Professor Roy L. Brooks brings everyone up to speed on post-civil rights theory, in the hope of moving the conversation along toward some unified solution.
Racial Justice in the Age of Obama
By Roy L. Brooks
- Publisher : Princeton University Press (August 23, 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691141983
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691141985
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.75 x 9.21 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,793,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #391 in Civil Rights
- #3,193 in Anthropology (Books)
- #3,824 in Asian Politics
About The Author:
During his time at Yale law school, Roy L. Brooks occupied a regular seat at the self-proclaimed “Black Table’—located in the school’s cafeteria—where Yale students sat down after dinner and discussed matters of racial justice, in the wake of an extremely turbulent but impactful time in America’s Civil Rights history. The table was open to all views, and had visits from students like Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham, Sam Alito, Clarence Thomas, Lani Guinier, and Harry Singleton.
From there, Professor Brooks went on to become a prolific writer, a distinguished legal scholar and a celebrated educator; equally noteworthy is his place among the disappointingly small group of changemakers known as pragmatists, who believe that solutions to human problems do exist that would satisfy all points of view. To this end, Professor Brooks has advocated for a unified theory of racial justice, and within this book has meticulously analyzed the problem from every possible angle. By bringing together these many (sometimes dissonant) voices, and giving each one equal weight, Professor Brooks hopes to eliminate unproductive bipartisanship from the conversation.
About the Book:
Limited separation attempts to demonstrate that Martin and Malcolm can coexist.Professor Roy L. Brooks
In this compendium of post-civil rights theory, Professor Brooks has managed to funnel all current “theories, half-theories, and suppositions” into a continuum that basically converges around four “distinct” points of view— “traditionalism, reformism, limited separation, and critical race theory”. In order to determine the “completeness” of each theory, Professor Brooks analyzes each based on the “external and internal diagnosis of and prescription for the civil rights problems it seeks to address.”
‘Civil Rights’ is first and foremost a legal (or government-enforced) representation of equality, which only requires “that those who are similarly situated be similarly treated.” Professor Brooks is quick to point out that this definition is useless in achieving racial justice, as blacks and whites have historically never been “similarly situated”. Because of this, he prefers to focus on the concept of securing equal “treatment” and equal “opportunity” as better legal measures of government-sanctioned equality. Utilizing these measures, the injustice is much more glaringly revealed.
In the spectrum of civil rights discourse, however, opinions predictably run the gamut. Traditionalists believe race no longer matters; simply sell blacks a self-help book and watch generations of oppression melt away. Reformists believe that ‘race’ still matters, and in Cornel West’s view, creates “the lived experience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and (most important) lovelessness” that he refers to as black nihilism. Prescriptions focus on stronger laws, family assistance, job training, and “continued affirmative action.”
The other two theories, Limited Separatism and Critical Race Theory, dig below the surface of race relations to the core of the problem —white power —and the reluctance of whites to cede any of it, in order to create a more egalitarian society. Limited Separatists want to see government initially fund underserved schools and communities, until a stronger, more nurturing environment could be established. Critical Race Theorists do not believe there is any internal problem to solve – once blacks feel accepted within society, much of the “bad behavior” would dissipate. The problem becomes whether blacks will ever be allowed equivalent relational status in America.
Whatever the new ‘unified’ theory of post-civil rights will be, Professor Brooks feels “moral correctness” should be established first, before any politically ‘incorrect’ solutions are offered. He believes some “amalgamation” of all theories does exist, and it is well within the power of post-civil rights thinkers to realize it; Racial Justice in the Age of Obama is Professor Brooks attempt to bring more clarity to this complex conversation.
Is it fair or realistic to expect blacks to be able to change their behaviors and values without first doing something about the larger environment that helps condition this culture?Professor Roy L. Brooks
As Professor Brooks himself has pointed out, people do not actually ‘rise from nothing’ to become successful; good fortune has something to do with it. Because people who have good fortune often tend to believe they have somehow earned it —or at the very least, ‘deserve’ it —Brooks believes it must fall to government to ensure ‘good fortune’ happens for everybody. This involves democratically empowering opportunity, which Brooks understandably fears may be beyond the skillset of government to achieve.
Current thinking is that issues of civil rights will never change until it somehow directly affects the white population, in order that it becomes ‘their problem’ too. Ironically, In the various binary relationships of discrimination, whether Black / White, Latino / White, Asian / White, Native American / White, or even Female / White (Male), the constant is that Whites are always part of the problem, so it can be argued that it is most definitely “their problem too”.
The Third Option has figured out how to tie all our fates together systemically, which would at least eliminate the competition for resources among our own citizens. It also has proposed its own diagnosis and corresponding prescription, which satisfies all racial justice theories because it digs deep underneath them, to the foundation of the entire human problem, where all our current issues can be seen as predictable outcomes.
We invite you to read about our Unified Theory of Justice, where we feature the painstaking research of Professor Brooks, and engage the entire social science community to begin weighing in on the issue of Justice from each unique and essential angle. Individual opinion is what divides us; Interdisciplinary Knowledge, however, will focus us, by triangulating facts from all perspectives toward a singular point of convergence where the truth lies. This is the singularity upon which a unified theory of Justice should be formulated.
- Atonement and Forgiveness: A New Model for Black Reparations
- Rethinking the American Race Problem
- The Racial Glass Ceiling: Subordination in American Law and Culture (Yale University Press 2017)
- Reparative Justice and the Post-Conflict Phase of Modern Slavery, in Contemporary Slavery: Popular Rhetoric and Political Practice (Annie Bunting & Joel Quirk eds., Yale University Press 2017)
- Systemic Racism: Socio-legal and Sociocultural Implications, in Systemic Racism: Making Liberty, Justice, and Democracy Real (Ruth Thompson-Miller & Kimberley Ducey eds., Palgrave Macmillan 2017)
- “Reparations are an opportunity to turn a corner on race relations,” Los Angeles Times
- Racial Reconciliation Through Black Reparations, 63 Howard Law Journal 349 (2020)
- Subordination Discourse: A Critique of Trump’s Diversity Model, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Public Affairs 203 (2019)
- Juridical Subordination, 52 San Diego Law Review 825 (2015) (with Smith)
- Helping Minorities by Ending Affirmative Action? A Review of Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It, 6 Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives 69 (2014)
- Redressing Slavery: Competing Perspectives | The New School