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Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?$
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Mark Golub

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683603.001.0001

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The Limits of Brown

The Limits of Brown

(p.94) Chapter 4 The Limits of Brown
Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional?

Mark Golub

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 examines the rise of color-blind constitutionalism in the context of school desegregation and the Supreme Court’s post–Brown v. Board implementation cases. As typically understood, color-blindness supplies the initial and authentic desegregation vision, against which affirmative action’s reintroduction of racial consciousness appears as a betrayal or corruption of core democratic values. In contrast, this chapter situates color-blindness discourse within the coordinated efforts of white southern moderates to denounce the open racism of massive resistance while at the same time thwarting court-ordered integration of public schools. Paradoxically, color-blind constitutionalism gained prominence first as a technique for rendering segregation consistent with federal law.

Keywords:   Brown v. Board of Education, massive resistance, segregation, desegregation, integration, color-blindness, race, law, racism, equality

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