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The Race Card: Thinking About Civil Rights in the New Millennium


October 24, 2008 - October 25, 2008


On October 24 and 25th, a group of distinguished scholars in law, sociology, and political science, joined by several equally distinguished journalists, will gather to discuss Richard Ford’s compelling and controversial book, The Race Card: How Bluffing about Race Makes Race Relations Worse. Some discussions will center both on particular claims that Professor Ford has made in the book, for instance, claims about what it means to “play the race card” or why it might be best to think of a world in which racism can flourish without racists. At the same time, we expect vigorous panel discussions focused on a number of more general themes, suggested directly or indirectly by Professor Ford’s work: What is the ideal civil rights agenda for the 21st century? What scope should anti-discrimination law have, and how significant will it be to the properly defined civil rights struggle? When is it helpful (or harmful) to extend civil rights protections historically available to African-Americans to other groups? What role (constructive or otherwise) the media played in defining the “race problem” in America?

This event is free and open to the public