Racism on Trial

Racism on Trial : The Chicano Fight for Justice

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In 1968, ten thousand students marched in protest over the terrible conditions prevalent in the high schools of East Los Angeles, the largest Mexican community in the United States. Chanting "Chicano Power," the young insurgents not only demanded change but heralded a new racial politics. Frustrated with the previous generation's efforts to win equal treatment by portraying themselves as racially white, the Chicano protesters demanded justice as proud members of a brown race. The legacy of this fundamental shift continues to this day.Ian Haney LOpez tells the compelling story of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles by following two criminal trials, including one arising from the student walkouts. He demonstrates how racial prejudice led to police brutality and judicial discrimination that in turn spurred Chicano militancy. He also shows that legal violence helped to convince Chicano activists that they were nonwhite, thereby encouraging their use of racial ideas to redefine their aspirations, culture, and selves. In a groundbreaking advance that further connects legal racism and racial politics, Haney LOpez describes how race functions as "common sense," a set of ideas that we take for granted in our daily lives. This racial common sense, Haney LOpez argues, largely explains why racism and racial affiliation persist today.By tracing the fluid position of Mexican Americans on the divide between white and nonwhite, describing the role of legal violence in producing racial identities, and detailing the commonsense nature of race, Haney LOpez offers a much needed, potentially liberating way to rethink race in the United States.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 132.1 x 193 x 22.9mm | 362.88g
  • The Belknap Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • Harvard Univ PR Pbk ed.
  • 21 halftones and 1 line illustration in a 16 page insert, 2 tables
  • 0674016297
  • 9780674016293
  • 1,657,045

Review quote

Haney Lopez transcends the history and politics of the Chicano movement and exposes the underlying 'common sense racism' on which he blames the extraordinary rate of exclusion of Latinos from grand jury service in L.A...Racism on Trial bridges the issues of race relations, protest movements, and the law with conviction and clarity. -- Jose Luis Sanchez Multicultural Review 20030901 Haney's evidentiary presentation is the highlight of the book. Unlike many social scientists, he realizes he has the burden of proof... Ian F. Haney Lopez's work contributes significantly to the understanding of the period. -- Rodolfo F. Acuna Journal of American History 20040601 At the heart of this book is a compelling examination of the ways in which their treatment by the police and the courts persuaded Chicanos to abandon the claim to be white and to fashion their own racial identity. -- M. J. Heale History Racism on Trial is a fascinating and thought-provoking study that adds much to our understanding of the Chicano movement and points to the centrality of race in America. By arguing that racism is common sense, Haney Lopez provides a useful model that can be applied to American history as a whole and in so doing redirect our notions of the construction of race and racism in the United States...[A] fine book that will have a profound influence on the study of legal, ethnic, and American history for years to come. -- Ernesto Chavez American Journal of Legal History 20051001show more

Table of contents

Prologue Part One: Litigating Mexican Identity 1. The Chicano Movement Cases 2. Proving Mexicans Exist 3. The Mexican Race in East L.A. Part Two: Common Sense and Legal Violence 4. Judges and Intentional Racism 5. Race and Racism as Common Sense 6. Law Enforcement and Legal Violence Part Three: The Chicano Race 7. The Chicano Movement and the East L.A. Thirteen 8. From Young Citizens to Brown Berets 9. Inventing Chicanos Epilogue Notes Acknowledgments Indexshow more

About Ian F. Haney Lopez

Ian F. Haney Lopez is Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and author of White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race.show more

Rating details

62 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 23% (14)
4 39% (24)
3 32% (20)
2 2% (1)
1 5% (3)
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