Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Richard Thompson Ford -- The Simple Falsehoods of Race

The old debate between W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington lives on, but the terms have been flipped on their heads

Richard Thompson Ford is George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. His scholarship includes work on critical race theory, local government law, housing segregation, and employment discrimination.

(The American Interest)  - Ultimately, both Dawson and Sowell overemphasize racism and discrimination, albeit in different ways. While Dawson assumes that America’s undeniable racial schism must be attributable to the force of racism in society, Sowell concludes that in the absence of overt bigotry or intentional discrimination, the only explanations for black disadvantage are the shortcomings of black people themselves. Martinez’s history suggests why both conclusions may be inaccurate: Race has certainly warped and perverted American politics and culture so that today even innocent decisions and neutral policies can unwittingly perpetuate racial inequality. The civil rights policies of the 21st century must address these deformations underlying overt racial controversies and persistent inequalities. These include the destructive consequences of slavery, segregation and racism for the culture and habits of many blacks, as well as for the attitudes of many whites, and the politics of the nation writ large.

Richard Thompson Ford, The Simple Falsehoods of Race, The American Interest, November/December 2013.