Presentation on theme: "Marvin Coleby, Linda El-Halabi, Kendra Hefti-Rossier, Olivier Jarda"— Presentation transcript:
1 Marvin Coleby, Linda El-Halabi, Kendra Hefti-Rossier, Olivier Jarda Critical Race TheoryMarvin Coleby, Linda El-Halabi, Kendra Hefti-Rossier, Olivier Jarda
2 Roundtable discussion regarding the Multicultural Protection Act. Omnibus Bill C-30Roundtable discussion regarding the Multicultural Protection Act.
3 Provision #1 Provision #2 Provision #3 Omnibus Bill C-30 Provides citizens the right to a Canasian educationAllows the freezing of assets of persons found to have wired money to countries of concern in the War on TerrorProvision #2Provision #3Introduces an Asian-centric immigration policyOmnibus Bill C-30
4 Canasian Charter of Rights and Freedoms If Canasia's Charter was identical to Canada'sCharter, would it adequately protect you underthese provisions?
6 Revisionism"We are there because under the Providence of God we are a Christian people that have given to the subject races of the world the only kind of decent government they have ever known [applause] […] and you and I must carry our portion of that responsibility if we are to be the true Imperialists we should be. […] An Imperialist, to me, means a man who accepts gladly and bears proudly the responsibilities of his race and breed." – Prime Minister RB Bennett, 1914"We also have no history of colonialism. So we have all of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them," – Prime Minister Harper, 2009
7 Key Concepts of CRT (Aylward) Beyond 'trashing': inadequate representation of racial minoritiesNecessary racial interpretation of the legal systemImpartiality v. Colorblindness?CLS’ 'Utopian' SocietyThe Invisible Obstacle (Christie, Bhaudaria)“Through the doctrine of precedent, the law is rooted in the past. It becomes difficult to envision a racism-free jurisprudence when the law relies upon concepts derived from a time when chattel slavery existed, women were not persons, and colonization including the theft of Aboriginal lands, was in full force... Legal precedents cannot transcend this racist history. It is one of the primary, yet invisible obstacles within the legal system” (79 – 80)
8 What does CRT add? Rights as relationships (Nedelsky) Reconstruction Racial Narrative and Legal AnalysisLaw: tool vs. impedimentStriking a balance
9 Law and Society Racial context An Act Against Slavery 1793 Public policy as a legitimizerMultidisciplinary: active participation from philosophers, non-legal scholars
10 Methodology Beyond conventional rights analysis Race is central focus Contextual juridical analysisEpistemological diversityUses unorthodox structure, language and formComplexity of multiple identities"drifting anchors dangling from short chains, far, far overhead" (Williams)Deconstruction (law as ideology, race relations)Reconstruction, emancipation (duality)Theoretical, methodological and pedagogical tools that help us understand and address the inextricable relationship between law and race
11 Race through Canadian Law (Walker) Discrepancy between Canada's national dream and realityRace and the Supreme Court1914: Quong Wing v. The King1940: Christie v. York Corp.1951: Noble and Wolfe v. Alley1955: Narine-Singh v. Attorney General of CanadaSystemic RacismImmigrationAccess to educationVoting rightsMilitary serviceEtc.What about law and race in Canada today?
12 Policy as Legitimizer (Walker) Indian Act (1876)Tool of control and assimilation vs. tool that protects Aboriginal rights1969: Trudeau proposes repeal of Act2012: Harper proposes repeal of ActSafe Streets and Communities Act (SC 2012)Lowest crime rate in 40 yearsIncreases mandatory minimum sentencesReduces the ability of judges to sentence certain offenders to house arrestOverrepresentation of Aboriginals in the prison system (80% in prairies)"Let's not talk about statistics, let's talk about danger." - Public Safety Minister Vic ToewsWalker: Reinforcing, legitimizing common attitudes with dignity of law
13 CRT Critique (Gaudreault-DesBiens) Epistemological privilegeCredibility of the oppressed in the eyes of the oppressorGeneralization of identity – speaking with one voiceExclusion of critical scholarsThe limits of anecdotesIs 'emancipation' just another utopia?
14 CRT in post 9/11 CanadaHate crimes against Arabs and Muslims rose by over 1000% since 200148% of Canadians approve of racial profilingMaher Arar, Faisal Joseph, Omar Kader, Liban Hussein of OttawaPoliticians can get away and even earn political credit for saying that Arabs, Muslims, Iranians, are the new enemies of the West"Islamicism is the single most pressing threat to national security" - PM Harper to CBC news3:50-5:20
21 The Courtroom“…I am not saying that the Constable has misled the court, although police officers have been known to do that in the past. I am not saying that the officer overreacted, but certainly police officers do overreact, particularly when they are dealing with non-white groups. That to me indicates a state of mind right there that is questionable. I believe that probably the situation in this particular case is the case of a young police officer who overreacted. I do accept the evidence of [R.D.S.] that he was told to shut up or he would be under arrest. It seems to be in keeping with the prevalent attitude of the day.”
22 Did R.D.S. further the CRT Agenda? 1. Narrative2. Deconstructionthe reasonable person testthe doctrine of reasonable apprehension of biasthe myth of “neutrality” and “objectivity” in the context of judicial decision-makingconcept of formal equalityconcept of legal reasoning as ahistorical3. Reconstruction
24 Discussion“Law should be emancipatory and liberatory for everyone. And, although for Black people, law in Canada has so often operated against us and so seldom worked for us, law remains too valuable a tool for us ever to abandon” (Professor Thornhill).Being race conscious as a means to tackle racial injustice reifies racial divisions. Discuss.