Critical Race Theory

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Alt – Deconstruction (Asian American Specific)

Deconstruction of identity is the reevaluation of its past, not its destruction

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_)

We see, then, that though there is power in affirming the category Asian American, the category is also limiting, especially because it remains defined in terms of the dominant group.414 As long as our identity is defined oppositionally or in contradistinction to others, we are still enslaved to a degree. That the term "Asian American" can be an oppressive categorization is the starting point of the third branch of Asian American Legal Scholarship-post-structuralism-which deconstructs the category "Asian American," emancipating us from its limits. Only when we are free of it can we be free to give ourselves our own identity.415 Only in this way can we be free to embrace our identity rather than having our identity thrust upon us from the outside.416 The question becomes whether Asian American Legal Scholarship can survive this post-structural deconstruction of the category "Asian American."417 If a full post-structural critique deconstructs all categories, including race, then once the category "Asian American" is deconstructed, so the question goes, how can it any longer serve as a useful category? This critique misunderstands deconstruction. Part of the problem lies in the word "deconstruction" which implies a breaking down or breaking apart.418 Deconstruction does no such thing. It reveals things to be historically situated and socially constructed, but this realization in no way changes the current construction of the category except to remove any foundational claims.419 Deconstruction simply reveals the potential for change; a category could be constructed differently in the future, or perhaps our present could be reconstructed differently by revising or reinterpreting our past.420 To reiterate, in no way does deconstructing the category "Asian American" change the fact that I am an Asian American. My context has constructed me as Asian American. This understanding of contextual situatedness enables Post-structural Asian American Legal Scholarship to use multiple consciousness as a method to understand and participate in Stages One, Two, and Three without inconsistency.421 It is able to do this because it understands law as a contextual practice that has certain rules. Even while it criticizes and tries to undermine those rules, it can engage in civil rights struggles because it understands that removal of oppression is beneficial, even if it must come in stages. Mari Matsuda's article, Voices of America: Accent, Antidiscrimination Law, and a Jurisprudence for the Last Reconstruction, 422 is an example of multiple consciousness at work. She says at the end of her article, "I have written to persuade readers of good will to adopt legal rules and ethical positions that promote linguistic pluralism. I have used existing legal doctrine, traditional liberal theory, and new critical theories in this effort."423 She recognizes the inherent contradictions, the internal inconsistencies of doing all three, yet she is able to do it because an Asian American Legal Scholarship has a pragmatic face. It has a multiple consciousness that can assume various guises. It assumes these guises with a final goal in mind: liberation. Tremendous diversity exists within the category "Asian American." And tremendous diversity exists among the disempowered. We must remember, though, that it is only through solidarity that we will one day be free to express our diversity.

Alt – Unmask racism

We must interrogate and end white privilege in order to truly progress in society

Lopez, 2003 (Gerardo [Professor of Political Science], "The (Racially Neutral) Politics of Education: A Critical Race Theory Perspective", Educational Administration Quarterly Vol. 39, No. 1 (February 2003) 68-94, 6/28, // cjh

Because it is so ordinary, we often fail to see how it functions and shapes¶ our institutions, relationships, and ways of thinking. By unmasking the hidden¶ faces of racism, CRT aims to expose and unveil White privilege “in its¶ various permutations” (Ladson-Billings, 1999, p. 12) and reveal a social¶ order that is highly stratified and segmented along racial lines. It is hoped that¶ such an unveiling will reveal the simple fact that racism is a permanent fixture¶ in the American political, legal, and social spectrum (Bell, 1995b; Crenshaw¶ et al., 1995; Delgado, 1995a; Delgado & Stefancic, 2001).¶ A second tenet of CRT is “Interest Convergence” (Bell, 1995a), or the¶ belief that Whites will tolerate and advance the interests of people of color¶ only when they promote the self-interests of Whites. Consider, for example,¶ the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision. Derrick Bell¶ (1995a) suggested that the Supreme Court decided in favor of desegregation,¶ not because of the historical plight and social conditions of people of color,¶ but because the United States needed to soften its stance on racism to politically¶ appease its ally countries in the third world during the cold war. In addition,¶ Bell documented how the courts were especially sympathetic to White¶ people’s fear of yet another potential uprising by African Americans. Bell’s¶ research suggests that something dramatic needed to be done on a large scale¶ to prevent the possible boiling-over of African Americans in the United¶ States and the potential damage such an uprising could cause for White individuals.¶ In effect, Brown v. Board of Education was passed simply because¶ the material interests of Whites converged with the civil rights interests of¶ African Americans at this particular point in time (Bell, 1995a; see also Harris,¶ 1995). Such a convergence not only ensures that racism always remains¶ firmly in place but that social progress advances at the pace that White people¶ determine is reasonable and judicious (Bell, 1995a).

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