Discourses of Citizenship in American and Brazilian Affirmative Action Court Decisions

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-01-08 20:02Z by Steven

Discourses of Citizenship in American and Brazilian Affirmative Action Court Decisions

American Journal of Comparative Law
Volume 64, Number 2, (Summer 2016)
pages 455-504
DOI: 10.5131/AJCL.2016.0015

Adilson José Moreira
Harvard University; Mackenzie Presbyterian University

American and Brazilian courts are traveling quite different paths regarding the question of racial justice. Race neutrality has become an influential interpretive approach in both jurisdictions, a perspective that articulates a depiction of these nations as culturally homogenous societies with the defense of liberal principles as a necessary requirement for social cohesion. Because of the representation of Brazil and the United States as democracies that facilitate integration of all racial groups, courts in these countries have developed an equal protection approach that combines the rhetoric of assimilation and formal equality. However, while the discourse of race neutrality gains continuous political force in the United States, race consciousness is acquiring increasing persuasive power in Brazil. As the implementation of affirmative action programs has expanded into different sectors, various social actors have questioned their constitutionality. Although state and federal courts in Brazil have condemned affirmative action because it supposedly subverts liberal principles and moral consensus about equal racial treatment, the Brazilian Supreme Court has recently classified race neutrality as a strategy of racial domination. Differently from American affirmative action cases, this decision formulated a notion of citizenship that functions as a counterhegemonic narrative. In articulating progressive constitutional principles and a group-oriented equal protection perspective, the Brazilian Supreme Court has significantly contributed to the deconstruction of the traditional discourse of race transcendence. The Court’s decisions may serve as an interesting point of comparison for the debate about affirmative action in the United States, since Brazilian history shows very clearly how race neutrality allows majoritarian groups to defend racial privilege while advocating formal equality as a way to promote social inclusion.

Read the entire article here.

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Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Posted in Books, Europe, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United States on 2017-01-08 03:56Z by Steven

Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Princeton University Press
March 2017
224 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
7 halftones
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691172422
eBook ISBN: 9781400884636

James Q. Whitman, Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law
Yale Law School

Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler’s American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler’s American Model upends understandings of America’s influence on racist practices in the wider world.

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

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2017-01-04 02:22Z by Steven

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

Praeger
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 Ancestry.com 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.”

Features

  • 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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Special Relationships: mixed-race couples in post-war Britain and the United States

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2016-12-28 23:39Z by Steven

Special Relationships: mixed-race couples in post-war Britain and the United States

Women’s History Review
Volume 26, 2017 – Issue 1: Revisioning the History of Girls and Women in Britain in the Long 1950s
pages 110-129
DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2015.1123027

Clive Webb, Professor of Modern American History
University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

This article uses a transatlantic lens to reassess interracial relationships in 1950s Britain. Although mixed-race couples in this country suffered serious discrimination, Britain appeared relatively progressive to African Americans on the other side of the Atlantic engaged in a struggle for recognition of their constitutional rights. In contrast to the United States, there were no laws in Britain that prohibited interracial marriage. The British also appeared more open to public discussion of relationships that crossed the colour line including the production of several films that focused attention on this controversial subject. This apparently more inclusive attitude towards gender and race relations provided an inspirational model to African Americans in their fight for equality.

Read or purchase the article here.

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When the Serendipitously Named Lovings Fell in Love, Their World Fell Apart

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-28 01:13Z by Steven

When the Serendipitously Named Lovings Fell in Love, Their World Fell Apart

Smithsonian.com
2016-12-23

Christopher Wilson, Director of the African American History Program and Experience and Program Design
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

The new film captures the quiet essence of the couples’ powerful story, says Smithsonian scholar Christopher Wilson

“My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders,” said human rights leader Ella Baker, who worked behind the scenes of the Black Freedom Movement for more than five decades. Her vision of participatory democracy was eloquently summed up in the composition “Ella’s Song,” written by Bernice Johnson Reagon, founding member of the music ensemble “Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me

I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny.

The song honors Baker’s organic and populist activist philosophy of ordinary people working at the grassroots to create a more humane nation.

The story of Mildred and Richard Loving whose decade-long fight to live their lives, follow their hearts, and stay in their home culminated in the 1967 landmark case Loving v. Virginia that struck down laws against interracial marriage in the United States follows this sentiment.

Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter grew up in a rural community in Caroline County, Virginia. Despite statewide laws, rules and customs designed to keep the races separate, the Lovings’ community, isolated and agricultural, was quite integrated.

In the face of the long-held sexual taboos at the heart of white supremacist violence, the serendipitously named Lovings fell in love, but unlike others who kept such relationships hidden, in 1958 they drove to Washington, D.C., where they could legally get married.

The Lovings kept to themselves, but eventually word got out about their marriage. “Somebody talked,” Richard Loving said. Weeks later, they were arrested for violating Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act after a late night bedroom raid by the local sheriff, who was hoping to catch them having sex, which was also illegal. The Lovings pled guilty in January 1959 and were sentenced to one year in prison, but their sentence was suspended on the condition that they leave Virginia and not return together for 25 years. They couple moved to the District of Colombia, but longed to go home to the community they knew and loved. Five years later, in 1964, Mildred Loving sought relief by writing Attorney General Robert Kennedy and asking for help. Kennedy referred them to the American Civil Liberties Union, and three years later the Supreme Court unanimously ruled race-based legal restrictions on marriage unconstitutional.

The recently released film Loving, written and directed by Jeff Nichols and based on the wonderful 2011 documentary The Loving Story by Nancy Buirski, powerfully and artfully tells this story and testifies to the ability of feature films to take on historical subjects and add to public understanding of the past without fabricating events and misleading viewers…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed marriages, stubborn racial bias: Discrimination persists for the nonwhite

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-23 02:31Z by Steven

Mixed marriages, stubborn racial bias: Discrimination persists for the nonwhite

The New York Daily News
2016-12-09

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Professor of Law
Fordham University


Mildred and Richard Loving (Associated Press)

“I ’m pregnant.” Those are the first two words uttered in the recently released film “Loving.” The poignant opening prompts viewers to consider the most contested social consequence of interracial relationships: mixed-race children.

“Loving” depicts the real-life struggle of Mildred and Richard Loving in the 1960s as they fought to get interracial relationships legally recognized. This battle culminated in the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, which invalidated interracial marriage bans across America.

Interracial marriage has been legal for nearly half a century. But the products of those marriages are subject to discrimination that reveals a great deal about race in America, and the cultural status of those unions.

In my own examination of civil rights cases across employment, housing, public accommodations, education and jury service, I find an increasing number of claimants who identify themselves as multiracial and biracial. The cases frequently describe acts of discrimination accompanied by pointed, derogatory comments about nonwhiteness — and blackness in particular…

Read the entire article here.

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Opinion of Judge Leon M. Bazile (January 22, 1965)

Posted in Law, Statements, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-19 01:20Z by Steven

Opinion of Judge Leon M. Bazile (January 22, 1965)

Source: Encyclopedia Virginia

In this written judgment, dated January 22, 1965, Leon M. Bazile, judge of the Caroline County Circuit Court, refuses a motion on behalf of Richard and Mildred Loving to vacate their 1959 conviction for violating the state law that forbids interracial marriage. The Lovings eventually appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in their favor in 1967.

The parties were guilty of a most serious crime. As said by the Court in Kinney’s Case 30 Gratt 865: “It was a marriage prohibited and declared absolutely void. It was contrary to the declared public law, founded upon motives of public policy—a public policy affirmed for more than a Century, and one upon which social order, public morality and the best interests of both races depend. This unmistakable policy of the legislature founded, I think, on wisdom and the moral development of both races, has been shown by not only declaring marriages between whites and negroes absolutely void, but by prohibiting and punishing such unnatural alliances with severe penalties. The laws enacted to further uphold this declared policy would be futile and a dead letter if in fraud of these salutary enactments, both races might, by stepping across any imaginary line bid defiance to the law by immediately returning and insisting that the marriage celebrated in another state or county should be recognized as lawful, though denounced by the public law of the domicile as unlawful and absolutely void.”

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his [arrangement] there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix…

Read the entire opinion here.

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Where Has All the Loving Gone? A Review of the New Film, ‘Loving’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-18 01:38Z by Steven

Where Has All the Loving Gone? A Review of the New Film, ‘Loving’

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)
2016-11-27

Peter Cole, Professor of History
Western Illinois University

A new film about the Southern working class couple whose love and dedication broke the back of anti-miscegenation laws across the nation arrives just in time. Released days prior to Donald Trump’s election, viewers of Loving might be shocked to discover that anti-racist, blue-collared, white men—like Richard Loving—walked Southern soil. He was brave (or ignorant) enough to think he could get away with marrying a black woman; wise enough to know she was smarter than him. His deferral to her effort to seek legal counsel ultimately overturned laws banning interracial marriage in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia (1967).

Beneath the film, the Lovings’ story also speaks to the centuries-long effort by white supremacists to create a “white race” and defend it from “race-mixing”(also called miscegenation). In 1958, Richard Loving, 23, and Mildred Jeter, 17, married in the District of Columbia. They did so because Virginia outlawed interracial marriages, one of twenty-four states with similar laws at the time. Richard was “white,” Mildred “black” though actually a mixture of African American and Rappahannock Indian.

So began their nine-year odyssey that ended with the Court unanimously ruling that states could not prevent a man and a woman from marrying, regardless of their racial identities. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, critics at Cannes hailed the motion picture and Oscar buzz has begun. The film deserves high praise and wide viewership, anchored by incredible performances from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, the two principal actors…

Read the entire review here.

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Beacon Goes to the Movies: “Loving” and the History of White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-17 22:55Z by Steven

Beacon Goes to the Movies: “Loving” and the History of White Supremacy

Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press
2016-12-15

Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, Editorial Assistant

When publicity assistant Perpetua Charles and senior editor Joanna Green first began planning a staff trip to see the film Loving in celebration of Beacon’s forthcoming book on the same topic five months ago, they couldn’t have known for sure what our political environment would be as they and fellow members of the Beacon Press staff walked through a rainy November night to the theater. Exactly a week after the country watched the electoral votes tally in favor of a divisive Republican presidential candidate, we came together to view a retelling of how Mildred and Richard Loving, a young interracial couple from Virginia, helped end the ban on interracial marriage in the United States.

“Biopics like this leave you with an overwhelming sense of hope, right? Making you think that as soon as the anti-miscegenation laws were overturned, every interracial couple was getting married left and right and naysayers kept their mouths shut. But that’s surely not what happened,” Perpetua said, going into the film.

From reading an early copy of Sheryll Cashin’s upcoming book, Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy, I gradually came to the understanding that the story this film set out to tell feels big because it is big. Not only is it the story of Richard and Mildred Loving—their love, their decision to formally wed, their beloved hometown of Central Point, Virginia turning against them, their exile to Washington D.C., and the ten years they spent mired in the legal battle that would culminate in the seminal Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision. It is also a four hundred-year-old story of people defying a deeply entrenched and fiercely protected color line to love or marry in America. It is a story that has gone on for as long as this country has existed, and as this election has confirmed, is nowhere near over…

Read the entire review here.

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Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United States on 2016-12-17 22:15Z by Steven

Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Beacon Press
2017-06-06
232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0807058275

Sheryll Cashin, Professor of Law
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

How interracial love and marriage changed history, and may soon alter the landscape of American politics.

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