Racial Justice in the Age of Obama

By Roy L. Brooks | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
REFORMISM

A. OVERVIEW

WITH DEGREES FROM Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Lawrence Mungin, by his own admission, made a conscious effort to be “the good black.” Paul Barrett summarizes Mungin's story in his book The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America:

Being the sole black attorney worried him, but he didn't want to make a stink about
it. When some of the black secretaries at Katten Muchin [his law firm] went out of
their way to strike up conversations with him, and he learned that they had various
grievances tied to race, he did nothing to investigate or come to their aid. Indeed, he
speculated in conversation with his brother, Kenneth, that the secretaries were using
race as an excuse, that they might be cooking up an unjustified lawsuit. Larry
sounded to Kenneth as if “he was the big company man—just work hard, everything
will be fine, no complaining,” Kenneth told me later. In retrospect, Larry felt cha-
grined that he had dismissed the secretaries' complaints so quickly. “I didn't go into
the place looking for discrimination,” he said.1

Mungin would later sue his employer, the Katten Muchin law firm, alleging employment discrimination in the firm's refusal to consider him for a partnership.2

What this story means for Cornel West is that “race still matters.”3 What it means for Joe Feagin is that racial fault lines created by a deeply rooted system of “white-on-black oppression,” or what he also calls “systemic racism,” can still be felt in American society.4 For Glenn Loury, it means that the traditionalist refrain—“it's time to move on”—is “simplistic social ethics and sophomoric social psychology.”5 And for other reformists— Michael Eric Dyson, Ellis Cose, Tavis Smiley, Hernan Vera, Melvin Sikes, Eileen O'Brien, and scores of others6—Mungin's story illustrates, yet again, a basic truth about life in post– civil rights America: race continues to play a significant role in the African American struggle for worldly success and personal happiness. The inertia of discriminatory traditions—“historic inequalities and longstanding cultural stereotypes”7—makes race a potent, if often invisible, force in the distribution of resources throughout the post–civil rights period.

Thus, while both reformists and traditionalists agree that slavery and Jim Crow created the capital-deficiency problem in black America, they disagree

-35-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Racial Justice in the Age of Obama
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Traditionalism 14
  • Chapter 3 - Reformism 35
  • Chapter 4 - Limited Separation 63
  • Chapter 5 - Critical Race Theory 89
  • Epilogue: Toward the “best” Post–civil Rights Theory 109
  • Appendix Disparate Resources in America by Race in the Post–civil Rights Era 125
  • Notes 183
  • Bibliography 211
  • Index 225
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 237

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.