Tag Archives: religion

Khaled Beydoun on Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic

Khaled Beydoun (Barry) has a thoughtful analysis of the controversy over reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. He traces the reaction to Islamophobia; it’s highly recommended reading.

I interviewed Khaled for Episode 4 of The RightsCast, “Legal Construction of Arab American Identity,” during which we touched on some of the same themes relating to discrimination against Arab Americans. Watch here:

“Negative Identity”: Forthcoming in the Southern California Law Review

I’ve very pleased to announce that I have accepted an offer to publish my article “Negative Identity” in the Southern California Law Review. I look forward very much to working with the bright and dedicated students at USC.

A draft of the article is available here. Since the article is slated for publication in September 2015, I have time to edit the piece. I welcome comments on the piece, which is available on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Continue reading

Working Draft: Negative Identity

I’ve posted a draft of one of my current research projects on SSRN. The piece is called “Negative Identity.” Here’s the abstract:

This Article examines the social and legal status of “negative identity”—identity marked by indifference or antipathy to something that much of society considers fundamental. As examples of negative identity, the Article considers those who identify as atheist, asexual, single, or childfree.

The Article begins by giving content to negative identity. Atheist, asexual, single, and childfree identity consists of more than merely the respective lack of religion, sexual attraction, partnership, or children. Rather, these negative identities are meaningful to group members, add value to society, and thus deserve legitimacy and respect. Unfortunately, respect is not always forthcoming: negative identity group members experience significant animus, discrimination, and marginalization.

This state of affairs requires legal intervention. I demonstrate that under current law negative identity is under-protected relative to analogous positive identity categories. In many legal contexts, including employment, housing, public benefits, and taxation, members of negative identity groups are treated differently and worse than their positive identity counterparts. Consequently, the Article proposes a broad reevaluation of laws that implicate negative identity. Negative identity deserves the same protection as positive identity against direct discrimination, which I define as worse treatment based purely on hostility to the identity. When negative identity groups indirectly subsidize positive identity groups, legal actors should undertake a holistic inquiry into all relevant factors in order to determine whether the subsidy is justified.

I’d love to hear any comments, but as I note, it’s a working draft, so please don’t quote or cite without permission.