Copyright (c) 1999 University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
UMKC Law Review
A CRITICAL RACE THEORY DISCOURSE: CRITICAL RACE THEORY, COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, AND THE SOCIAL MEANING OF RACE: WHY INDIVIDUALISM WILL NOT SOLVE RACISM
67 UMKC L. Rev. 695
Greta McMorris *
Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread
and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal. 1
"[R]ace is our 'American obsession.'" 2 With a history steeped in racist attitudes and laws, issues of race are inescapable and have divided America since its creation. The legal and political systems of this country have never been immune from the effects of race issues and have regrettably served to perpetuate and amplify racism's destructive force.
Almost half of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. 3 At its inception, the Constitution, which promised equal treatment, did not apply to people of color. In 1790, Congress restricted naturalization to White people. 4 Thomas Jefferson believed Blacks were "'inferior to the [W]hites in the endowments both of body and mind.'" 5 Issues of Black and White relations resulted in the creation of the Republican party and "caused the Democratic party to label itself "the [W]hite man's party" for almost a century. 6 The first presidential veto to be overridden by Congress was the 1866 Civil Rights Act. 7 Supreme Court Justice James McReynolds was a White supremacist who called Blacks "niggers." 8 The state of Alabama still makes it unconstitutional for Whites and Blacks to marry. 9 Even today Representative Bob Barr and Senator Trent Lott are alleged to have associations with the racist organization known as the Council of Conservative Citizens. 10
Because of America's obsession with race, we have ...
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