IV. Conclusion

Because of their race and gender, innocent Black males are routinely viewed as threats, criminals, lazy, incompetent, or sexual predators. Readily obvious, but rarely discussed, this strand of anti-Black male bias unites virtually every American institution, from our courts and corporations to our political offices and universities.

Granted, we have witnessed notable improvements in laws that proscribe sexual violence and police brutality and embraced the need for greater awareness concerning the harmful effects of conscious and unconscious bias. Black male victims of sexual violence, nonetheless, continue to suffer without any apparent abatement in the degree of sexual violence they experience, often at the hands of police officers. For too many Black males, manifestations of anti-Black male bias, such as sexualized police violence, undeserved police targeting, and false accusations, facilitate incomparable levels of depression, homelessness, poor health, incarceration, unemployment, poor education, a lack of social mobility, and even death.

There is no question that Black males have not benefitted from emerging displays of societal shame linked to America's long history of legalized slavery and racial segregation. To a large degree, the plight of Black males has worsened for at least two reasons. First, institutions often earmark funding, educational privileges, and employment opportunities for members of virtually every minority group but Black males, under the guise of curtailing past or current discrimination.

Second, objections to Black male exclusion or attempts to address the dire needs of Black males, generally, are routinely met with claims that doing so reinforces discrimination against non-Black males. Recognizing the hazard that may envelope them unless they disparage or exclude Black males, organizations use such contentions to justify the continued repression of Black males. In doing so, institutions prevent Black males from competing for critical resources and opportunities, while, simultaneously, elevating the status, privileges, and rights of non-Black males.

As this Article has demonstrated, the unparalleled disadvantages confronting Black males because of widespread anti-Black male bias are not a figment of the imagination. They persist with rigor, ostensibly, to the satisfaction of many. Sadly, few appear willing to discuss or even acknowledge the existence or catastrophic effect of anti-Black male bias. Perhaps there is a fear that doing so will only alienate groups that benefit from anti-Black male bias. Regardless of the rationale behind our social acquiescence to Black male oppression, the end result is a society with a maligned and self-regarding false construction of itself.

Associate Dean and Professor of Law, University of Illinois Chicago School of Law.