Copyright (c) 2003 Michigan Law Review
Michigan Law Review
ESSAY: AMERICAN RACIAL JUSTICE ON TRIAL - AGAIN: AFRICAN AMERICAN REPARATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND THE WAR ON TERROR
101 Mich. L. Rev. 1269
Eric K. Yamamoto,* Susan K. Serrano,** and Michelle Natividad Rodriguez***
Few questions challenge us to consider 380 years of history all at once, to tunnel inside our souls to discover what we truly believe about race and equality and the value of human suffering.
- Kevin Merida 1
(on African American reparations)
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said today that terrorists can only be attacked from "the highest moral plan" and that there is no contradiction between the Bush Administration's war on terrorism and a continuing U.S. commitment to human rights.
- Karen DeYoung 2
Much has been written recently on African American reparations 3 and reparations movements worldwide, 4 both in the popular press and scholarly publications. Indeed, the expanding volume of writing underscores the impact on the public psyche of movements for reparations for historic injustice.
Some of that writing has highlighted the legal obstacles faced by proponents of reparations lawsuits, particularly a judicial system that focuses on individual (and not group-based) claims and tends to squeeze even major social controversies into the narrow litigative paradigm of a two-person auto collision (requiring proof of standing, duty, breach, causation, and direct injury). 5 Other writings detail the new research uncovering business and public institutional profiteering on the slave economy - banks, railroads, insurers, and universities. 6 Still other studies document African American social conditions and the persistence of subtle yet invidious discrimination against people of color and especially African Americans. 7 Our Essay does not retrace this terrain. Nor does it offer ...
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