Tag Archives: identity

“Identity Entrepreneurs” Selected for Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum

I am pleased to share that my article “Identity Entrepreneurs,” which is forthcoming in the California Law Review later this year, was selected for presentation the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum. This year the Forum will take place in at Yale Law School on June 26-27. I’m excited to attend and to share my work with top scholars in my field, as well as to meet the other junior scholars whose papers were selected. You can find more information about the Forum here.

My New York Times Piece: “Racial Fluidity and the Value of Race”

I have a piece in the New York Times called “Racial Fluidity Complicates the Value We Assign to Race.” I link racial fluidity to the framework for assigning racial value that I discussed in my previous article “Racial Capitalism,” with a brief mention of Rachel Dolezal. (I am feeling pretty done with Rachel Dolezal, but as I wrote the piece it seemed odd not to mention her.) My piece is part of a “Room for Debate” including six essays on the topic of racial fluidity. Comments welcome, as always.

This Is Not a Post About Rachel Dolezal

This is not a post about Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane NAACP whose story has received a great deal of attention in the media over the last few days. For anyone who is not entirely familiar with the story, the claim in a nutshell is that Dolezal has presented herself as black to the community for the past decade or so via her appearance and behavior, but was recently described by her parents in an interview as entirely “of Caucasian and European descent.”

A great deal of interesting commentary has examined Rachel Dolezal’s behavior. I recommend this Washington Post piece by Professor Osamudia James (Miami Law), this piece in Slate by Jamelle Bouie, and this interesting exchange between Latoya Peterson and Danielle Henderson on Fusion. For scholarly work discussing people who pass from white to black or who attempt to choose a racial identity, I recommend “Elective Race: Recognizing Race Discrimination in the Era of Racial Self-Identification,” by Professor Camille Gear Rich (USC Law), and this fascinating article by Professor Robin Kelley (UCLA History) about Grace Halsell. Continue reading

The RightsCast, Episode 11, Part 2: Osamudia James, “White Like Me”

The second part of my conversation with Osamudia James (Miami Law) about her wonderful article “White Like Me” is now available! Check it out. Great material for those who teach affirmative action in Constitutional Law I and II, or for any upper level seminar relating to race.

“Identity Entrepreneurs” Reviewed on JOTWELL

Ruthann Robson (CUNY) has a generous and very helpful review of my article “Identity Entrepreneurs,” forthcoming in the California Law Review, out in JOTWELL today. I appreciate the feedback and invite comments from others.

The RightsCast, Episode 8: Anthony Kreis, “The History of the Freedom to Marry”

I had a wonderful conversation this week with Anthony Kreis of the University of Georgia about his work on the history of the freedom to marry. His most recent article talks about the parallels and contrasts between the move toward interracial marriage legality and same-sex marriage legality. We also chatted about marriage equality before the Supreme Court and what’s next for LGBT rights — made even more pertinent by Indiana’s recent bill allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

The RightsCast, Episode 5: Jessica Clarke, Inferring Desire in Sexual Harassment Cases

I meant to post this to the blog earlier and it slipped my mind — this week’s episode of The RightsCast features Professor Jessica Clarke of the University of Minnesota Law School and can be viewed below. It’s a fascinating comparison of sexual harassment cases in which the harasser and target are the same sex, and cases in which they are opposite sexes. Enjoy!

The RightsCast, Episode 4: Khaled Beydoun, Legal Construction of Arab American Identity

I really learned a lot from recording and editing this week’s episode of The RightsCast. I interview Professor Khaled Beydoun (Barry) about the way the legal system — both historically and today — constructs Arab American identity. In particular, we talk about the conflation of “Arab American” and “Muslim American” — a highly misleading conflation given that about two thirds of Arab Americans are Christian. Continue reading

New Piece on Slate: “Domestic Violence Is Violence”

I have a new article today on Slate about the way we tend to overlook or downplay gendered violence. I was prompted to write the piece after a tweet I wrote of the cuff ended up getting retweeted a lot, and seemed to resonate with people. I observed that Ismaaiyl Brinsley (and other men who shoot their girlfriends) don’t make the news unless they do something else (here, the tragic shootings of New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos). My point was simply that it’s an awful thing that domestic violence is so common that ti’s not even newsworthy. After seeing the kind of response the tweet prompted, I thought I’d elaborate.

The Reappropriate Podcast Episode 12: Free Speech and Online Threats

I really enjoyed my guest stint on the Reappropriate video podcast, hosted by Jenn of Reappropriate.com. You can view the podcast on YouTube to hear my thoughts on the Supreme Court, judges and technology, free speech, online threats, subjective intent, the reasonable person, rap music, and much more.

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