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ALT—Anti-Subordination Framing



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ALT—Anti-Subordination Framing

We should frame the question of executive power in terms of racialized harm and otherization. Refusing accommodation with values of the security state is a precondition for preventing racialized hierarchy.


Gil GOTT Int’l Studies @ DePaul 5 “The Devil We Know: Racial Subordination and National Security Law” Villanova Law Review, Vol. 50, Iss. 4, p. 1075-1076
Anti-subordinationist principles require taking more complete account of how enemy groups are racialized, and how they come to be constructed as outsiders and the kinds of harms that may befall them as such. Group-based status harms include those that have been inscribed in law and effectuated through state action, and those that arise within civil society, through social structures, institutions, culture and habitus. Familiarity with the processes of racialization is a necessary precondition for appreciating and remedying such injuries. Applying anti-subordinationist thinking to national security law and policy does not require arguing that only race-based effects matter, but does require affording significant analytical and normative weight to the problems of such status harms. Racial injuries require racial remedies. Foregrounding anti-subordinationist principles in national security law and policy analysis departs significantly from traditional approaches in the field. Nonetheless, arguments based in history, political theory and pragmatism suggest that such a fundamental departure is warranted. Historically, emergency-induced "states of exception" 6 that have suspended legal protections against governmental abuses have tended to be identitybased in conception and implementation. 7 Viewed from the perspective of critical political theory, the constellation of current "security threats" rests on the epochal co-production of identity-based and market-driven global political antagonisms, referred to somewhat obliquely as civilization clashes or perhaps more forthrightly as American imperialism. Pragmatically, it makes no sense to fight terrorism by alienating millions of Muslim, Arab and South Asian residents in the United States and hundreds of millions more abroad through abusive treatment and double standards operative in identity-based repression at home and in selective, preemptive U.S. militarism abroad. Such double standards undermine the democratic legitimacy of the United States both in its internal affairs and in its assertions of global leadership. Indeed, there seems to be no shortage of perspectives from which liberal legal institutions would be enjoined from embracing a philosophy of political decisionism precisely at the interface of law and security, an anomic frontier along which are likely to arise identity-based regimes of exception and evolving race-based forms of subordination. Part I analyzes accommodationist approaches that variously incorporate security-inflected logic in truncating the regulative role law plays in national security contexts. I will seek to understand the accommodationist thrust of these interventions in light of the authors' operative assumptions regarding the proper array of interests and exigencies to be balanced. I will argue that the interests of demonized "enemy groups" facing racebased status harm-Muslims, Arabs and South Asians in the United States-are ineffectively engaged through accommodationist frameworks. The decisionist impulse of these analyses, that is, the tendency to acquiesce in the outcomes of non-substantively constrained statist and/or majoritarian political process, results from an incomplete grasp of the racialization processes. In short, more race consciousness is needed in national security law and policy in order to cement substantive commitments and procedural safeguards against historical and ongoing racebased subordination through the racialization of "security threats."




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