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racial discimination, disenfranchisement


Gabriel Chin and Randy Wagner argue us that there were black majorities and pluralities in Deep South states during the Reconstruction era who were consciously disenfranchised by private and public entities, including the U.S. Supreme Court because of fears of black majority rule and the Court should take this history into account and recognize the lingering effects of this historic disenfranchisement on black Americans. This essay responds to their argument, contending that fear of black majority rule never was the sole reason for the disenfranchisement of black majorities and pluralities in the Deep South, rather the problem has always been resistance by the dominant culture to full citizenship rights for black (and other non-white) Americans. This theory better explains why black disenfranchisement continues into the 21st century even in areas where black majorities or pluralities are non-existent. Therefore application of the minority model analysis by the Court when reviewing race-based discrimination claims only further undercuts black voting rights and it should be limited, especially in voting rights cases.

Publication Citation

43 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 127 (2008).


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Law