Race and the Law
This course will explore the legal treatment of race in the United States. Central to this examination will be: (1) the legal and social construction of race and racism; (2) the legal history of racialized groups including African Americans, Latinos/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Arab and Middle Eastern Americans, and White Americans; (3) anti-discrimination laws (governing diverse areas such as education, employment, voting, familial relations, public accommodations, and housing); and (4) the relationship between race, language, and citizenship. A pervasive theme throughout the course will be the significance of race in the post-civil rights era. This inquiry will be analyzed under various modern civil rights perspectives including: Traditionalism (advocating for colorblindness and “reverse” racism claims), Reformism (supporting affirmative action); and Critical Race Theory (recognizing continued systemic subordination).