Thursday, April 26, 2018

Race and Racial Groups

Review of Bell's Book

  Harold A. Mcdougall

excerpted from: Practitioners: Race, Racism and American Law (4th Ed.) By Derrick A. Bell, Jr, 46 Howard Law Journal 1-48, 31-44 (Fall 2002) (192 Footnotes)

Here again, Bell's book is very useful to a person who is training practitioners. The book is a virtual encyclopedia of all the ways in which the struggle against racism in the United States has failed. The most cogent analyses, of course, are provided in the arena of civil rights litigation.

Read more: Review of Bell's Book

Signs of Racism

Rajiv Kapur

Copyright 1999. Rajiv Kapur. All Rights Reserved
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I was born in Bombay, India in 1962 but my family moved to Northern Ireland when I was four years old. I was brought up in N. Ireland (part of the United Kingdom). This short piece on the signs of racism reflects a lifetime experiencing the kind of "hidden" or "subtle" racism which the British have pioneered (in the same way as they pioneered the transatlantic slave trade carried out by European nations in the 17th and 18th centuries and imperialism in the late 19th century to the end of the second world war). As societies become ever more multi-racial and members of minority groups reach positions of power and influence, subtle racism will be the predominant form in all countries in the 21stcentury. It is a hugely more pernicious and dangerous form than the more explicit varieties because of a fundamental truth - the spirit of a person can only be diminished by loss, bereavement or defeat, in the long run the human spirit will always rise up and triumph in the face of overt oppression because no one can respect his oppressor.

Read more: Signs of Racism

What is Race?

Ian F. Haney Lopez

Ian F. Haney Lopez, The Social Construction of Race: Some Observations on Illusion, Fabrication, and Choice, 29 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 1-62, 6-7, 11-17 (Winter, 1994)



What is Race? When some people use the "race" they attach a biological meaning, still others use "race" as a socially constructed concept. It is clear that even though race does not have a biological meaning, it does have a social meaning which has been legally constructed.

Biological Construction

By . . ."biological race," I mean the view of race espoused by Judge Tucker, and still popular today, that there exist natural, physical divisions among humans that are hereditary, reflected in morphology, and roughly but correctly captured by terms like Black, White, and Asian (or Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid). Under this view, one's ancestors and epidermis ineluctably determine membership in a genetically defined racial group. The connection between human physiognomy and racial status is concrete; in Judge Tucker's words, every individual's race has been "stampt" by nature. . . .[D]espite the prevalent belief in biological races, overwhelming evidence proves that race is not biological. Biological races like Negroid and Caucasoid simply do not exist. [A]. . . newly popular [argument] among several scholars, [is] that races are wholly illusory, whether as a biological or social concept. Under this thinking, if there is no natural link between faces and races, then no connection exists.

Read more: What is Race?


Defining Racial Groups
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American Indian and Inuits
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Hispanic/Latino Americans
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White (European) American
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Biracial and Multiracial
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Other Racial Groups
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What is Race?
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