Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?

Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?

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More than just a legal doctrine, color-blind constitutionalism has emerged as the defining metaphor of the post-Civil Rights era. Even for those challenging its constitutional authority, the language of color-blindness sets the terms of debate. Critics of color-blind constitutionalism are in this sense captured by the object of their critique. And yet, paradoxically, to enact a color-blind rule actually requires a heightened awareness of race. As such, color-blind
constitutionalism represents a particular form of racial consciousness rather than an alternative to it.

Challenging familiar understandings of race, rights, and American law, Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional? explores how current equal protection law renders the pursuit of racial equality constitutionally suspect. Identifying hierarchy rather than equality as an enduring constitutional norm, the book demonstrates how the pursuit of racial equality, historically, has been viewed as a violation of white rights. Arguing against conservative and liberal redemption narratives, both of
which imagine racial equality as the perfection of American democracy, Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional? calls instead for a break from the current constitutional order, that it may be re-founded upon principles of racial democracy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 164 x 240 x 21mm | 458g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0190683600
  • 9780190683603
  • 2,306,889

Table of contents

Part I: The Race-Conscious Logic of Color-Blind Constitutionalism
Chapter 1: Beyond Color-Blindness and Color-Consciousness
Chapter 2: Constitutive Racism, Redemptive Constitutionalism
Part II: Color-Blindness Against the Color-Line
Chapter 3: The Lessons of Plessy
Chapter 4: The Limits of Brown
Part III: Color-Blindness After the Color-Line
Chapter 5: Defending White Rights
Chapter 6: Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?
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Review quote

"Liberals and conservatives may disagree on what-if any-kinds of corrective racial justice policies are permissible. But both will agree on the vision of a color-blind Constitution, whether as aspirational ideal or functioning reality. In this uncompromising challenge to the conventional racial wisdom, Mark Golub forces us to face a shocking possibility: that white racial domination is constitutionally protected. Everyone concerned about the realistic prospects for achieving racial equality in the United States needs to read this book."
- Charles W. Mills, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center

"With great intelligence, insight and erudition, Mark Golub demonstrates how both liberal and conservative legal theorists and judges have fundamentally misunderstood the realities of racial domination in the United States. Through careful, critical, and detailed analyses of Brown v. Board, Plessy v. Ferguson, and other landmark cases, Golub reveals how the ideal of colorblindness as the default position for social justice actually functions as a color conscious tool crafted to protect white preferences and privileges."
-- George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

"Lucidly written and theoretically rich, Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional? upends the assumption that colorblindness represents a disavowal of racial consciousness and awareness. Instead, drawing from a wide range of cases and sites, Golub shows how colorblind 'racial neutrality' has continually fueled white racial advantage. A sober and important book for our times."
- -Daniel Martinez HoSang, Yale University
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About Mark Golub

Mark Golub is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of the Legal Studies Program at Scripps College, Claremont, CA. He specializes in critical race theory, constitutional law, and African American political thought. His work focuses on the limits of official anti-racist discourse and the legal construction of racial entitlement.
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