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Race and Ethnicity 3255

by: Taylor Garrett

Race and Ethnicity 3255 PSCI 3255

Taylor Garrett
Virginia Tech

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About this Document

These notes provide examples over time of the development of racism in legal institutions, and their role in the reinforcement of racial hierarchy.
Political Race Ethnic Gender
Brandy S. Faulkner
Class Notes
racism, Legal, institutions, hierachy, legislation
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor Garrett on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 3255 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Brandy S. Faulkner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Political Race Ethnic Gender in Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Date Created: 09/13/16
Legal Institutions of Racism  Shift from a scientific to a legal classification of race  Legal entitlements of whiteness  How does law reinforce racial superiority and inferiority?  What are public policy implications of racialized legal identities?  Race as a legal construct: two factors o Country’s decision to support the hierarchy  Necessitated legal classification  Critical to institutionalizing ideas of race o By the mid­1700’s, children had African mothers and white fathers­ product of  slaves being raped  How to classify them?  Mother’s or father’s status?  Further necessitated laws on the matter  Both social and political issue o Individual states, thus, started to pass laws o Created inconsistency o One constant­ necessity lay not in establishing different skin colors, but in  determining who wasn’t white o Meant to maintain racial purity in whites o “Legalization of race” o How to make that determination?  Eyeball test wasn’t effective  Ancestry?  Hospital administrators would assign race at birth­ became the basis  Arbitrary  1790: The Naturalization Act o A way of determining who would be entitled to citizenship privileges o  You must be a free white person in order to be classified as a citizen of the  United States o Courts decide if you are free and/or white o Must prove you have lived in the U.S. for at least 2 years, 1 year in a state o Must be a person of good character  Naturalized whiteness  No rights otherwise  The federal courts were no better than the states at making the distinction  People v. Hall o Issue: whether or not a person assumed to be of Asian ancestry could serve as a  murder witness o Only white people can enjoy citizenship principles  Such as being recognized by the courts o Case aims to define “Black, Mulatto, Indian, and White” o Black was determined to mean the opposite of White. o The whole point was to protect the white person from the influence of others not  of the same cast. o Ruled that the witness could not give testimony­ no witness, no murder.  Scott v. Sanford o Can those who were imported as slaves enjoy the rights of citizens in the U.S.? o “People of the U.S.” and “citizen” are synonymous o No question as to Blacks as people­ they were never meant to be included o They can therefore claim none of the rights of citizens o Freedom does not equate to citizenship o “All men are created equal” was never intended to include those who were not  white.


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