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Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?$
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Mark Golub

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683603.001.0001

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Beyond Color-Blindness and Color-Consciousness

Beyond Color-Blindness and Color-Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter 1 Beyond Color-Blindness and Color-Consciousness
Source:
Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?
Author(s):

Mark Golub

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190683603.003.0001

This introductory chapter analyzes how color-blindness discourse functions simultaneously as legal doctrine and as political ideology. As doctrine, “getting beyond race” is the ostensible goal of both conservative and liberal theories of equal protection, expressed as principles of anticlassification or antidiscrimination respectively. Both views are criticized by antisubordination theory, which rejects color-blindness even in its aspirational form. As ideology, color-blindness establishes a racial common sense meant to reconcile the nation’s moral condemnation of racism with entrenched and pervasive material inequality by race. The chapter seeks to move beyond color-blindness and color-consciousness by analyzing both terms as elements of racial formation and by exposing color-blind constitutionalism’s underlying racial commitments.

Keywords:   color-blindness, color-consciousness, critical race theory, racial formation, racial hegemony, equal protection, antisubordination, discrimination, constitutional law, civil rights

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