When Equality Ends: Stories about Race and Resistance

When Equality Ends: Stories about Race and Resistance

When Equality Ends: Stories about Race and Resistance

When Equality Ends: Stories about Race and Resistance

Synopsis

Richard Delgado is one of the most evocative and forceful voices writing on the subject of race and law in America today. The New York Times has described him as a "pioneer" of critical race theory, the bold and provocative movement that, according to the Times "will be influencing the practice of law for years to come." Stanley Fish calls his previous book, The Rodrigo Chronicles, a "stunning performance." In When Equality Ends: Stories About Race and Resistance, Delgado, adopting his trademark storytelling approach, casts aside the dense, dry language so commonly associated with legal writing, and offers up a series of incisive and compelling conversations about race in America. The characters, a young professor of color, an aging veteran of many civil rights struggles, and a brilliant young conservative, tackle a handful of complex legal and policy questions in an engaging and accessible manner. Has U. S. society quietly ended its commitment to minorities and to racial equality? In these new chronicles, Delgado searches for an answer. The book explores the main normative premise of Alternative Dispute Resolution; examines doctrinalism and legal formalism; questions whether regulation and the free market have failed to alleviate poverty in the colonias settlements of the Southwest; and asks whether Title VII and civil rights laws are necessary in today's legal system. From an examination of the positive role that racial mixture and multiple consciousness will have on America's future to a look at the harmful impact that new human reproductive technologies are likely to have on minorities, Delgado tackles a number of timely and provocative issues. Written for both students and general readers, When Equality Ends: Stories About Race and Resistance provides a highly accessible introduction to critical race theory and the new approach to civil rights.

Excerpt

Who is Rodrigo, and where does he come from? What about his narrator and straight man, the Professor? And what is a law professor doing writing fiction, anyway?

In many respects, the curious reader will find answers in the dialogs themselves. Readers of two previous volumes will recall that Rodrigo, my exuberant and talented alter ego, is both young and black. The son of an African American serviceman and an Italian mother, Rodrigo was born in the States but raised in Italy when his father, Lorenzo, was assigned to a U.S. outpost there. Rodrigo graduates from the base high school, then attends Italian universities and law school on government scholarships, graduating second in his class. When the series opens (with The Rodrigo Chronicles, 1995), the young man has returned to the United States at the suggestion of his half-sister, well known civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, to meet with "the Professor" for career advice: The young man wants to return to the United States, obtain a graduate law degree, and enter teaching.

Despite their age difference, the two become close friends, discussing affirmative action, the decline of Western culture, relations between men and women of color, black crime, and many other subjects in the years ahead. The reader meets Rodrigo's friend, Lazlo Kowalsky, and his wife and soulmate, Giannina, a playwright. He or she listens in as the two discuss inconsequential things like food and coffee, as well as quite consequential things like race and the government's role in fighting poverty. The reader learns how two typical intellectuals of color talk, what they talk about, and a bit about critical race theory (with as little jargon as possible). Even though the Professor, who is elderly and eminent, becomes to some extent Rodrigo's mentor, their relationship is not at all one-way. As it turns out, the Professor, a grizzled veteran of many civil rights struggles, needs Rodrigo's impetuous energy as much as Rodrigo needs his caution and counsel.

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