Harvard Law School professor Randall Kennedy, author of For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law, argues in favor of affirmative action, both personally and academically.
→EVENT: Prof. Kennedy will be speaking tonight at 6:30 at a ticketed event at New York Historical Society.
Harvard professor of law Randall Kennedy looks at racial politics and the Obama presidency, and examines the complex relationship between the first black president and his African-American constituency. The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency explores the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African Americans, the challenges posed by the dream of a post-racial society, and cultural biases.
When Barack Obama was elected into office three years ago, a popular sentiment began to take America by hold: that America had matured into a post-racial society. But not everyone agrees with that thought.
This week, we discuss two big stories, each of which considers the original intent of the 14th Amendment. Known as the "Reconstruction Amendment," as it passed in the aftermath of the Civil War, this clause of the Constitution guarantees U.S. citizenship for anyone born in the United States. It prohibits state governments from depriving anyone of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," and mandates "equal protection of the laws" for all citizens.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in California ruled Proposition 8, the voter-backed ballot measure to prohibit same-sex marriage, unconstitutional based on "due process" and "equal protection" grounds: both clauses in the 14th Amendment.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, several Republican senators are proposing to repeal or change the Amendment. They say we should no longer automatically give citizenship to American-born children of illegal immigrants.