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The Race Card How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse

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The Race Card How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse by Ford, Richard Thompson, 9780312428266
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  • ISBN: 9780312428266 | 031242826X
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/3/2009
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ANew York TimesNotable Book of the Year What do hurricane Katrina victims, millionaire rappers buying vintage champagne, and Ivy League professors waiting for taxis have in common? All have claimed to be victims of racism. But these days almost no one openly defends bigoted motives, so either a lot of people are lying about their true beliefs, or a lot of people are jumping to unwarranted conclusions--or just playing the race card. Daring, entertaining, and incisive,The Race Cardbrings sophisticated legal analysis, eye-popping anecdotes, and plain old common sense to this heated topic. Richard Thompson Fordis the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He has published regularly on the topics of civil rights, constitutional law, race relations, and antidiscrimination law. He is the author ofRacial Culture: A Critique. ANew York Times Book ReviewNotable Book What do Hurricane Katrina victims waiting for federal disaster relief, millionaire rappers buying vintage champagne, Ivy League professors waiting for taxis, and ghetto hustlers trying to find steady work have in common? All have claimed to be victims of racism. These days almost no one openly expresses racist beliefs or defends bigoted motives. So, many are victims of bigotry, but no one's a bigot? What gives? Either a lot of people are lying about their true beliefs and motivations, or a lot of people are jumping to unwarranted conclusionsor just playing the race card. As the label of "prejudice" is applied in more and more situations, the word loses a clear and universal meaning. This makes it easy for self-serving individuals and political hacks to use accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other types of bias to advance their own ends. Richard Thompson Ford, a Stanford Law School professor, brings sophisticated legal analysis, lively and eye-popping anecdotes, and plain old common sense to this heated topic. He offers ways to separate valid claims from bellyaching. Daring, entertaining, and incisive,The Race Cardis a call for us to treat racism as a social problem that must be objectively understood and honestly evaluated. "Mr. Ford, a clear and lively writer, probes and prods and provokes as he steers his way through this contested terrain. He takes dead aim at racial opportunists, opponents of affirmative action, multiculturalists and the myriad rights organizations trying to hitch a ride on the successes of the black civil rights movement. All, in different ways, he argues, are playing the race card. All are harming the cause of civil rights."William Grimes,The New York Times "Mr. Ford, a clear and lively writer, probes and prods and provokes as he steers his way through this contested terrain. He takes dead aim at racial opportunists, opponents of affirmative action, multiculturalists and the myriad rights organizations trying to hitch a ride on the successes of the black civil rights movement. All, in different ways, he argues, are playing the race card. All are harming the cause of civil rights . . . Mr. Ford is bracing. He clears away a lot of clutter, nonsense and bad faith. Best of all, he argues his humane, centrist position without apology or hesitation. Sticking to the middle of the road, after all, can be the fastest way to get where you're going. Mr. Ford wants to move beyond name calling and emotional point scoring. Let's reserve the word racist, he suggests, for clear-cut instances of bigotry, and address more subtle problems of racial prejudice as we do air pollution, instead of rape or murder."William Grimes,The New York Times "[A] sharp, tightly argued and delightfully contentious work . . . To left-leaning readers and victims

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