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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Silent Covenants

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ISBN13: 9780195172720
ISBN: 0195172728
Published: October 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print




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On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that separate educational facilities are ""inherently unequal"" and, as such, violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all citizens ""equal protection of the laws"". Hailed as a landmark decision, Brown vs. Board Education promised the nation's citizens equality and racial justice at last. Yet despite Brown's promise for what law and society might be and the awe and respect it evokes with the passing years, it has achieved little and is little used as legal precedent. The noble image, dulled by resistance to any but token steps toward compliance, has transformed Brown into a magnificance mirage, the legal equivalent of that city on a hill to which all aspire without any serious thought that aspiration will ever become attainment. In a sure-to-be controversial work, Derrick Bell argues that though Brown has come to be regarded as the Perfect Precedent, its true lesson is that advocates of racial justice should rely less on judicial decisions and more on tactics, actions, even attitudes that challenge the continuing assumptions of white dominance.;Turning history on its head, Bell suggests that if we had had more realism in our racial dealings, we might have kept Plessy, kept separate but equal in placem and attacked instead, at its root, the racial discrimination that continues to haunt the nation. It is only by petitioning for racial justice in forms that whites will realize serve their interests, Bell argues, that true equality will ever be achieved.

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Subjects:
Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Contents:
CONTENTS; INTRODUCTION; 1. Plessy's Long Shadow; 2. Brown's Half Light; 3. Brown Reconceived: An Alternate Scenario; 4. The Racial Sacrifice Covenants; 5. The Interest-Convergence Covenance; 6. Brown as an Anti-Communist Decision; 7. The Role of Fortuity in Racial Policy-Making; 8. Racism's Economic Foundation; 9. School Litigation in the Nineteenth Century; 10. The School Desegregation Era; 11. The End of the Brown Era; 12. Brown as Landmark: An Assessment; 13. Affirmative Action and Racial Fortuities in Action; 14. Searching for Effective Schools in the Post-Brown Era; 15. Moving Beyond Racial Fortuity; 16. Conclusion