Defining Race Through Law: Enforcing the Social Norms of Power and Privilege
Donna E. Young
Albany Law School
Albany Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 1041, 2009
Albany Law School Research Paper No. 37
United States jurisprudence on racial subordination and inequality has been studied by lawmakers around the globe. This is not surprising given the historical impact that race has had on U.S. constitutionalism. Yet, some of the most successful anti-discrimination principles found in constitutional models outside the United States owe their effectiveness not to the ways in which they have emulated U.S. constitutionalism, but in the ways in which they have departed from it. This departure is due, in part, to the United States' failure to provide a progressive and workable vision of race. Structural or systemic racial subordination fall well outside the legal framework that was designed to address individual cases involving an identifiable wrongdoer and an identifiable person who has been wronged. Unfortunately, the U.S. legal system has too often supported a system of racial classification in order to distribute and manage privilege.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 7
Keywords: jurisprudence, US constitutionalism, systemic racial subordination
Date posted: March 23, 2010
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