Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law
As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race.
In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups.
Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law.
Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.
“Multiracials and Civil Rights is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in sophisticated analysis of the use of the civil rights laws to challenge discrimination in the United States.”
—Kevin R. Johnson, Dean, UC Davis School of Law