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Law prof adds his voice to ongoing conversation on race

By Hope Lewis


This essay reviews Richard Thompson Ford\u27s \u27The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse,\u27 Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2008, 388 pages. Stanford Law School Professor Richard Thompson Ford\u27s \u27The Race Card\u27 seeks nothing less than to demarcate the line between legitimate charges of racism and those that are ill-defined or false. An impossibly ambitious task , to be sure, but Ford\u27s wide-ranging, often maddening effort makes timely and important contributions to continuing debates on race in the United States.Of course, no serious accusation - whether if be racism, intolerance, murder, rape, child abuse, sexual harassment, theft or corruption - should be made without corroboration, context, and serious investigation.Unlike Ford, I believe that we spend too much time worrying that false claims will undermine good race relations. Dismissing the broader realities of racism because of a few bad claims would signal that \u27good\u27 race relations are not built on a solid foundation. If racial minorities and non-minorities from diverse perspectives are engaging in respectful and robust dialogue on a regular basis, then false charges would not so easily undermine just claims.It is silence, indifference, and unexamined fear that will lead to the worst possible outcome - not which card is dealt

Topics: Race discrimination, Race relations, Racism, African Americans, Richard Thompson Ford, Race and Ethnicity
Publisher: NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2008
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