Racist

Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal/Harvard Journal on Race and Ethnic Justice, Vol. 25, p. 199, 2009

30 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2009 Last revised: 11 Apr 2015

Robert Steinbuch

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - William H. Bowen School of Law

Date Written: October 13, 2009

Abstract

A respectable newspaper asserted: "Racist has become a largely meaningless term of political invective-like . . . Liberal, Neocon[servative], name your favorite term of political invective." This article investigates the difference between the labels “racist,” on the one hand, and “liberal” and “conservative,” on the other, in four contexts: employment, admission to the bar, the use of peremptory challenges in jury selection, and defamation law. The article concludes that the newspaper got it wrong: the epithet “racist” is significant and harmful, unlike the generally benign classifications “liberal” and “conservative.” The lesson: the label “racist” is a pernicious pejorative and is generally recognized by the law as such. It should not be bandied about frivolously, but, rather, should be reserved for those situations in which actual racial discrimination exists.

Keywords: racism, equality, civil rights, equal protection, social justice

Suggested Citation

Steinbuch, Robert, Racist (October 13, 2009). Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal/Harvard Journal on Race and Ethnic Justice, Vol. 25, p. 199, 2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488561

Robert Steinbuch (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - William H. Bowen School of Law ( email )

1201 McMath Street
Little Rock, AR 72202
United States

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