Anti-Miscegenation Laws and the Dilemma of Symmetry: The Understanding of Equality in the Civil Rights Act of 1875

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-27 00:03Z by Steven

Anti-Miscegenation Laws and the Dilemma of Symmetry: The Understanding of Equality in the Civil Rights Act of 1875

The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Legal Studies
Volume 2: Issue 1, Article 12 (January 1995)
pages 303-344

Steven A. Bank, Paul Hastings Professor of Business Law
University of California, Los Angeles

The Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was introduced by two Republicans from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner in the Senate and Benjamin Butler in the House, sought to overturn many of the bars to interaction between the races after the end of slavery. In its final form, the Act provided that “all persons … shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude.” No provision of the Act, however, explicitly addressed state anti-miscegenation statutes, or laws that prohibit “intermarriage and all forms of illicit intercourse between the races.” Proponents of the Act confined their arguments largely to the issue of desegregating public places such as railroad cars, steamships, inns, cemeteries, churches, and public schools. Continued prejudice, distaste for miscegenation among both races, and a declining post-Civil War rate of miscegenation, combined to persuade supporters of the bill not to address these laws in the push to desegregate public institutions.

This decision, albeit a wise one politically, left Republicans open to attack. Republicans argued that symmetrical equality, where blacks are prohibited from doing what whites can do, but whites are equally prohibited from doing what blacks can do, was insufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment. They contended that under the Equal Protection Clause, blacks should have the same right as whites to enter any public place. This argument, however, inescapably included anti-miscegenation statutes within the confines of its logic. While such statutes provided symmetrical equality, since they prohibited both blacks and whites from participation in interracial relationships, they denied blacks the same right to marry whites as whites enjoyed. If segregation of public places was unconstitutional, anti-miscegenation statutes must be as well. Opponents of Reconstruction seized upon this logical extension of the Republican principle of equality to suggest that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 would result in increased miscegenation. The charge became intertwined with the claim that Republicans sought to legislate “social” equality between the races. Thus, Republican treatment of miscegenation was watched closely. Accepting symmetrical equality in anti-miscegenation laws would weaken their argument against segregation. Conversely, arguing that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional might arouse opposition to attempts to protect the civil rights of the freedmen…

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Mixed-race in Oregon

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-26 19:18Z by Steven

Mixed-race in Oregon

The Asian Reporter
Portland, Oregon
Volume 26, Number 12 (2016-06-20)
ISSN: 1094-9453
page 6, columns 2-3

Dmae Roberts, Writer, Producer, Media and Theatre Artist

I received some exciting news this month. I was selected as one of the speakers for the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project, a program that brings people together to talk about current issues and ideas.

Participating in the program wasn’t something I was eager to do at first, since I’ve always seen myself as a bit shy. Although as an actor I’ve performed Shakespeare on Portland stages, typically I’m more of a wallflower. As I’ve gotten older, however, I found it wasn’t that I didn’t like talking to people. Instead, I realized I only enjoy talking when there’s an intriguing subject.

During the past decade, I’ve gravitated toward discussing the meaning of my mixed-race identity. While growing up in rural Oregon, there were few people of color. In my small school in the 1970s, I suspected I had mixed-race classmates, but it was a taboo subject, so it was not talked about. Students who could not pass as white, like my younger brother, endured racism. I, on the other hand, who appeared white to others, felt like a secret Asian girl. In my 40-plus years of adulthood, I’ve experienced shifts in the understanding of and attitude around multiracial identity and also witnessed the transformation in terminology for race and ethnicity from derogatory slurs to an expanding list of proud names…

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States of Denial

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-06-24 01:23Z by Steven

States of Denial

Fordham Law News: From New York City To You

When Barack Obama was first elected president in 2008, some pundits declared the United States to have finally reached a triumphal post-racial stage, an era of long-awaited racial harmony after the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. Yet, almost a decade later, race remains a source of tension and injury.

The situation is not so different in Latin America, and the similarities are of great interest to Professor Tanya Hernández. In her book Racial Subordination in Latin America: The Role of the State, Customary Law and the New Civil Rights Response (Cambridge University Press), Hernández examines the racial landscape of Latin American countries and uncovers customary laws of racial regulation that, while perhaps not as codified as Jim Crow laws, are as obstructive to genuine racial equality.

With degrees from Brown and Yale Law School, Hernández has studied comparative race relations and antidiscrimination law for over 25 years. In 2015, she was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to consult on racial equality projects in France and Trinidad.

In this excerpt of her book, Hernández introduces a legal critique of race regulations in Latin America and the role of the Latin American states in erecting and sustaining racial hierarchies…

There are approximately 150 million people of African descent in Latin America, representing about one-third of the total population. Yet, these are considered conservative demographic figures given the histories of undercounting the number of persons of African descent on Latin American national censuses and often completely omitting a racial/ethnic origin census question. At the same time, persons of African descent make up more than 40 percent of the poor in Latin America and have been consistently marginalized and denigrated as undesirable elements of the society since the abolition of slavery across the Americas. Yet, the view that “racism does not exist” is pervasive in Latin America despite the advent of social justice movements and social science researchers demonstrating the contrary. When the BBC surveyed Latin Americans in 2005 regarding the existence of racism, a significant number of respondents emphatically denied the existence of racism. Many, for instance, made statements such as “Latin Americans are not racist,” and “Latin-America is not a racist region, for the simple fact that the majority of the population is either indigenous, creole, or mixed.”

Thus the denial of racism is rooted in what many scholars have critiqued as the “myth of racial democracy”—the notion that the racial mixture (mestizaje/mestiçagem) in a population is emblematic of racial harmony and insulated from racial discord and inequality. Academic scholarship has in the last twenty years critiqued Latin American “mestizaje” theories of racial mixture as emblematic of racial harmony. Yet, Latin Americans still very much adhere to the notion that racial mixture and the absence of Jim Crow racial segregation are such a marked contrast to the United States racial history that the region views itself as what I term “racially innocent.”…

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The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Interviews, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-18 20:36Z by Steven

The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case

Tripod: New Orleans At 300
89.9 FM WWNO
New Orleans, Louisiana

Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Producer

The Provost Guard in New Orleans taking up Vagrant Negroes. (1974.25.9.190)

It was June. It was hot. Kids were out of school, keeping busy outdoors. Parents were inside. Kind of like how it is now, except it was 146 years ago.

“It is a world turned upside down,” says Michael Ross, historian and author of ‘The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era.’ He’s talking about the year 1870, at the height of reconstruction. “You have five cities in the South that have integrated their police forces, at a time when not a single police force in the North had integrated.

It’s true. The NOPD first hired black officers in the 1860s. New York City didn’t have an African American in their ranks until 1911. This is one of the many things that makes New Orleans a stage for social change in the U.S. after the Civil War. One crime in particular brought these changes into focus.

Molly Digby is 17 months old and playing outside with her older brother. Two women of color walk up to the kids and start talking to them, until they’re all interrupted by a loud noise down the street. The women tell the boy he can go see what all the excitement is about, and they’ll watch the baby. He runs off, and when he comes back, the women, and baby Molly, are gone.

“A white baby is abducted by two mixed race women called Mulattos at the time,” Ross explains. “That story would have been just one of many terrible stories of that day that would have been buried in the third page of the newspaper. But a number of factors lead to it getting front page attention.”…

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Revealed: MP’s alleged killer ‘bought manual on how to make a handgun and bombs from a US far-right group and has links to neo-Nazi organisations going back decades’

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2016-06-17 19:57Z by Steven

Revealed: MP’s alleged killer ‘bought manual on how to make a handgun and bombs from a US far-right group and has links to neo-Nazi organisations going back decades’

The Daily Mail
London, England

James Tozer, Chris Greenwood, Andy Dolan, and Claire Duffin For The Daily Mail
Richard Spillett, Stephanie Linning, and Lucy Crossley for MailOnline

  • Detectives were last night questioning Thomas Mair over Jo Cox’s murder
  • US civil rights group say their records show he bought far-Right books
  • Claims the quiet loner had been recently released from psychiatric care
  • Mair was brought up by his grandmother and lived in his childhood home
  • Half-brother says Mair never expressed any ‘racist tendencies’, adding: ‘I’m mixed race and I’m his half-brother. We got on well’

The man suspected of killing Labour MP Jo Cox previously bought a book on how to make a handgun, it was claimed this morning.

Thomas Mair has been described as a loner who was ‘socially isolated and disconnected from society’ as a result of long-term mental illness.

Detectives were last night questioning 52-year-old Thomas Mair, amid fears he was motivated by Mrs Cox’s political campaigning.

Documents obtained from a US far-right group show a 1999 receipt for a manual on how to build a homemade gun with Mr Mair’s name and address on the top…

…Duane St Louis, age 41, the suspect’s half-brother and Mary’s son with second husband Reginald St Louis, said Mair had obsessive compulsive disorder and cleaned himself with Brillo pads because he was ‘obsessed with his personal hygiene’.

Reginald, who is believed to be from Grenada, and Mary had married when Mair was around 16. The couple lived with Duane and Mair’s younger full brother Scott, while Mair stayed with his grandmother. Reginald died in the 1980s. It is not known if Mair’s father, named locally as James, is still alive.

Speaking from his home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, he added: ‘He’s never expressed any views about Britain, or politics or racist tendencies. I’m mixed race and I’m his half-brother, we got on well. He never married. The only time I remember him having a girlfriend was as a young man, but a mate stole her off him. He said that put him off [women] for life.’…

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The penalties of miscegenation

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2016-06-15 20:58Z by Steven

The penalties of miscegenation

Patterns of Prejudice
Volume 6, Issue 3, 1972
pages 10-12
DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.1972.9969062

Mary Dines (1927-2011)

Paragraph 24 of “Commonwealth Citizens: Control after Entry: Immigration Rules” (Cmd. 4295) reads:

“If a man who was admitted as a visitor or student, or in some other temporary capacity, marries a woman who is a resident in the United Kingdom, he is not on that account to be granted an extension of stay or any other variation of conditions to enable him to settle here unless refusal would be undesirable because of the degree of hardship which, in the particular circumstances of the case, would be caused if the woman had to live outside the United Kingdom in order to be with her husband after marriage…”

These instructions are based on a rule announced by the Home Secretary in January 1969 as an “administrative procedure” and the principles involved were never submitted to Parliament in the form of a Clause or an amendment to a Bill. At the time, Mr. Callaghan stated that the intention was to put an end to the facility allowed to male fiancés to settle in the U.K. after marriage which then existed. This facility, he claimed, was being abused, particularly by Asians, as a means of seeking entry to the U.K. without an employment voucher. It is not proposed to go into the arguments about male fiancés at this stage and indeed experience has shown that this matter was used as a camouflage for the real motives behind the introduction of the new rules. A careful study of the wording confirms this and it should be noted that the Home Office say that the man marrying a resident here “is not on that account to be granted an extension of stay” (my italics).

In any discussion on racial prejudice in Britain the question of miscegenation is bound to arise. Even in colonial times the British showed a marked aversion to mixed marriages. Significantly the majority of those that did take place were between “other ranks” of occupying armies and local women in places like…

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What You Didn’t Know About Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-06-12 23:40Z by Steven

What You Didn’t Know About Loving v. Virginia


Arica L. Coleman

The landmark civil rights Supreme Court case—which made it illegal to ban interracial marriage—was about more than black and white

When the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Loving v. the Commonwealth of Virginia, defendants Richard and Mildred Loving chose not to appear in person. In 1958, they had been convicted for the felony of miscegenation. As lawyers presented their arguments, 17 states remained steadfast in their refusal to repeal such laws banning interracial marriages. But, though he did not attend the arguments, Richard sent a message to the justices: “Tell the Court I love my wife and it is just not fair that I cannot live with her in Virginia.”

The justices unanimously agreed. On June 12, 1967, proscriptions against interracial marriage were declared unconstitutional.

In the years since, the couple’s victory has often been seen as a touchstone in the fight for black civil rights. The Lovings’ lawyer’s assertion before the court that anti-miscegenation statutes were “ the most odious of the segregation laws and the slavery laws” reinforced this assumption. As historian Peter Wallenstein aptly stated in his book Tell the Court I Love My Wife, “There was no doubt in anybody’s mind as to the racial identities, white and black, of the people who claimed to be Mr. and Mrs. Loving.”

But the Lovings’ public persona was more myth than reality. While researching my book That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia, I spoke to Mildred Loving, who died in 2008. “I am not black,” she told me during a 2004 interview. “I have no black ancestry. I am Indian-Rappahannock. I told the people so when they came to arrest me.”…

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One man’s quest for Loving Day, a holiday for multiracial Americans

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-11 21:38Z by Steven

One man’s quest for Loving Day, a holiday for multiracial Americans

The Los Angeles Times

Jaweed Kaleem

Ken Tanabe founded Loving Day in 2004, and leads celebrations and workshops across the U.S. on being multiracial. (Pearl Shavzin-Dremeaux)

Forty-nine years ago on June 12, the Supreme Court struck down laws in 16 states that banned mixed-race marriages. The decision in Loving vs. Virginia overturned the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Caroline County, Va., who had been arrested, jailed and banned from their home state for violating its Racial Integrity Act.

It also ushered in a new era in the American family.

Today, the Pew Research Center counts 22 million multiracial Americans, about 6.9% of the U.S. population. Nearly 10% of married couple households — more than 5 million — are interracial or inter-ethnic, according to the U.S. census.

For 12 years, Ken Tanabe, a Japanese-Belgian freelance graphic designer living in New York, has been working to educate Americans about what he sees as one of the most significant civil rights cases through Loving Day, the unofficial holiday that cities across the country are slowly adapting to celebrate the lives of the fast-growing multiracial population.

Now Tanabe, whose organization has tracked and sponsored many of the dozens of dance and music festivals, film screenings, picnics and forums taking place across the country in June to commemorate Loving vs. Virginia, has launched a campaign to get the holiday recognized by the federal government…

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National Women’s History Museum presents Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-06-10 15:14Z by Steven

National Women’s History Museum presents Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance

National Women’s History Museum

Joseph, Emily, Mamie, Frank, and Mary Tape.

Tape v. Hurley

Mary Tape was a biracial Chinese American woman who believed that her daughter, Mamie, should have the same access to education as white children in San Francisco. In particular, Mary Tape wanted her daughter to be able to attend public school. When the local school principal, Jennie Hurley, stood in the schoolhouse door to bar Mamie’s entrance on the sole grounds that she was Chinese, Mary Tape took Jennie Hurley to court.

In 1885, almost seventy years before the famous Supreme Court Decision Brown v. Board of Education desegregated American public schools, Mary Tape sued the San Francisco School District to offer public education to all Chinese children. Tape v. Hurley was one of the most important civil rights decisions in American history. In this ground breaking case, Superior Court Judge James Maguire ruled that Chinese children must have access to public education: “To deny a child, born of Chinese parents in this state, entrance to the public schools would be a violation of the law of the state and the Constitution of the United States.”…

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On Becoming Black, Becoming White and Being Human: Rachel Dolezal and the Fluidity of Race

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-06-05 01:22Z by Steven

On Becoming Black, Becoming White and Being Human: Rachel Dolezal and the Fluidity of Race


Channing G. Joseph

Library of Congress

For decades, no one knew my cousin Ernest Torregano was black. At least, no one who mattered in his new life.

Not the clients or associates of the prominent bankruptcy law firm with which he had built his reputation and his fortune. Not the other members of the San Francisco Planning Commission, of which he had been president. And certainly not the mayor, Elmer Robinson, with whom Ernest had been close since their days as fresh new lawyers in the city. It is quite likely, I think, that Ernest never admitted, even to Pearl, his second wife of 30 years, that she had married an African-American man.

Few understood the true extent of my cousin’s labyrinth of secrets until he was already dead and buried. By then, he had successfully “passed for white” for more than 40 years.

When his only child, Gladys Stevens, learned that her father had not died in 1915 but had been alive until 1954, she filed suit to claim her share of his estate—worth about $300,000 then, or about $2.6 million today. After a protracted legal battle to prove she really was Ernest’s daughter, she won. Meanwhile, her story—and Ernest’s—made national headlines for nearly seven years. One Oklahoma newspaper announced: “Widow Claims Rich Lawyer Was Really Her Negro Father.” A Connecticut paper proclaimed: “Daughter’s Suit Reveals Double Life of Man Who Passed Over Color Line.” But Newsweek magazine’s headline captured the essence of the story in just three words: “The Second Man.”

Born into a mixed-race family in New Orleans in 1882, the First Man was the fair-skinned son of a white father and a mixed-race mother. And because he so loved to sing and to laugh and to travel, he joined a touring minstrel troupe, performing in blackface makeup for cheering crowds across the South. In that show, he met Viola, who played the guitar, and they married. After their daughter, Gladys, was born, the First Man took a job as a Pullman porter on the Southern Pacific Railroad line from New Orleans to San Francisco—to make a better living for his new family. But at some point along the way—perhaps as he gazed through a train car window at the countryside rolling by or as he wandered along Market Street among white people who did not sneer at him or call him “boy”—he decided he would never return home. (According to one account, his mother, who supported the idea of his passing, convinced him that Viola and Gladys had been killed and that he should forget them forever.)…

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