Struck by Lightning? Interracial Intimacy and Racial Justice

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2013-12-29 14:36Z by Steven

Struck by Lightning? Interracial Intimacy and Racial Justice

Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 25, Number 2, May 2003
pages 528-562
DOI: 10.1353/hrq.2003.0017

Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies
University of California, Davis

Kristina L. Burrows

Rachel F. Moran, Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press 2001), pp. xii, 271. Cloth, $30.

If true love is like lightning, what can romantic choice have to do with racial justice[?].

I. Introduction

Over the last decade, growing attention has been paid to the mixed race population in the United States. Much of the literature on the subject offers compelling stories of the life experiences of persons with African American and white parents. In addition, the controversy over the proper classification of mixed race people for Census 2000 attracted national attention.

Only recently has legal history scholarship begun to analyze the rich history of the legal regulation of racial mixture in the United States and its modern day repercussions. Breaking important new ground in this emerging field, Rachel Moran’s book Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance represents the first comprehensive review of the intricacies of the law and policy of racial mixture, ambitiously surveying wide-ranging legal terrain from the anti-miscegenation laws to transracial adoption. By tackling a much-neglected topic that is central to a full appreciation of civil rights in the modern United States, Interracial Intimacy deserves attention and will likely serve as an influential guide to future research in the field.

As Interracial Intimacy unravels the law’s efforts to regulate and respond to intermarriage, it offers powerful evidence that race is a social and legal construct, a product of our collective mind rather than an immutable biological fact. But Moran goes well beyond that. She demonstrates how intermarriage is inextricably linked to the quest for racial justice. A central theme of Interracial Intimacy is that the prevailing racial segregation in the United States makes intermarriage far less likely than would be the case in an integrated society. The low rate of interracial relationships is a function of pervasive housing, school, and employment segregation, as well as the lack of racial diversity in higher education. Socioeconomic class disparities reflected in residential and employment patterns factor in as well, implicating the connection between race, class, and marriage.

Put simply, people are less likely to select mates of another race if they rarely meet them. Because Americans of different races continue to live separate daily lives, we should expect that people will continue to marry others of their own race. Moran’s reference to love striking “like lightning” makes love seem all the more romantic. However, as we all know, one’s location can affect whether he or she is hit by lightning. So too, location and geography matter for love and romance. The effect of location on love and romance is one of Interracial Intimacy’s powerful insights. Somewhat ironically, Moran proves that, at one level, the segregationists of the old South were entirely correct: segregation and “race mixing” indeed are—and always have been—deeply interrelated. As Gunnar Myrdal observed in his classic study of race relations in the United States, “[e]very single measure [of segregation] is defended as necessary to block ‘social equality’ which in its turn is held necessary to prevent ‘intermarriage.'”

One can only speculate why serious legal scholarship has failed for so long to analyze the connection between love, intimacy, and racial justice. In part, the failure may stem from the view that intensely private and personal decisions are immune from legal purview. By implicating issues of passion and eroticism, intimacy may appear to be beyond rational analysis. Moran’s book breaks the long silence in legal scholarship on this critically important topic.

Interracial Intimacy also identifies deeply perplexing questions worthy of further exploration. Notably, African Americans marry whites much less frequently than Asian Americans, Latina/os, and Native Americans do. Are these other minorities effectively “white,” or at least “whiter,” than African Americans? One can only wonder about the future of interracial marriage between African Americans and whites and what it portends for racial progress.

Ultimately, Interracial Intimacy leaves open whether optimism or pessimism is justified about black/white intermarriage in the next millennium and its impact on civil rights in the United States. In that way, the book proves…

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So, why are we so loyal to a president who is not loyal to us?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-05-06 15:28Z by Steven

So, why are we so loyal to a president who is not loyal to us?

The Guardian

Gary Younge, Feature Writer and Columnist

Kevin Johnson was pilloried for suggesting Obama has not been good for African Americans. But his question was a good one

Back when affirmative action was white, educational institutions were created for African Americans who were barred from admission elsewhere. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) became the breeding grounds for the “talented tenth” – the elite class groomed to lead black America. Towards the end of the last century HBCUs had produced 75% of black PhDs, 85% of black doctors and 80% of black federal judges. Among the most prestigious was Morehouse, in Atlanta, which counts Martin Luther King, Samuel Jackson and Spike Lee among its alumni.

Later this month, Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at Morehouse’s graduation ceremony. Another invited speaker was Morehouse alumnus Kevin Johnson, a prominent Philadelphia pastor. Then Johnson, an ardent Obama supporter during both presidential runs, wrote an article criticising the president for failing to appoint enough black cabinet members and to address the needs of African Americans in general. “Obama has not moved African-American leadership forward but backwards,” he wrote. “We are not in the driver’s seat – or even in the car … Why are we so loyal to a president who is not loyal to us?”

Shortly afterwards his speaker’s slot was removed. Instead of addressing the students alone, the day before Obama, he will now be one of a three-person panel curated “to reflect a broader and more inclusive range of viewpoints”…

Read the entire article here.

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Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 3rd Edition

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Judaism, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2011-10-18 02:50Z by Steven

Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape, 3rd Edition

Cengage Learning
480 pages
ISBN-10: 1111519536; ISBN-13: 9781111519537

Edited by

Elizabeth Higginbotham, Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Criminology
University of Delaware

Margaret L. Andersen, Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor of Sociology
University of Delaware

This engaging reader is organized in four major thematic parts, subdivided into thirteen different sections. Part I (“The Social Basis of Race and Ethnicity”) establishes the analytical frameworks that are now being used to think about race in society. The section examines the social construction of race and ethnicity as concepts and experience. Part II (“Continuity and Change: How We Got Here and What It Means”) explores both the historical patterns of inclusion and exclusion that have established racial and ethnic inequality, while also explaining some of the contemporary changes that are shaping contemporary racial and ethnic relations. Part III (“Race and Social Institutions”) examines the major institutional structures in contemporary society and investigates patterns of racial inequality within these institutions. Persistent inequality in the labor market and in patterns of community, residential, and educational segregation continue to shape the life chances of different groups. Part IV (“Building a Just Society”) concludes the book by looking at both large-scale contexts of change, such as those reflected in the movement to elect the first African American president.

  • Major themes include coverage showing the diversity of experiences that now constitute “race” in the United States; teaching students the significance of race as a socially constructed system of social relations; showing the connection between different racial identities and the social structure of race; understanding how racism works as a belief system rooted in societal institutions; providing a social structural analysis of racial inequality; providing a historical perspective on how the racial order has emerged and how it is maintained; examining how people have contested the dominant racial order; exploring current strategies for building a just multiracial society.
  • Each section includes several pages of analysis that outline the main concepts to be covered, providing a clear initial roadmap for reading and a convenient resource students can use with assignments and while preparing for exams.
  • The text’s unique organization according to overarching themes and relevant subtopics, including identity, social construction of race, why race matters, inequality, and segregation, places the articles into a broader context to promote greater understanding.
  • This innovative text looks beyond a simple black/white dichotomy and focuses more broadly on an extremely wide range of ethnic groups, providing a much more realistic and useful exploration of key topics that is more relevant and compelling for today’s diverse student population.

Table of Contents

    • 1. The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 1. Howard F. Taylor, “Defining Race”
      • 2. Joseph L. Graves, Jr., “The Race Myth”
      • 3. Abby Ferber, “Planting the Seed: The Invention of Race”
      • 4. Karen Brodkin, “How Did Jews Become White Folks?”
      • 5. Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “On Racial Formation”—Student Exercises
    • 2. What Do You Think? Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Racism
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 6. Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer, “American Racism in the Twenty-First Century”
      • 7. Charles A. Gallagher, “Color-Blind Privilege: The Social and Political Functions of Erasing the Color Line in Post Race America”
      • 8. Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria”
      • 9. Rainier Spencer, “Mixed Race Chic”
      • 10. Rebekah Nathan, “What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student”—Student Exercises
    • 3. Representing Race and Ethnicity: The Media and Popular Culture
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 11. Craig Watkins, “Black Youth and the Ironies of Capitalism”
      • 12. Fatimah N. Muhammed, “How to NOT Be 21st Century Venus Hottentots”
      • 13. Rosie Molinary, “María de la Barbie”
      • 14. Charles Springwood and C. Richard King, “‘Playing Indian’: Why Native American Mascots Must End”
      • 15. Jennifer C. Mueller, Danielle Dirks, and Leslie Houts Picca, “Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Order”—Student Exercises
    • 4. Who Are You? Race and Identity
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 16. Beverly Tatum, interview with John O’Neil, “Why are the Black Kids Sitting Together?”
      • 17. Priscilla Chan, “Drawing the Boundaries”
      • 18. Michael Omi and Taeku Lee, “Barack Like Me: Our First Asian American President”
      • 19. Tim Wise, “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son”—Student Exercises
    • 5. Who Belongs? Race, Rights, and Citizenship
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 20. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, “Citizenship and Inequality”
      • 21. C. Matthew Snipp, “The First Americans: American Indians”
      • 22. Susan M. Akram and Kevin R. Johnson, “Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration Law After September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims”
      • 23. Peggy Levitt, “Salsa and Ketchup: Transnational Migrants Saddle Two Worlds”—Student Exercises
    • 6. The Changing Face of America: Immigration
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 24. Mae M. Ngai, “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America”
      • 25. Nancy Foner, “From Ellis Island to JFK: Education in New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration”
      • 26. Charles Hirschman and Douglas S. Massey, “Places and Peoples: The New American Mosaic”
      • 27. Pew Research Center, “Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America”—Student Exercises
    • 7. Exploring Intersections: Race, Class, Gender and Inequality
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 28. Patricia Hill Collins, “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection”
      • 29. Yen Le Espiritu, “Theorizing Race, Gender, and Class”
      • 30. Roberta Coles and Charles Green, “The Myth of the Missing Black Father”
      • 31. Nikki Jones, “From Good to Ghetto”
      • 32. Gladys García-Lopez and Denise A. Segura, “‘They Are Testing You All the Time’: Negotiating Dual Femininities among Chicana Attorneys”—Student Exercises
    • 8. Race and the Workplace
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 33. William Julius Wilson, “Toward a Framework for Understanding Forces that Contribute to or Reinforce Racial Inequality”
      • 34. Deirdre A. Royster, “Race and The Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs”
      • 35. Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, “Families on the Frontier”.
      • 36. Angela Stuesse, “Race, Migration and Labor Control”—Student Exercises
    • 9. Shaping Lives and Love: Race, Families, and Communities
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 37. Joe R. Feagin and Karyn D. McKinney, ”The Family and Community Costs of Racism”
      • 38. Dorothy Roberts, “Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare”
      • 39. Kumiko Nemoto, “Interracial Relationships: Discourses and Images”
      • 40. Zhenchao Qian, “Breaking the Last Taboo: Interracial Marriage in America”—Student Exercises
    • 10. How We Live and Learn: Segregation, Housing, and Education
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 41. John E. Farley and Gregory D. Squires, “Fences and Neighbors: Segregation in the 21st Century”
      • 42. Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro, “Sub-Prime as a Black Catastrophe”
      • 43. Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee, “Historic Reversals, Accelerating Resegregation and the Need for New Integration Strategies”
      • 44. Heather Beth Johnson and Thomas M. Shapiro, “Good Neighborhoods, Good Schools: Race and the ‘Good Choices’ of White Families”—Student Exercises
    • 11. Do We Care? Race, Health Care and the Environment
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 45. H. Jack Geiger, “Health Disparities: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know? What Should We Do?”
      • 46. Shirley A. Hill, “Cultural Images and the Health of African American Women”
      • 47. David Naguib Pellow and Robert J. Brulle, “Poisoning the Planet: The Struggle for Environmental Justice”
      • 48. Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright, “Race, Place and the Environment”—Student Exercises
    • 12. Criminal Injustice? Courts, Crime, and the Law
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 49. Bruce Western, “Punishment and Inequality”
      • 50. Rubén Rumbaut, Roberto Gonzales, Goinaz Kamaie, and Charlie V. Moran, “Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Imprisonment among First and Second Generation Young Men”
      • 51. Christina Swarns, “The Uneven Scales of Capital Justice”
      • 52. Devah Pager, “The Mark of a Criminal Record”—Student Exercises
    • 13. Moving Forward: Analysis and Social Action
      • Introduction by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen
      • 53. Thomas F. Pettigrew, “Post-Racism? Putting Obama’s Victory in Perspective”
      • 54. Frank Dobbins, Alexandra Kalev, and Erin Kelly, “Diversity Management in Corporate America”
      • 55. Southern Poverty Law Center, “Ways to Fight Hate”—Student Exercises
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How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man’s Search for Identity

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2009-12-31 17:00Z by Steven

How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man’s Search for Identity

Temple University Press
264 pages
EAN: 978-1-56639-651-6
ISBN: 1-56639-651-4

Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies
University of California, Davis

This compelling account of racial identity takes a close look at the question “Who is a Latino?” and determines where persons of mixed Anglo-Latino heritage fit into the racial dynamics of the United States. The son of a Mexican-American mother and an Anglo father, Kevin Johnson has spent his life in the borderlands between racial identities. In this insightful book, he uses his experiences as a mixed Latino-Anglo to examine issues of diversity, assimilation, race relations, and affirmative action in contemporary United States.

Read the introduction here.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. A “Latino” Law Student? Law 4 Sale at Harvard Law School
3. My Mother: One Assimilation Story
4. My Father: Planting the Seeds of a Racial Consciousness
5. Growing Up White?
6. College: Beginning to Recognize Racial Complexities
A Family Gallery
7. A Corporate Lawyer: Happily Avoiding the Issue
8. A Latino Law Professor
9. My Family/Mi Familia
10. Lessons for Latino Assimilation
11. What Does It All Mean for Race Relations in the United States?

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