The Brown Dog That Didn’t Bark

I can’t let all the “legacy of Brown” celebration/lamentation fade away without noting a point (which I’ve made several times in the past, such as here, here, and here) that none of them made: those who support racial preferences actually are following Plessy v. Ferguson, not Brown.

The meaning of Brown is that there can be no “separate but equal” because separation on the basis of race is inherently unequal, and hence that official classification by race is a violation of equal protection. The holding in Plessy, by contrast, was that the Constitution does not require colorblindness (as Justice John Marshall Harlan argued so eloquently in his dissent), and hence that racial discrimination can be reasonable and thus constitutional.

Say What? (3)

  1. ELC May 19, 2004 at 11:43 am | | Reply

    So, Alice, how do you like your tea?

  2. George Orwell May 19, 2004 at 6:29 pm | | Reply

    History is bunk, war is peace, and the truth is a lie.

  3. Prometheus 6 May 20, 2004 at 7:24 pm | | Reply

    I’m playing nice with the neighbors

    John at Discriminations has one more Brown vs. Board of Education post, and it’s a bit better than the last one: I can’t let all the “legacy of Brown” celebration/lamentation fade away without noting a point (which I’ve made several…

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