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34 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 529 (2002-2003)
Everyday Indignities: Race, Retaliation, and the Promise of Title VII

handle is hein.journals/colhr34 and id is 537 raw text is: EVERYDAY INDIGNITIES: RACE, RETALIATION,
by Terry Smith*
The racial gap . . . can only be closed by recognizing it, and by
recognizing why it exists, That will not come to pass as long as we
insist on dividing people into different camps and then swearing that
differences don't count or that repeated blows to the soul shouldn't
be taken seriously. For the truth is that the often hurtful and
seemingly trivial encounters of daily existence are in the end what
most of life is.'
Perhaps more than any other protected status, federal employment law
recognizes that race is different. Where sex, national origin, or religion, for
example, may be used as a bona fide occupational qualification in the selection
of employees, race may never be so employed.2 When race is illegally utilized
as the basis for an employment decision, an employer may face unlimited
Copyright © 2003 Terry Smith. Professor, Fordham University School of Law.
J.D., New York University School of Law (1989); A.B., Brown University (1986). Special
thanks to William Tamayo, Regional Attorney for the United States Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, San Francisco District Office, and William D. Hoshijo, Executive
Director of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, for their expert and practical input. Maureen
Armour, Jane Dolkart, Darren Hutchinson, Ellen Pryor, Dan Shuman, Mary Specter, and other
participants at the Southern Methodist Law School faculty workshop were generous and
helpful in their comments on an earlier draft. I would also like to thank Linda Crane, Rhonda
Reaves, Suja Thomas, and Larry Weeden for their input at the Asian Pacific Law
Teachers/Western Law Professors of Color Conference. Finally, this Article would not have
been possible without the outstanding research assistance of Irene Thomas, a former student
who has since gone on to become an outstanding attorney. The author is solely responsible for
the views expressed in this Article.
1.    Ellis Cose, The Rage of a Privileged Class 191-92 (1995) (emphasis added).
2.    Civil Rights Act of 1964 § 703(e), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(e) (2000) (allowing
consideration of sex, religion, or national origin in those certain instances where religion,
sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the
normal operation of [a] particular business or enterprise).

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