Racism 4.0, Civity, and Re-Constitution

36 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015 Last revised: 26 May 2015

Date Written: March 2, 2015


Racism has been so deeply embedded in our culture for so long that actions taken to uproot it have not been entirely successful. After each concerted effort, racism grows back but in a different form. To emphasize the evolutionary nature of these “versions” or “updates” of racism, I label them Racism 1.0, Racism 2.0, Racism 3.0, and – the current “operating system” – Racism 4.0. Each of these represents a distinctive iteration of social mores, institutions, and law. Today’s Racism 4.0 manifests itself in racially disparate group outcomes in criminal justice, education, health, economic resources, housing, and employment; it operates primarily through unconscious acts of myriad individuals and automatic reproduction of racial advantage and disadvantage that have arisen over time from past collective discrimination. This paper traces how Racism 4.0 runs on implicit bias, white privilege, structural racism, and white advantage. It denotes how current anti-discrimination law, which developed to challenge prior iterations of racism, is ineffectual in the face of Racism 4.0. It discusses two approaches to countering today’s racism. The first, civity, counters implicit bias and white privilege with “power-with” relationships across racial lines. The second consists of three legal touchstones including (1) progressive taxation and investment to address existing disadvantage of Black citizens as a group; (2) regional policy-making to address disparities in our metropolitan areas; and (3) recognition of economic, social, and cultural human rights to make equality real. Re-constitution – both sociopolitical and legal – is necessary to address racism today.

Keywords: racism, implicit bias, white privilege, structural racism, white advantage, equal protection, anti-discrimination law, regions, metropolitan areas, human rights, ICESCR, public investment, progressive taxation

Suggested Citation

Strand, Palma Joy, Racism 4.0, Civity, and Re-Constitution (March 2, 2015). 42 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 763 (2015), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2572641

Palma Joy Strand (Contact Author)

Marquette University Law School ( email )

1215 W. Michigan St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
United States

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