such maneuvers end up essentializing race. For example, evident in arguments against census recognition of a separate multiracial category by various opponents are implicit claims that multiracial advocates are betraying their (minority) race. While arguments by opponents of a multiracial category take a number of forms, almost all of them are at heart claims that ”you are really one of us,” and to the extent that multiracial people reject that appeal, they are serving the interests of racial subordination. Such moves are emblematic of the tendency of all cultural and racial groups to discipline from within and to use law to protect themselves from redefinition and “cultural dissent.” What opponents fail to appreciate is that their attempts to police the borders of group identity are partly responsible for the multiracial movement. As Maria Root notes, “multiracial people experience a ‘squeeze’ of oppression as people of color and by people of color.”

The problem, of course, is that the opponents of a multiracial category are also right; the dissent they are trying to suppress is potentially dangerous to efforts aimed at ameliorating discrimination on the basis of race. Internal resistance has been used in the service of external attack. For example, opponents worry about how attractive the multiracial movement has been to some alarming bedfellows on the right (and left, it should be admitted) who seek to destabilize racial categories altogether.” This is not an inconsequential concern. Newt Gingrich endorsed adding a multiracial category not only as a step toward overcoming racial division but also as an effort to get rid of race categories altogether. Gingrich’s push toward ultimate color blindness has gained many allies in the 1980s and 1990s who have wanted to deracialize American law and culture. john powell has pointed out that this position is not necessarily benign. “The language used by the new right of a raceless, colorblind society is viewed by some not simply as an error, but as a strategy or racial project to maintain white supremacy and racial hierarchy.” Yet it is not clear that those who advocate dismantling racial hierarchies should embrace our current and increasingly incoherent race categories. As Angela Harris has observed, “the notion of race is problematic for anti-racists because at the most subtle, seldom examined level, ‘race’ entrances us in a familiar but dangerous metaphysics: a representational economy in which bodies stand in both for power and history…

…What is particularly interesting about the high percentage of multiracial children is that children do not fill out census forms. Children are being identified as multiracial by their parents, or by the parent who fills out the census form as the head of the household. This tends to corroborate the claim that the multiracial movement has been fueled by parents of multiracial children.  But it also underlines the instability of this category, not to mention the other categories as well. We do not know, for example, if these children will continue to identify as multiracial when it is their turn to fill out the census form. Lee suggests that the “number of people who identify with more than one race is likely to increase as interracial marriages increase.” This may be so, but we also know that many people who could report themselves as multiracial choose not to. We also know that how people report their identity depends on the prevailing discourse of race and the options available at any given time. Current multiracial children, and multiracial adults for that matter, may in the future decide not to identity themselves as multiracial. They may decide to identify with a single minority race, or they may decide to identify themselves as white. When these multiracial children are grown, the categories will undoubtedly have changed, just as they have every year since 1790, and with them, the debate about race and identity. What is clear is that “the parameters of self-definition have never been open-ended, for the state has always furnished the range of available, credible, and reliable-that is, of licensed and so permissible-categories in which self-definition could occur.”…

Read the entire article here.

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