94 Iowa L. Rev. 1589 (2008-2009)
Post-Racialism

handle is hein.journals/ilr94 and id is 1599 raw text is: Post-Racialism
Sumi Cho*
ABSTRACT: Rather than treat post-racialism as a political trend or social
fact, this Article argues that post-racialism in its current iteration is a
twenty-first century ideology that reflects a belief that due to racial progress
the state need not engage in race-based decision-making or adopt race-based
remedies, and that civil society should eschew race as a central organizing
principle of social action. Post-racial logic calls instead for a retreat from
race. This retreat takes at least three forms: material, as the retreat from
state-imposed   remedies;  sociocultural,   as   the  retreat from     white
liberal/progressive deference to Black normativity on the meaning of racial
equality and justice; and political, as the retreat from collective political
entities organized along racial lines and agendas as a legitimate protest or
reform vehicle. In this Article, I analyze postracialism as an ideology that
both converges and departs from its predecessor colorblindness, identify
four key features of the revamped ideology (racial progress or transcendence,
race neutral universalism, moral equivalence, and political distancing),
and map three of postracialism's contemporary articulations in the legal,
political and intellectual contexts. I conclude by offering some suggestions
for how critical race and progressive scholars might approach their work to
resist the new racial hegemony of postracial ideology.
I. INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM .......................................................... 1591
II.  D EFIN ITIO NS  ....................................................................................... 1593
A.   POST-RACIALISM'S WORK AND TARGETAUD&NCE ........................... 1594
* Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law. I am indebted to my Dean, Glen
Weissenberger, for his generous support of this work; my stellar research assistantJodi Schuette;
my editor-collaborator, Gil Gott; and my superb Iowa Law Review editors, Cassie Peterson,
Joshua Mandelbaum, and Christine Huggins. I thank Angela Onwuachi-Willig for her
community-building work to help conceptualize and organize, along with all the organizers, the
twentieth-anniversary commemoration of Critical Race Theory at the University of Iowa College
of Law in April of 2009 that inspires this volume. I am grateful to the participants at the African
American Policy Forum's Social Justice Writers' Retreat IV for the space to receive quality
feedback on works-in-progress, and for the incredibly helpful comments and suggestions of
Devon Carbado, Kimberl6 Crenshaw, Luke Harris, George Lipsitz, Sadil Sarabia, Alvin Starks,
and Barbara Tomlinson.

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