Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal


Tina Fernandes


While discrimination against multiracial people undoubtedly occurs, antidiscrimination law as it is currently understood is ill-equipped to address the problem. In this article, Dr. Fernandes argues that the modern application of two broad sources of antidiscrimination law-the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964-is out of step with their original purpose: to provide remedies for discrimination against historically oppressed groups of people. Only by recognizing multiracial individuals as one of these groups can antidiscrimination law rectify the harms visited on them.

This article first explores the history of equal protection and employment discrimination law in the United States and concludes that their purpose was to provide redress to targets of racial discrimination who belong to historically oppressed groups. It then criticizes concepts of race that deny the social reality of racial identity. Finally, the article submits that the only effective way to adapt antidiscrimination law to the circumstances of multiracial people is to recognize them as a separate, protected category.

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