Virginia’s Indian tribes clear another hurdle toward federal recognition

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2016-09-18 21:24Z by Steven

Virginia’s Indian tribes clear another hurdle toward federal recognition

The Washington Post

Jenna Portnoy, Reporter

A House committee has advanced a bill that would give federal recognition to six Indian tribes in Virginia, bringing them one step closer to the end of a multi-year fight for acknowledgment of their place in the nation’s history.

Legislation granting federal recognition of the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan and Nansemond tribes can now go to a full vote in the House and Senate, where it has stalled in the past.

The House Natural Resources Committee voted 23 to 13 last week to recognize the Virginia tribes as part of a package of bills that, if successful, will give Congress the ultimate authority to recognize tribes. The executive and judicial branches currently hold that authority…

There are more than 500 federally recognized Indian tribes, and many had to navigate an expensive and time-consuming administrative process through the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Federal recognition confers certain benefits on tribes; they become eligible for housing, education and health-care funding. Indian tribes need to meet several criteria and must rely on historical documentation…

Read the entire article here.

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Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico: Defining Racial Difference

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Mexico, Monographs on 2016-09-07 21:11Z by Steven

Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico: Defining Racial Difference

University of Oklahoma Press
304 pages
Illustrations: 3 b&w illus., 2 maps, 18 tables
6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 9780806154879

Robert C. Schwaller, Assistant Professor of History
University of Kansas, Lawrence

On December 19, 1554, the members of Tenochtitlan’s indigenous cabildo, or city council, petitioned Emperor Charles V of Spain for administrative changes “to save us from any Spaniard, mestizo, black, or mulato afflicting us in the marketplace, on the roads, in the canal, or in our homes.” Within thirty years of the conquest, the presence of these groups in New Spain was large enough to threaten the social, economic, and cultural order of the indigenous elite. In Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico, an ambitious rereading of colonial history, Robert C. Schwaller proposes using the Spanish term géneros de gente (types or categories of people) as part of a more nuanced perspective on what these categories of difference meant and how they evolved. His work revises our understanding of racial hierarchy in Mexico, the repercussions of which reach into the present.

Schwaller traces the connections between medieval Iberian ideas of difference and the unique societies forged in the Americas. He analyzes the ideological and legal development of géneros de gente into a system that began to resemble modern notions of race. He then examines the lives of early colonial mestizos and mulatos to show how individuals of mixed ancestry experienced the colonial order. By pairing an analysis of legal codes with a social history of mixed-race individuals, his work reveals the disjunction between the establishment of a common colonial language of what would become race and the ability of the colonial Spanish state to enforce such distinctions. Even as the colonial order established a system of governance that entrenched racial differences, colonial subjects continued to mediate their racial identities through social networks, cultural affinities, occupation, and residence.

Presenting a more complex picture of the ways difference came to be defined in colonial Mexico, this book exposes important tensions within Spanish colonialism and the developing social order. It affords a significant new view of the development and social experience of race—in early colonial Mexico and afterward.

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“If You Is White, You’s Alright. . . .” Stories About Colorism in America

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-16 01:30Z by Steven

“If You Is White, You’s Alright. . . .” Stories About Colorism in America

Washington University Global Studies Law Review
Volume 14, Issue 4: Global Perspectives on Colorism (Symposium Edition) (2015)
pages 585-607

Kimberly Jade Norwood, Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law; Professor of African & African American Studies
Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri

Colorism, a term believed to be first coined in 1982 by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, was defined by her to mean the “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.” It is not racism although there is a clear relationship. A clear example of racism would involve a business that refuses to hire black people. Colorism would not preclude the hiring of a black person, but there would be a preference for a black person with a lighter skin tone than a darker skinned person. From this example one can see too that colorism can not only occur within same-raced peoples but also across races. Colorism also is often gendered. Because of its unique relationship to who and what is beautiful, it has a tendency, although not exclusively, to affect and infect women more than men.

Although my first experience with colorism occurred very early in life, it never went away or otherwise resolved itself. Rather, it grew with me. And in many ways, I grew to understand that the color hierarchy was simply the way of the world. I would eventually marry and have children of my own. And through those children, I would again see colorism grow and sting. I knew that, some day, one day when I had time, I would spend time discussing, highlighting and helping to eradicate colorism. This paper offers some of my experiences with colorism and my continued growth in understanding its complexities.

Read the entire article here.

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Japan’s Under-Researched Visible Minorities: Applying Critical Race Theory to Racialization Dynamics in a Non-White Society

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-08-15 23:08Z by Steven

Japan’s Under-Researched Visible Minorities: Applying Critical Race Theory to Racialization Dynamics in a Non-White Society

Washington University Global Studies Law Review
Volume 14, Issue 4: Global Perspectives on Colorism (Symposium Edition) (2015)
pages 695-723

Debito Arudou

Critical Race Theory (CRT), an analytical framework grounded in American legal academia, uncovers power relationships between a racialized enfranchised majority and a disenfranchised minority. Although applied primarily to countries and societies with Caucasian majorities to analyze White Privilege this Article applies CRT to Japan, a non-White majority society. After discussing how scholarship on Japan has hitherto ignored a fundamental factor within racialization studies—the effects of skin color on the concept of “Japaneseness”—this Article examines an example of published research on the Post-WWIIkonketsuji problem.” This research finds blind spots in the analysis, and re-examines it through CRT to uncover more nuanced power dynamics. This exercise attempts to illustrate the universality of nation-state racialization processes, and advocates the expansion of Whiteness Studies beyond Caucasian-majority societies into worldwide Colorism dynamics in general.

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Remapping Race on the Human Genome: Commercial Exploits in a Racialized America

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-06 14:52Z by Steven

Remapping Race on the Human Genome: Commercial Exploits in a Racialized America

January 2017
310 pages
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4408-3063-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4408-3064-8

Judith Ann Warner, Professor of Sociology
Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas

Do the commercial applications of the human genome in ancestry tracing, medicine, and forensics serve to further racialize and stereotype groups?

This book explores the ethical debates at the intersection of race, ethnicity, national origin, and DNA analysis, enabling readers to gain a better understanding of the human genome project and its impact on the biological sciences, medicine, and criminal justice.

Genome and genealogical research has become a subject of interest outside of science, as evidenced by the popularity of the genealogy research website that helps individuals discover their genetic past and television shows such as the celebrity-focused Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.. Applications of DNA analysis in the area of criminal justice and the law have major consequences for social control from birth to death. This book explores the role of DNA research and analysis within the framework of race, ethnicity, and national origin—and provides a warning about the potential dangers of a racialized America.

Synthesizing the work of sociologists, criminologists, anthropologists, and biologists, author Judith Ann Warner, PhD, examines how the human genome is being interpreted and commonly used to affirm—rather than dissolve—racial and ethnic boundaries. The individual, corporate, and government use of DNA is controversial, and international comparisons indicate that regulation of genome applications is a global concern. With analysis of ancestry mapping business practices, medical DNA applications, and forensic uses of DNA in the criminal justice system, the book sheds light on the sociological results of “remapping race on the human genome.”


  • Provides historical background on the human genome in the modern context of the social construction of race and ethnicity
  • Examines the use of overlapping racial-ethnic and geographical origin categories to situate ancestry, health risk, and criminal profiles in a stereotyped or discriminatory manner
  • Argues for a re-examination of genome research to avoid racialization
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Justine Jane M. Bolin (First Negro woman judge in the U.S.A.)

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-08-06 01:05Z by Steven

Justine Jane M. Bolin (First Negro woman judge in the U.S.A.)

The Crisis
Volume 49, Number 9 (September 1939)


Miss Jane M. Bolin became on July 22 the first colored woman Judge in the United States when Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia appointed her and swore her in as a justice of the Court of Domestic Relations of the City of New York. The appointment is for ten years and the salary is $12,000 a year.

Miss Bolin, who in private life is the wife of Ralph E. Mizelle, Washington, D.C., attorney, is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale law school. She was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the daughter of Gaius C. Bolin, an attorney who for many years was president of the Poughkeepsie branch of the N.A.A.C.P. Following her graduation from Yale law school, Miss Bolin was admitted to practice in New York in 1932. In 1937 she was named an assistant corporate counsel and assigned to the Court of Domestic Relations. The retirement of another justice who had reached the age limit created an opening which Mayor LaGuardia filled by appointing Miss Bolin.

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Alabama’s Anti-Miscegenation Statutes

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-27 02:09Z by Steven

Alabama’s Anti-Miscegenation Statutes

Alabama Review
Volume 68, Number 4, October 2015
pages 345-365
DOI: 10.1353/ala.2015.0033

Jeremy W. Richter, Associate
Webster, Henry, Lyons, Bradwell, Cohan & Speagle, P.C., Attorneys and Counselors at Law, Birmingham, Alabama

In the immediate aftermath of the civil war and, more specifically, the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, various southern states began passing laws to preserve a now-fragile social structure. Beginning with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, which liberated all slaves residing in rebel states or territories, the southern states’ social ecology had begun to unravel, and southern whites faced a situation in which the black Americans once deemed property were now citizens—equal in the eyes of the law.

Nevertheless, white citizens sought to maintain control over their black counterparts. In an effort to preserve their society, southern states in 1865 began to pass a series of laws, which varied by state and collectively became known as Black Codes. These laws were designed to exploit and control former slaves. For example, freedmen (as freed black citizens became known) who were arrested for vagrancy could be contracted out for labor; freedmen were, in some states, not allowed to raise their own crops and were precluded from entering towns without permission. Most significantly perhaps, the Black Codes enacted offenses containing differing penalties for black versus white citizens. These racially-discriminatory penalties were later outlawed upon the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment and the enactment of the Reconstruction Acts.

Two centuries of slavery had, prior to 1865, created a caste system which maintained, at least officially, the distinction between white and black. With that barrier removed and the federal government attempting to institute legal racial equality, of primary concern to many was the preservation of the purity of the white race. In response, many states throughout the United States, largely regardless of geography, passed laws prohibiting the intermarriage of white and black citizens. In 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Loving v. Virginia that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional, and as such any such existing laws were overturned. At the time of the Loving v. Virginia decision, sixteen states still had anti-miscegenation laws in effect: Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.

The State of Alabama enacted its first anti-miscegenation law in the Penal Code of 1866:

If any white person and any negro, or the descendant of any negro, to the third generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation was a white person, intermarry, or live in adultery or fornication with each other, each of them must, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary, or sentenced to hard labor for the county, for not less than two, nor more than seven years.

The Alabama legislature reinforced this statute in new penal codes that were enacted in 1867 (§ 3602), 1876 (§ 4189), 1886 (§ 4018), and 1896 (§ 5096). In 1901, Alabama drafted a new state constitution, wherein the anti-miscegenation statute was made a part of the state constitution: “The legislature shall never pass any law to authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and a negro, or descendant of a negro.” The final revisions to Alabama’s anti-miscegenation law were adopted in the Code of Alabama of 1940, which stated: “If any white person and any negro, or the descendant of any negro intermarry, or live in adultery or fornication with each other, each of them shall, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than two nor more than seven years.”

Judicial Application of Anti-Miscegenation Laws in Alabama: Setting Precedent, 1868–1881

In addition to a law disallowing marriage between whites and blacks, the Alabama Penal Code of 1866 adopted laws governing adultery. Where Alabama Code § 3598 outlined the repercussions of adultery offenses generally, Alabama Code § 3602 specifically addressed the penalties for adultery between white and black persons:

If any white person or negro, or the descendant of any negro, to the third generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation was a white person, intermarry or live in adultery with each other, each of them must, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary, or sentenced to hard labor for the…

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Banished from the tribe

Posted in Articles, Economics, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-26 01:53Z by Steven

Banished from the tribe

Inter-County Leader/Washburn County Register
Cooperative-Owned Newspapers Serving Northwest Wisconsin

Ed Emerson

Gary King

WEBSTER – Tony Ammann is the grandson of former longtime St. Croix Chippewa chief and traditional “midewiwin” spiritual leader Archie Mosay. His mother, Archie’s daughter, has Department of Interior papers certifying her blood quantum requirement to be a member of the tribe. Despite Ammann’s lineage and heritage, the St. Croix Chippewa Tribal Council is actively seeking to banish him from the tribe.

Ammann says the attempt at disenrollment is an old vendetta that underlines the need for reform and greater accountability within tribal governance.

Soon after taking office more than one year ago, the newly elected tribal council began a process to disenroll as many as 16 tribal members. Five of them have legally challenged the action, and a tribal judicial hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday, July 20.

Ammann says many of the others are reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal or loss of employment. The tribe at one of its casinos employs Ammann. Ammann’s sister, Brooke, is also a plaintiff challenging the disenrollment action.

The St. Croix Chippewa have 1,054 members residing on eight separate enclaves scattered throughout multiple counties. The tribe is the largest employer in Burnett County. It operates casinos at its tribal headquarters in Hertel and in Turtle Lake and Danbury. Annual revenue is said to be in excess of $100 million.

Tribal elders receive per capita payments of approximately $10,000 per year – other members approximately $4,800 per year. Banishment would mean losing that payment and all hunting and fishing rights. The St. Croix Chippewa maintain a blood quantum requirement of 50 percent. It is one of fewer than 10 of 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States to retain such a stringent standard…

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Early black lawyer, wife endured bigotry

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive on 2016-07-22 18:23Z by Steven

Early black lawyer, wife endured bigotry

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Curt Brown

Nellie and William Francis were doing so well in 1924 they decided to move four miles southwest in St. Paul — leaving their Rondo neighborhood for a house in the Groveland Park area near the Mississippi River.

The 1920 census listed the couple, married for 27 years, as “Mu” for mulatto. Skin color hadn’t deterred William Francis from becoming “prominent in religious, political, social and fraternal circles,” according to the Twin City Star newspaper.

He was a railroad lawyer and she was a suffragette and civic activist. But when they moved into their house at 2092 Sargent Av., just east of Cretin Avenue, their race would render them “direct victims of virulent racial hatred,” according to former law school dean Douglas Heidenreich’s 2000 article in William Mitchell magazine.

Nellie Griswold was born in 1874 in Nashville, but moved north in time to graduate from St. Paul Central High School in the 1890s and become president of the Minnesota State Federation of Colored Women in the early 20th Century.

As leader of the Everywoman Suffrage Club, she helped women earn the right to vote in 1920. The next year, she was credited with writing the state anti-lynching bill that allowed survivors to collect $7,500 in damages, nearly $100,000 in today’s dollars. The legislation — spawned by the 1920 lynching of three black circus workers in Duluth — also punished neglectful police who allowed lynchings under their watch. They could be fired for malfeasance.

In 1893, Nellie married William Francis — an Indiana native five years her senior. At 19, he had moved to Minnesota, where he graduated in 1904 from St. Paul College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law)…

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Mayor de Blasio says his ‘exemplary’ son Dante follows the law, but fears police brutality: ‘Black Lives Matter as an idea is so important’

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-16 15:17Z by Steven

Mayor de Blasio says his ‘exemplary’ son Dante follows the law, but fears police brutality: ‘Black Lives Matter as an idea is so important’

The New York Daily News

Jennifer Fermino, City Hall Bureau Chief

Mayor de Blasio said he finds it “intolerable” when protesters lodge “vile” insults at cops, but also defended the Black Lives Matter movement as “necessary.” (KEN MURRAY/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Dante de Blasio is an “exemplary” teen who never gets in trouble – but even he is scared of being a victim of police violence, Mayor de Blasio said on Friday.

The mayor, speaking about race matters on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC, spoke openly about his son after an African-American Queens grandmother called in to complain that she was afraid “racist” cops would hurt her teenaged grandsons.

His comments immediately touched a nerve with the Police Benevolent Association, who blasted him for not vigoriously defending the NYPD against the woman’s charges…

Read the entire article here.

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