35 Santa Clara L. Rev. 881 (1994-1995)
Language and Silence: Making Systems of Privilege Visible

handle is hein.journals/saclr35 and id is 899 raw text is: ESSAY
LANGUAGE AND SILENCE: MAKING SYSTEMS
OF PRIVILEGE VISIBLE
Stephanie M. Wildman* with Adrienne D. Davis**
A colleague of mine once had a dream in which I ap-
peared.' My colleague, who is African-American, was strug-
gling in this dream to be himself in the presence of a mono-
lithic white maleness that wanted to oppress my friend and
deny his intellect, his humanity, and his belonging in our
community. In his dream, I, a white woman, attempted to
 1995 Stephanie M. Wildman
* Professor of Law, USF School of Law; J.D. Stanford Law School, 1973;
A.B. Stanford University, 1970.
I acknowledge an intellectual debt to two colleagues, Adrienne Davis and
Trina Grillo. The three of us worked together for almost two years, writing
several working papers examining privilege and subordination. The with
designation for authorship of this essay reflects Davis' contribution in
paragraphs concerning Isms language and categories, which we wrote to-
gether for the working papers. The I in this essay refers to me. Thanks to the
community of people who have made my work possible, particularly Mar-
galynne Armstrong, Marsha Berzon, Laura Brown, Phyllis Bursh, Linda
Clardy, June Carbone, Walter Cohen, Adrienne Davis, Richard Delgado, Mary
Dunlap, Trina Grillo, Beverly Horsburgh, Francie Kendall, Julian Kossaw, Ja-
net Lee, Charles Lawrence, Christine Littleton, Martha Mahoney, Charles
Reich, Margaret Russell, Wil Rumble, Lee Ryan, Marian Shostrom, Jean
Stefancic, Michael Tobriner, Catharine Wells, and Eric Wright.
A special thank you to St. Thomas University School of Law, where an ear-
lier version of this essay was presented as the 1994 Distinguished Lecture. A
small portion of this essay appears in CRITICAL RACE THEORY: THE CUTrING
EDGE (Richard Delgado, ed., 1995). Another version of this essay will appear in
STEPHANIE M. WILDMAN WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BY MARGALYNNE ARMSTRONG, AD-
RIENNE D. DAVIS, AND TRINA GRILLO, PRIVILEGE REVEALED: How INVISIBLE
PREFERENCE UNDERMINES AMERICA (NYU Press, forthcoming 1996).
** Associate Professor of Law, American University, Washington College
of the Law; J.D. Yale Law School, B.A. Yale University.
1. Charles R. Lawrence, III, A Dream: On Discovering the Significance of
Fear, 10 NOVA L.J. 627 (1986), republished in Charles R. Lawrence, III, The
Word and the River: Pedagogy as Scholarship as Struggle, 65 S. CAL. L. REV.
2231, 2231-2236 (1992).

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