Both Williams and I share the relative though at times tenuous and contingent economic privilege bestowed upon middle-class academics of color. In an important chapter, Williams tells a story that she has called upon throughout her career in order to illustrate the experience of racial microaggression and to evidence the lived effects of racial discrimination 44— She sees a sweater in the window and attempts to enter the store to buy it for her mother. Equipped with a buzzer, a young, white employee in the store dismissively denies Williams entrance.
Through the story, Williams illustrates how the experiences of discrimination are embedded into the daily life of people of color. She also recounts how law school audiences and law journal editors have responded to the story: they objected to and censored her use of personal narrative as well as her insistence that race functioned as a determining factor in the event. It also teaches a critically important lesson regarding the presumed neutrality of legal discourse as it is commonly used to render racism and structural discrimination invisible.
At the same time, the narrative perfectly demonstrates the way in which critical race theory, as a discourse rooted in bourgeois legal ideology, runs the risk of reproducing and affirming the dominant ideology as such. That is, she is excluded from a then trendy, upscale, and elite which is to say economically exclusive fashion emporium. If the buzzer system is predicated upon the racist logic that excludes Williams because she was black, the economic system that makes high-end retail stores possible regularly presupposes the exploitation and exclusion of the poor and working class altogether.
By protecting the regime of private property and capitalist relations of production, the law protects and makes possible these examples of exploitation and exclusion. The task is to expand private property rights into a concept of civil rights, into the right to expect civility from others. But we also need to go one step farther. Where Matsuda argues that a just world—in which all wounds are healed and the lost are returned to us—can only come about through the expansion of civil rights in general, Williams suggests that it is the reformation and expansion of the conjoined rights to privacy and property, in particular, that offers our best hope of living with each other.
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Above all other things, law and civil rights protect the regime of private property, which presupposes conditions of alienation and exploitation. By valorizing and committing itself to the law, CRT contents itself with political emancipation, and forecloses the possibility of general emancipation.
To be clear, my argument is not that CRT is limited to a project of political emancipation because it focuses too much on race. Because of its commitment to the law and civil rights, at its best CRT may only be able to produce political emancipation from some of the effects of racism. At its worst, it inadvertently facilitates the expansion and reification of the dominant ordering of the world in which the production of race and class are mutually implicated.
In writing this, I do not mean to dismiss or discount the contributions of the CRT movement. On the contrary, I believe the work of the authors I have discussed should be essential reading for all of us committed to the project of emancipation. But as much as we must study the extraordinary contributions of the CRT movement, we must also read against its limits.
The promise of the CRT movement lies in its radicality: its willingness to work within the structure of law to destroy some of the legal technologies that make racism a lived reality.
Its weakness is its commitment to the law and civil rights as ends unto themselves. In the end, emancipation will require freedom from the law as we know it, insofar as law serves, in the last instance, to reproduce the inegalitarian and bourgeois ideology of racial capitalism. In the end, these are the best outcomes afforded by legal or political emancipation. It is not enough for the relatively privileged few to take refuge in the precarious oasis of security and private accumulation, protected as it is by a wall of civil rights.
anagdotcaujins.tk Search history from this session 0. Metrics Views Critical Asian American Legal Theory The condensed and cursory genealogy I have thus far provided runs the risk of eliding critical components, lines of flight, and points of divergence that occur under the umbrella of what we are calling critical race theory.
Matsuda , The rage is just, she contends. Conclusion To be clear, my argument is not that CRT is limited to a project of political emancipation because it focuses too much on race. Althusser, Louis. London and New York: Verso. On the Reproduction of Capitalism. Translated by G.
Beatty, Paul. The White Boy Shuffle. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Bell, Jr. New York: Norton.
Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext e. Brown, Wendy , and Janet E. Halley , 1— Chang, Robert. Chang, Robert S.
Cornell, Drucilla. New ed. New York: New Press. Delgado, Richard , and Jean Stefancic. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction.
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Derrida, Jacques. Greenhouse, Steven. Accessed August 12, Haney-Lopez, Ian. Hong, Grace Kyungwon. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Irons, Peter H. New York: Viking. Kennedy, Duncan. Career Center. New Attorney Registration.
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