March 21, 2011

Language and Evidence of Race Discrimination

Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander, University of Georgia, has published The Use of the Term 'Boy' as Evidence of Race Discrimination: Apparently the 11th Circuit Didn't Get the Memo? Here is the abstract.

In an unusual and interesting case, the 11th Circuit decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court rendered a decision remanding the case with guidance, and upon remand, the 11th Circuit virtually ignored the Court's guidance and went its own way. The Supreme Court determined that the term "boy," when used in referring to an adult African American male, can, under certain circumstances, be evidence of race discrimination. Despite the evidence, the 11th Circuit on remand did not find such circumstances to be present in this case. The decision is not only peculiar in its decision to give only lip service to the Supreme Court's guidance, but also in its staunch refusal to recognize the vestiges of the stark historical realities of the three southern states within the circuit.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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