White by Law: Legal Construction of Race

White by Law: Legal Construction of Race

Paperback Critical America Series

By (author) Ian F.Haney Lopez

List price $20.99

Unavailable - AbeBooks may have this title.

  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 213mm x 25mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 31 January 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0814751377
  • ISBN 13: 9780814751374
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition

Product description

Lily white. White knights. The white dove of peace. White lie, white list, white magic. Our language and our culture are suffused, often subconsciously, with positive images of whiteness. Whiteness is so inextricably linked with the status quo that few whites, when asked, even identify themselves as such. And yet when asked what they would have to be paid to live as a black person, whites give figures running into the millions of dollars per year, suggesting just how valuable whiteness is in American society.Exploring the social, and specifically legal origins, of white racial identity, Ian F. Haney Lopez here examines cases in America's past that have been instrumental in forming contemporary conceptions of race, law, and whiteness. In 1790, Congress limited naturalization to white persons. This racial prerequisite for citizenship remained in force for over a century and a half, enduring until 1952. In a series of important cases, including two heard by the United States Supreme Court, judges around the country decided and defined who was white enough to become American.White by Law traces the reasoning employed by the courts in their efforts to justify the whiteness of some and the non- whiteness of others. Did light skin make a Japanese person white? Were Syrians white because they hailed geographically from the birthplace of Christ? Haney Lopez reveals the criteria that were used, often arbitrarily, to determine whiteness, and thus citizenship: skin color, facial features, national origin, language, culture, ancestry, scientific opinion, and, most importantly, popular opinion. Having defined the social and legal origins of whiteness, White by Law turns its attention to white identity today and concludes by calling upon whites to acknowledge and renounce their privileged racial identity.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Review quote

"Whiteness pays. As White by Law shows, immigrants recognized the value of whiteness and sometimes petitioned the courts to be recognized as white. Haney Lopez argues for the centrality of law in constructing race."-"Voice Literary Supplement",