Hastings Law Journal


Derrick Bell


In this year's Tobriner Memorial Lecture, "Here Come de Judge: The Role of Faith in Progressive Decision-Making," Professor Bell examines the role of minority judges (and the criticisms lodged against them) in judicial efforts to eliminate discrimination and exploitation. Professor Bell argues that decisions that help correct past abuses, such as those upholding affirmative action, are temporary at best because society quickly renders them ineffectual and marginal. Professor Bell further argues that even the minorities who occupy positions of stature within the legal system, such as judges and scholars, are used against the larger minority population because they are held up as living proof that there is no color bar in America. Given this, Professor Bell questions whether the struggle is worth the effort. Concluding that there is no cure for racism, he concludes nonetheless that minority judges must continue to struggle for its own sake and rely on faith to go on and, as the slave singers urged, "see what the end will be."

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