Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice

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9780674010680: Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice
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In 1968, ten thousand students marched in protest over the terrible conditions prevalent in the high schools of East Los Angeles, the largest Mexican community in the United States. Chanting "Chicano Power," the young insurgents not only demanded change but heralded a new racial politics. Frustrated with the previous generation's efforts to win equal treatment by portraying themselves as racially white, the Chicano protesters demanded justice as proud members of a brown race. The legacy of this fundamental shift continues to this day.

Ian Haney López tells the compelling story of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles by following two criminal trials, including one arising from the student walkouts. He demonstrates how racial prejudice led to police brutality and judicial discrimination that in turn spurred Chicano militancy. He also shows that legal violence helped to convince Chicano activists that they were nonwhite, thereby encouraging their use of racial ideas to redefine their aspirations, culture, and selves. In a groundbreaking advance that further connects legal racism and racial politics, Haney López describes how race functions as "common sense," a set of ideas that we take for granted in our daily lives. This racial common sense, Haney López argues, largely explains why racism and racial affiliation persist today.

By tracing the fluid position of Mexican Americans on the divide between white and nonwhite, describing the role of legal violence in producing racial identities, and detailing the commonsense nature of race, Haney López offers a much needed, potentially liberating way to rethink race in the United States.

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About the Author:

Ian F. Haney López is Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and author of White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race.

Review:

Haney López transcends the history and politics of the Chicano movement and exposes the underlying 'common sense racism' on which he blames the extraordinary rate of exclusion of Latinos from grand jury service in L.A....Racism on Trial bridges the issues of race relations, protest movements, and the law with conviction and clarity. (José Luis Sánchez Multicultural Review 2003-09-01)

Haney's evidentiary presentation is the highlight of the book. Unlike many social scientists, he realizes he has the burden of proof... Ian F. Haney López's work contributes significantly to the understanding of the period. (Rodolfo F. Acuña Journal of American History 2004-06-01)

At the heart of this book is a compelling examination of the ways in which their treatment by the police and the courts persuaded Chicanos to abandon the claim to be white and to fashion their own racial identity. (M. J. Heale History)

Racism on Trial is a fascinating and thought-provoking study that adds much to our understanding of the Chicano movement and points to the centrality of race in America. By arguing that racism is common sense, Haney López provides a useful model that can be applied to American history as a whole and in so doing redirect our notions of the construction of race and racism in the United States...[A] fine book that will have a profound influence on the study of legal, ethnic, and American history for years to come. (Ernesto Chavez American Journal of Legal History 2005-10-01)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780674016293: Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice

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ISBN 10:  0674016297 ISBN 13:  9780674016293
Publisher: Belknap Press, 2004
Softcover

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