• White by Law: Legal Construction of Race See large image

    White by Law: Legal Construction of Race (Critical America Series) (Paperback) By (author) Ian F.Haney Lopez


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    DescriptionLily 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.

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  • Full bibliographic data for White by Law

    White by Law
    Legal Construction of Race
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Ian F.Haney Lopez
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 304
    Width: 151 mm
    Height: 232 mm
    Thickness: 19 mm
    Weight: 408 g
    ISBN 13: 9780814751374
    ISBN 10: 0814751377

    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KBB
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SOC
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.2
    BIC subject category V2: JFSL
    B&T General Subject: 750
    BIC subject category V2: JFFJ
    LC classification: HM
    BISAC V2.8: LAW012000
    BIC subject category V2: LNDA
    BISAC V2.8: SOC031000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    Abridged Dewey: 305
    BISAC V2.8: POL000000
    DC21: 342.730873
    Thema V1.0: JBFA, JBSL, LNDA
    New edition
    Edition statement
    New edition
    New York University Press
    Imprint name
    New York University Press
    Publication date
    31 January 1998
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    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",