75 Denv. U. L. Rev. 131 (1997-1998)
If It's Not Black and White Anymore, Why Does Darkness Cast a Longer Discriminatory Shadow Than Lightness - An Investigation and Analysis of the Color Hierarchy

handle is hein.journals/denlr75 and id is 147 raw text is: IF IT'S NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE ANYMORE, WHY
DOES DARKNESS CAST A LONGER DISCRIMINATORY
SHADOW THAN LIGHTNESS? AN INVESTIGATION AND
ANALYSIS OF THE COLOR HIERARCHY
LEONARD M. BAYNES*
One of my friends is a sportswriter, a liberal white guy---very active
in social causes. He told me that he was unable to interview Celtic
basketball player Robert Parrish in the locker room because Parrish
was so dark that it was hard for him to approach Parrish!'
I. INTRODUCTION
Many scholars in the social theory and anthropological fields tell us
that race is often merely a political construction.2 Many sophisticated
individuals have discredited the Social Darwinist view of race as a bio-
logical concept.' Therefore, some have argued that race really no longer
matters.
* Copyright @ 1997 Leonard M. Baynes. Professor of Law, Western New England College
School of Law. B.S., 1979, New York University; J.D., 1982, Columbia University; M.B.A., 1983,
Columbia University. I would like to acknowledge the help that my research assistants, B.J. Burke,
Aleshia Days, and Silvia Perez, have given me on this project. I also want to thank my readers,
Margarita Marin Dale, Chris Iijima, and Carlos Cuevas, for their insight. In addition, I want to thank
outside readers Juan Roure, Tanya Kateri Hernandez, Kevin Johnson and my siblings--Ethel
Richards, John Baynes, Keith Baynes, Pearl Baynes, and Carl Baynes--for their contributions and
support throughout this project. I also want to thank the faculty, students, and staff at Western New
England who completed the color survey. I especially want to thank my secretaries, Carmen
Alexander, Nancy Hachigian, and Donna Haskins, who helped compile the data from the Western
New England College Survey of Attitudes and Beliefs About the Colors of Blacks and Latinos. I am
also grateful for the summer research grant received from Western New Eeigland College School of
Law, which helped make this article possible.
1. Interview with Bruce Miller, Professor at Western New England College School of Law,
in Springfield, Mass. (July 10, 1997). My colleague indicated that his white sportswriter friend was
able to interview another black player, Cedric Maxwell, because he had a lighter complexion than
Robert Parrish. The experience of Professor Miller's friend occurred some time in 1983-84.
2. See Michael Omi, Racial Identity and the State: The Dilemmas of Classification, 15 LAW
& INEQ. J. 7, 9, 23 (1997).
3. See John Teimey et al., The Search for Adam and Eve, NEWSWEEK, Jan. 11, 1988, at 46.
But see RICHARD J. HERRNSTEIN & CHARLES MuRRAY, THE BELL CuRvE: INTELLIGENCE AND
CLASS STRucTuRE IN AmRIcAN LIFE 269-340 (1994); Arthur R. Jensen, How Much Can We Boost
IQ and Scholastic Achievement, 39 HARv. ED. REv. 1 (1969) (indicating that the cause of low
income and lower status is mainly nature, not nurture, and arguing that educational attempts should
focus on teaching specific skills rather than boosting I.Q.).
4. See generally John 0. Calmore, Exploring Michael Omi's Messy World of Race: An
Essay for Naked People Longing to Swim Free, 15 LAW & INEQ. J. 25, 35 (1997) (describing race
as an illusion); Omi, supra note 2, at 21-22 (indicating that some people view race as an illusion).

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