98 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 1305 (2007-2008)
Nigger: A Critical Race Realist Analysis of the N-Word within Hate Crimes Law

handle is hein.journals/jclc98 and id is 1315 raw text is: 0091-4169/08/9804-1305
THE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW & CRIMINOLOGY                           Vol. 98, No. 4
Copyright  2008 by Northwestern University, School of Law        Printed in U.S.A.
NIGGER: A CRITICAL RACE REALIST
ANALYSIS OF THE N-WORD WITHIN HATE
CRIMES LAW
GREGORY S. PARKS* & SHAYNE E. JONES**
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought
and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time
in which it is used.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes
Although the slang epithet nigger may once have been in common usage ... [it] has
become particularly abusive and insulting ... as it pertains to the American Negro.
-Louis H. Burke2
[C]rimes motivated by bigotry usually arise not out of the pathological rantings and
ravings of a few deviant types in organized hate groups, but out of the very
mainstream of society.
-Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt3
On a 2005 summer morning in New York, Nicholas Fat Nick
Minucci, who is White, beat Glenn Moore, who is Black, with a baseball
bat and robbed him. During the assault, Minucci repeatedly screamed the
N-word. At trial, Minucci's attorney argued that he had not committed a
hate crime. The essence of the defense's argument was that Minucci's use
. Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (2009-2010); Law Clerk,
District of Columbia Court of Appeals (2008-2009). B.S., Howard University; M.S., City
University of New York; M.A., Ph.D., University of Kentucky; J.D., Cornell Law School.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida.
B.S., University of Kentucky; M.S., University of Cincinnati; Ph.D., University of
Kentucky.
The authors thank Andrea Dennis, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of
Kentucky, for her invaluable feedback on this Article. We also thank Rebecca Soquier for
her editorial services. Any errors are solely the authors'.
1 Town v. Eisner, 245 U.S. 418, 425 (1918).
2 Alcorn v. Anbro Eng'g, Inc., 468 P.2d 216, 219 n.4 (Cal. 1970).
3 JACK LEVIN & JACK McDEVITT, HATE CRIMES: THE RISING TIDE OF BIGOTRY AND
BLOODSHED x-xi (1993).

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