Destabilizing Racial Classifications Based on Insights Gleaned from Trademark Law
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
This Article attempts to explain the continued existence of a dichotomous racial scheme in American society. I maintain that this phenomena can be explained in part by the concept of "whiteness" as a property right. However, the fact that "whiteness" is protected as a valuable property right in this society does not explain why other racial classifications or categories have not developed to identify those who are the products of mixed-race unions.
I argue that the wholesale rejection of multi-racial categories in American society can be explained by the fact that racial classifications function most effectively as a vehicle for discrimination and empowerment when they are manipulated to maintain a duality that has the effect of entrenching the notion of "otherness." This notion of otherness is established by using a baseline of white racial purity. As a result, I contend that race and racism in American society will never be reduced or eliminated until the manner in which race is categorized is radically altered to take into account the products of mixed-union (miscegenetic) mating in a way that recognizes their unique ethnicity and heritage.