Critical Race Theory

Link – ‘Integrationist’ thinking

Download 0.7 Mb.
Size0.7 Mb.
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   32

Link – ‘Integrationist’ thinking

Intergration” forces people of color to assimilate to an oppressive culture where race is a taboo but they are still judged for it

Peller, 2011 (Gary [Professor at Georgetown Law], "History, Identity, and Alienation", CONNECTICUT LAW REVIEW VOLUME 43 JULY 2011 NUMBER 5, 6/28, 1481 – 1501, // cjh

Integrationism within the African American community has had two¶ main, and divergent, meanings. Rather than signify the opening of¶ American institutions neutrally to all, as it has historically for virtually all¶ white liberals and progressives, many African Americans have historically¶ understood racial integration as more problematic because it also signified¶ cultural assimilation rather than liberal neutrality.14 As Professor Cruse, a¶ nationalist, argued, integration means assimilation, because it means¶ integrating into white cultural practices,15 or “the Negro . . . transform[ing]¶ himself into a white black-man,” as Robert Browne, another nationalist¶ intellectual, put it.16¶ Primarily among middle-class Blacks there has traditionally existed¶ another strand of integrationist ideology, articulated along the lines of the¶ Frederick Douglas/NAACP tradition that did not see integration as cultural¶ assimilation.17 Like its counterpart among whites, this integrationism¶ consisted of a liberal, rights-oriented conception of the triumph of¶ rationality and equality over prejudice and discrimination, reflected in¶ terms of encompassing African Americans as full citizens in liberal¶ American democracy. The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. evoke the¶ idea of a day where men “will not be judged by the color of their skin but¶ by the content of their character.”18¶ As Cruse describes its class dimensions, Black integrationism is¶ associated with the Black middle class because that class is the only Black¶ group for whom such integration could seem attainable:¶ [T]he Negro working class has been roped in and tied to the¶ chariot of racial integration driven by the Negro middle class.¶ In this drive for integration the Negro working class is being¶ told in a thousand ways that it must give up its ethnicity and become human, universal, full-fledged American. Within the¶ context of this forced alliance of class aims there is no room¶ for Negro art . . . or Negro art institutions . . . because all of¶ this is self-segregation which hangs up “our” drive for¶ integration.19¶ The integrationist philosophy sees Negro ghettoes as¶ products of racial segregation that should not even exist.¶ Hence, nothing in the traditions of ghettoes are [sic] worth¶ preserving even when ghettoes do exist in actuality. This is¶ typical integrationist logic on all things social.20¶ Black nationalism, on the other hand, involves the centering of race¶ consciousness to identify a Black community, based on the idea that race¶ constitutes African Americans as a distinct social group.21 “In contrast to¶ the integrationist premise that blacks and whites are essentially the same,¶ the idea of race as the organizing basis for group-consciousness asserts that¶ blacks and whites are different, in the sense of coming from different¶ [social histories and dissimilar conditions of life].”22

Link -- Law

The law is responsible for racism and its negative impacts

Carbado 3--(Devon W., Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 112, No. 7 (May, 2003), pp. 1757-1828 , cayla_)

Robert Chang observes that the articulation of race as a social construction is "a mantra"'49 in CRT. "[F]or fun," Professor Chang sometimes has his "students say it out loud .... Nothing happens. They are not enlightened, and the world has not changed .... So why the mantra?"50 CRT's answer is that the conceptualization of race as a social construction helps to explain not only the intelligibility and currency of race as a social category (that is, the existence of race) but also the negative and positive social meanings associated with specific racial identities (that is, the existence of racial hierarchy). Several of the essays in A New Critical Race Theory illustrate this point. Consider Robert Hayman and Nancy Levit's contribution to the volume."5 Their essay performs a periodizational analysis of the social construction of race to advance the claim that race was never simply "out there" to be identified and discovered. Rather, they argue, race was invented "in a quite literal sense."52 Their analysis begins in the seventeenth century, between 1619 and 1662. They argue that, during this period, the idea of race had not yet crystallized. While European colonists were mindful of bodily differences between themselves and Africans, those differences were not a basis for the establishment of a social hierarchy. Instead, "whatever 'race'-ism may have characterized the early colonies was vague, incomplete, and far from universal."'3 We are somewhat skeptical of the claim that the colonists saw bodily differences between themselves and the Africans as differences without social or hierarchical significance. At the very least, Europeans perceived Africans to be primitive.54 Nor are we convinced that the concept of race did not exist before this period. One can argue that many of the clashes between ethnically different groups in China, Egypt, and India-among other regions-were informed by what we would today articulate as racial discourses." Still, the general point that Hayman and Levit make-that race evolved and that that evolution was a function of societal needs, politics, and economics-is well-taken.56 According to Hayman and Levit, between 1662 and 1776, the idea of race-an idea that developed to require both racial categorization and racial hierarchy-was instantiated. During this period, a variety of discourses articulated the African/European differences as differences in worth and entitlement. It is in this context that "[r]ace emerged ... as a determinant of legal status .... [T]he 'negro' was a slave and the 'white' person was free."57 Between 1776 and 1835, the material realities of race were further entrenched by political rationalization. Hayman and Levit reason that this rationalization was needed "to resolve the contradiction between the ideology of the revolutionary generation and the fact of chattel slavery."'58 The final period Hayman and Levit identify is "1835-?", presumably suggesting that we are still in this period. Here, politicians, academics, and scientists enlisted the rhetoric of science, and the results of "scientific studies," to prove the "truths" about race.59 Hayman and Levit's essay demonstrates that race does not exist a priori, but is instead produced by discourses. These discourses-in politics, law, and science-create, give meaning to, and organize race.60 And this process of racial formation is unstable. The definition of race has changed, the list of racial categories has changed, and the social meaning of specific racial identities has changed. Race thus is, and historically has been, mutable61--or, to put the point in slightly different terms, race did not have to exist,62 and it certainly did not have to exist in the forms it has throughout American history.

The law fails to bring about positive racial change – it must be rejected

Chang 93 – (Robert S. Seattle University Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality “Toward an Asian American Legal Scholarship: Critical Race Theory, Post-Structuralism, and Narrative Space” California Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1241+1243-1323 , cayla_)

The Critical Legal Studies movement emerged in order to examine the ways in which the law reinforces hierarchical social relations. Critical Legal Scholars draw from several political and intellectual movements, including Marxism, Legal Realism, poststructuralism, and postmodemism. Critical Legal Scholars contend that legal doctrine is indeterminate, contradictory, and partial to privileged classes. Far from being a site of abstract and neutral reasoning, law, Critical Legal Scholars contend, is ideological and political. Critical Legal Scholars also argue that the law invokes imposing images and technical language in order to mystify its audiences and to convince them that legal arrangements are natural and inevitable. Critical Legal Scholars often target legal rights in their critiques. Critical Legal Scholars believe that rights are malleable and that they alienate individuals from one another and induce a false consciousness among oppressed people who, believing they are truly protected by rights, do not actively resist their oppression. Several, though not all, Critical Legal Scholars trash rights and argue that progressives should stress informality over the structure of rights; rights simply reify law and nurture the illusion of law's naturalness. Postmodemism leads Critical Legal Scholars to question reliance upon law as a vehicle for achieving justice. Critical Legal Scholars conclude that rights are part of an oppressive social regime and that progressive scholars should forcefully deconstruct their seemingly natural status. 85 Critical Race Theorists share Critical Legal Scholars' skepticism toward law's purported neutrality. They accept Critical Legal Scholars' indeterminacy thesis, believe that the law reinforces hierarchical social relations, and concur with the notion that the law is a limited, perhaps even improper, instrument for pursuing equality. Yet, Critical Race Theorists do not share the Critical Legal Scholars' desire to move beyond a rights structure. Although they concede that rights are malleable and socially constructed, they are also aware of the importance of rights in the struggle for racial justice. Several Critical Race Theorists contributed to a symposium in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 6 in which they criticized Critical Legal Scholars for failing to recognize the importance of rights for communities of color. Although they acknowledge the limitations of rights talk, Critical Race Theorists also believe that rights play a vital role in antiracism. Patricia Williams, for example, eloquently conveys the simultaneous mistrust of and reliance upon rights by blacks: To say that blacks never fully believed in rights is true; yet it is also true that blacks believed in them so much and so hard that we gave them life where there was none before. We held onto them, put the hope of them into our wombs, and mothered them-not just the notion of them. We nurtured rights and gave rights life. And this was not the dry process of reification, from which life is drained and reality fades as the cement of conceptual determinism hardens roundbut its opposite. This was the resurrection of life from 400-year-old ashes; the parthenogenesis of unfertilized hope.87 Critical Race Theorists, therefore, embrace both a postmodernist skepticism toward the efficacy, neutrality, and inevitability of law and a concomitant modernist reliance upon law and enlightened reasoning as sources of antiracist resistance. 88 In a thoughtful account of the divide between Critical Race Theory and Critical Legal Studies, Angela Harris argues that the task for Critical Race Theorists is to "live in the conflict between modernism and postmodernism."' 9 Harris offers a healthy resolution to the apparent internal contradiction of Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theorists cannot completely reject postmodernism, because "the old optimistic faith in reason, truth, blind justice, and neutrality, have not brought us to racial justice, but have rather left us 'stirring the ashes."' 90 Nevertheless, a wholesale commitment to postmodernism (and complete rejection of modernist principles) is undesirable because "faith in reason and truth and belief in the essential freedom of rational subjects have enabled people of color to survive and resist subordination."91 Both postmodernism and modernism offer strategic advantages for antiracist theory. Rather than seeking to resolve its internal conflict, Critical Race Theory should seek to "inhabit that very tension."92

Share with your friends:
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   32

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page