What does the art of dissent from a group look like in the context of race and politics? How does this element of political discourse resemble dissent in the more typical settings, such as the courts? And how might this brand of dissent be distinguished from the more common forms of the enterprise? In this piece, I develop a thesis of “racial dissent,” defined here as the act of speaking against a prevailing norm or principle within a given racial group. I outline a general argument for how racial dissent operates, including the review of structural pressures that racial dissenters often face in the political arena. Using the experience of African Americans in contemporary politics, I point out how racial dissent is especially difficult in light of Barack Obama—the nation’s first African American president. I explore these issues using individuals that exemplify distinct brands of racial dissent and provide an assessment of the strategies of racial dissent that hold the greatest potential for success.
Kareem U. Crayton,
The Art of Racial Dissent: African American Political Discourse in the Age of Obama,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol89/iss2/8