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Race, Class & Legal Injustices in the United States: Understanding Racial & Social Justice Advocacy
Resources and content linked in this guide will deepen the understanding of how race has played a core role in the origin, development and perpetuation of systemic racism and unequal treatment under the law and in American society.
White Rage by Carol AndersonThe end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House, and then the election of America's first black President, led to the expressionof white rage that has been as relentless as it has been brutal.
Call Number: E185.61 .A5438 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-31
Mea Culpa by Steven W. BenderIn Mea Culpa, Steven W. Bender examines how the United States' collective shame about its past has shaped the evolution of law and behavior. We regret slavery and segregationist Jim Crow laws. We eventually apologize, while ignoring other oppressions, and our legal response to regret often fails to be transformative for the affected groups. By examining policies and practices that have affected the lives of groups that have been historically marginalized and oppressed, Bender is able to draw persuasive connections between shame and its eventual legal manifestations. Analyzing the United States' historical response to its own atrocities, Bender identifies and develops a definitive moral compass that guides us away from the policies and practices that lead to societal regret. Mea Culpa challenges its readers. In a different era, might we have been slave owners or proprietors of a racially segregated establishment? It's easy to judge immorality in the hindsight of history, but what current practices and policies will later generations regret? More than a historical survey, this volume offers a framework for resolving some of the most contentious social problems of our time. Drawing on his background as a legal scholar, Bender tackles immigration, the death penalty, the war on terror, reproductive rights, welfare, wage inequity, homelessness, mass incarceration, and same-sex marriage. Ultimately, he argues, it is the dehumanization of human beings that allows for practices to occur that will later be marked as regrettable. And all of us have a stake in standing on the side of history that resists dehumanization.
Publication Date: 2015-01-09
Rethinking Racial Justice by Andrew VallsIn this book, Andrew Valls considers two solutions, one posed from the political right and one from the left. From the right is the idea that norms of equal treatment require that race be treated as irrelevant--in other words, that public policy and political institutions be race-blind. From the left is the idea that race-conscious policies are temporary, and are justifiable insofar as they promote diversity. This book takes issue with both of these sets of views, and therefore with the constricted ways in which racial justice is debated in the United States today.
Criminal and civil rights defense lawyer, author and activist. Bryan Stevenson is one of the most widely acclaimed leaders for racial and social justice advocacy in America. True Justice is a feature documentary that focuses on Stevenson’s life and career—particularly his indictment of the U.S. criminal justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism. His work and the founding of an organization called the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration.
Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, the Equal Justice Initiative is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. EJI challenges the death penalty and excessive punishment and provides re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.
EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. The organization is committed to changing the narrative about race in America.