The Importance Of Whiteness In Legal Literature

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The imposition of transparently white norms is a unique form of unconscious discrimination and exemplifies the structural aspect of white supremacy. Beyond the individual forms of racism that stereotyping, bias, and hostility represent lie the vast terrains of institutional racism, the maintenance of institutions that systematically advantage whites, and cultural racism the usually unstated assumption that white culture is superior to all others. A raised white consciousness of race would produce a very different rule in disparate impact cases. The process of reconstructing a disparate impact rule must begin, however, with a careful examination of the transparency phenomenon. Whiteness is always a salient personal characteristic, but once identified, …show more content…
Critical race theorists in particular have focused on the salience of race to legal analysis, arguing compellingly that race does and should matter in all aspects of the law, from legal doctrine and theory to the conduct of legal education and the composition of the legal academy. Alexander Aleinikoff has argued that racial justice cannot be attained absent recognition of the social significance of race; whites ' increased, color-conscious attention to black perspectives and experience is a crucial ingredient in the effort to eradicate the difference race has made in this society. Gary Peller has described the historical development of contemporary antidiscrimination norms. He argues that integrationism, colorblindness expressed as social policy, holds the dominant position it does in white ideology at least in part in response to the "threat" that the black nationalism of the 1960s and 1970s posed to whites. Whites ' endeavors to understand our own and blacks ' ways of thinking about blackness are never unimportant, but a thorough reexamination of race consciousness ought to feature a careful consideration of whites ' racial …show more content…
I call this the transparency phenomenon: the tendency of whites not to think about whiteness, or about norms, behaviors, experiences, or perspectives that are white-specific. Transparency often is the mechanism through which white decision makers who disavow white supremacy impose white norms on blacks. Transparency operates to require black assimilation even when pluralism is the articulated goal; it affords substantial advantages to whites over blacks even when decision makers intend to effect substantive racial justice. Today with a Black president in office, I won’t say that this theory does not apply, but when I look around at the diversity of my federal, state, and local government, one would think she is referring to the old country. Even though Black successful government representatives might be referred to as Uncle Tom’s, the fact of the matter is they are still Black, and they are still making

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