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Series

Race

Faculty Scholarship

Boston University School of Law

Civil Rights and Discrimination

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan P. Feingold Jan 2021

Deficit Frame Dangers, Jonathan P. Feingold

Faculty Scholarship

Civil rights advocates have long viewed litigation as an essential, if insufficient, catalyst of social change. In part, it is. But in critical respects that remain underexplored in legal scholarship, civil rights litigation can hinder short- and long-term projects of racial justice.

Specifically, certain civil rights doctrines reward plaintiffs for emphasizing community deficits—or what I term a “deficit frame.” Legal doctrine, in other words, invites legal narratives that track, activate, and reinforce pernicious racial stereotypes. This dynamic, even in the context of well-intended litigation, risks entrenching conditions that drive racial inequality—including the conditions that litigation is often intended ...


The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2021

The Color Line: A Review And Reflection For Antiracist Scholars, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

In The Color Line: A Short Introduction, David Lyons provides a valuable service to students and academics in law, social sciences, and humanities by providing a concise history of the development and maintenance of race and racial order through law, policy, and discrimination in the United States. Lyons effectively outlines how race and racism were developed through these mechanisms in an effort to facilitate and maintain white supremacy.


(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri Sep 2020

(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri

Faculty Scholarship

A review of Henry Louis Gates, Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow (Penguin Press, 2019). The Review proceeds in four parts. Part I parses Gates’s analysis of the rise of white supremacist ideology and the accompanying concept of the “Old Negro” during the Redemption era and the countervailing emergence of the concept of a “New Negro” culminating in the Harlem Renaissance. Part II examines the lawyering process as a rhetorical site for constructing racialized narratives and racially subordinating visions of client, group, and community identity through acts of representing, prosecuting, and defending people ...


Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2020

Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Every week brings a new story about racialized linguistic discrimination. It happens in restaurants, on public transportation, and in the street. It also happens behind closed courtroom doors during jury selection. While it is universally recognized that dismissing prospective jurors because they look like racial minorities is prohibited, it is too often deemed acceptable to exclude jurors because they sound like racial minorities. The fact that accent discrimination is commonly racial, ethnic, and national origin discrimination is overlooked. This Article critically examines sociolinguistic scholarship to explain the relationship between accent, race, and racism. It argues that accent discrimination in jury ...


Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2018

Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a twofold crisis: police killings of people of color and unaccountability for these killings in the criminal justice system. In many instances, the officers’ use of deadly force is captured on video and often appears clearly unjustified, but grand and petit juries still fail to indict and convict, leaving many baffled. This Article provides an explanation for these failures: juror reliance on “racial character evidence.” Too often, jurors consider race as evidence in criminal trials, particularly in police killing cases where the victim was a person of color. Instead of focusing on admissible evidence, jurors ...


Blinding Prosecutors To Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal To Reduce Unconscious Bias In The Criminal Justice System, Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baughman Dec 2015

Blinding Prosecutors To Defendants’ Race: A Policy Proposal To Reduce Unconscious Bias In The Criminal Justice System, Sunita Sah, Christopher Robertson, Shima Baughman

Faculty Scholarship

Racial minorities are disproportionately imprisoned in the United States. This disparity is unlikely to be due solely to differences in criminal behavior. Behavioral science research has documented that prosecutors harbor unconscious racial biases. These unconscious biases play a role whenever prosecutors exercise their broad discretion, such as in choosing what crimes to charge and when negotiating plea bargains. To reduce this risk of unconscious racial bias, we propose a policy change: Prosecutors should be blinded to the race of criminal defendants wherever feasible. This could be accomplished by removing information identifying or suggesting the defendant’s race from police dossiers ...


From Outsider Status To Insider And Outsider Again: Interest Convergence Theory And Normalization Of Lgbt Identity, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Alexander Nourafshan Jan 2015

From Outsider Status To Insider And Outsider Again: Interest Convergence Theory And Normalization Of Lgbt Identity, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Alexander Nourafshan

Faculty Scholarship

After the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional,and after the granting of certiorari in Obergell v. Hodges, where the Supreme Court will decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to provide a marriage license to same-sex couples, national marriage equality seems like a legal inevitability.However, Windsor and Obergell, along with other state-level advances toward marriage equality, are not equally promising for all members of the lesbian and gay community. Although Windsor and the revolution of cases that have led to Obergell hold significant promise for ...


Defusing Implicit Bias, Jonathan P. Feingold, Karen Lorang Jan 2012

Defusing Implicit Bias, Jonathan P. Feingold, Karen Lorang

Faculty Scholarship

The February 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin has slowly reignited the national conversation about race and violence. Despite the sheer volume of debate arising from this tragedy, insufficient attention has been paid to the potentially deadly mix of guns and implicit bias. Evidence of implicit bias, and its power to alter real-world behavior, is stronger now than ever. A growing body of research on “shooter bias” reveals that, as a result of implicit bias, White and Black Americans are more likely to shoot unarmed Black men than unarmed White men. The problem has been diagnosed. What remains to be determined ...


Another Hair Piece: Exploring New Strands Of Analysis Under Title Vii, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Apr 2010

Another Hair Piece: Exploring New Strands Of Analysis Under Title Vii, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay re-examines antidiscrimination case law that allows employers to enforce hair grooming policies that prohibit natural hairstyles for black women, such as braids, locks, and twists. In so doing, this Essay sets forth an intersectional, biological - as opposed to cultural - argument for why such bans are discriminatory under Title VII. Specifically, this Essay argues that antidiscrimination law fails to address intersectional race and gender discrimination against black women through such grooming restrictions because it does not recognize braided, twisted, and locked hairstyles as black-female equivalents of Afros, which are protected as racial characteristics under existing law. The claim here ...


Tragedy & Remedy: Reparations For Disparities In Black Health, Kevin Outterson Jan 2005

Tragedy & Remedy: Reparations For Disparities In Black Health, Kevin Outterson

Faculty Scholarship

The Tragedy of American health care is the stubborn persistence of disparities in Black health, one hundred and forty years after Emancipation, and more than four decades after the passage of Title VI. Formal legal equality has not translated into actual health equality. This Tragedy is deeper and older than mere legal forms; it has been supported by powerful social institutions, including some governments, charities, market participants, religions, ideologies, and cultures. Black health disparities interact with other vestiges of slavery such as disparities in wealth, education, employment and housing. They have permeated the American health experience. Efforts to eliminate Black ...


Race, Civil Rights, And Immigration Law After September 11, 2001, Susan Akram Jan 2003

Race, Civil Rights, And Immigration Law After September 11, 2001, Susan Akram

Faculty Scholarship

This article is part of a symposium on "Migration Regulation Goes Local: The Role of States in U.S. Immigration Policy." Although only time will tell, September 11, 2001 promises to be a watershed in thehistory of the United States. Not long after the tragedy, supporters and critics alike saw the federal government as "pushing the envelope" in restricting civil liberties in the name of national security. This article analyzes the nation's response to the horrific loss of life of September 11 and shows how the centralization ofimmigration power in the hands of the federal government, may exacerbate the ...