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Discussion: Can We Talk About Racism?

Wednesday, September 28
12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Join us for a conversation with Linda McClain about her book Who’s the Bigot? Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law. Talking productively about race is a central problem in our divided nation. While some celebrate diversity and inclusion, others feel excluded and fear being tarred as bigots. The hope spawned by Barack Obama’s election was followed by the angry resentments of Trump’s MAGA followers.

McClain’s book traces the themes and rhetoric of prejudice, bigotry, ignorance, and animus in the law and public debate over civil rights, marriage, and recognition of the rights of gays and lesbians. The Robert Kent Professor of Law at Boston University and a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, McClain’s careful history pays close attention to the participation of religious advocates in the developing law.

McClain will be joined in conversation by two writers who have reflected on the problems of bias among American Catholics and Latino Americans. LaSalle University Professor of Christian Ethics Maureen O’Connell plumbs her own family’s history in Undoing the Knots Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness. Tanya Kateri Hernandez too looks inward in her newly published Racial Innocence Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality. The Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law at Fordham, she is also the author of Multiracials and Civil Rights.

George Conk, a senior fellow at Fordham Law, will moderate.


This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.