The Rhetorical Allure of Post-Racial Process Discourse and the Democratic Myth

2018 Utah L. Rev. 523

56 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018

See all articles by Cedric Merlin Powell

Cedric Merlin Powell

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: June 26, 2018

Abstract

We are witnessing the power of distorted and neutral rhetoric that rings with deceptive clarity. This post-racial process discourse is advanced on many levels: in political discourse, by a distrustful citizenry energized by hateful rhetoric that appeals to their concerns of being “left behind” on the basis of “preferences” for minorities that diminish America’s “greatness,” and a Court that seeks to constitutionalize a mythic democracy that promises participation while implicitly endorsing structural exclusion.

Voter initiatives should not determine the substantive core of the Fourteenth Amendment. While democratic participation is essential to our Republic, decisions like Schuette perpetuate a democratic myth of accessibility while the political process has been restructured to ensure that race-conscious remedies are invalid. The danger is that we will accept this inequality as a natural product of our democracy. The Court once acknowledged this danger in its political process decisions; and, while these decisions have not been explicitly overruled, Schuette marks the constitutionalization of post-racial process discourse and the democratic myth. Now, more than ever, we must reject the rhetorical allure of this contrived neutrality.

Keywords: Post-racial Constitutionalism; Fourteenth Amendment; Process Theory; Voter Initiatives; Neutrality; Colorblindness

Suggested Citation

Powell, Cedric Merlin, The Rhetorical Allure of Post-Racial Process Discourse and the Democratic Myth (June 26, 2018). 2018 Utah L. Rev. 523. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3202921

Cedric Merlin Powell (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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