Document Type


Publication Date



The goal of this Article is to make the existence of invidious racial discrimination in the United States so palpable that it can no longer be denied. Part I argues that racial inequality is so pervasive, unconscious, and structural that it has simply become an assumed fixture of United States and is rarely even noticed. Section I.A describes the history of racial subordination in the United States. Section I.B invokes the concept of disparate impact to illustrate the continuing manifestations of invidious discrimination in contemporary culture. Part II describes the manner in which the culture nevertheless chooses to deny the existence of continuing racial discrimination, even in the face of such stark racial disparities. Section II. A attributes this denial to cultural biases that can be conscious, blatant, implicit, or structural. Section II.B describes the way in which the Supreme Court has invoked the doctrinal distractions of intent and racial balance to sanitize the culture’s commitment to racial stratification and divert attention from the Court’s de facto protection of white privilege. The Article concludes that meaningful racial reconciliation could be achieved in the United States only if United States culture were willing to act on a truth about its racial values that it is unlikely ever to admit.

Publication Citation

2018 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1025.