The Sunday Edition

Race, fear and the law - Patricia Williams

There was outrage when a grand jury refused to indict a police officer for the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri. There was outrage again when a New York police officer accused in the choking death of Eric Garner - another black man - was not indicted by a grand jury. In the months...
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There was outrage when a grand jury refused to indict a police officer for the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri. There was outrage again when a New York police officer accused in the choking death of Eric Garner - another black man - was not indicted by a grand jury. In the months since Brown and Garner died, and especially since those grand jury decisions, the U.S. has been embroiled in a heated argument about race.

There has been a lot of shouting about whether or not racism was behind the deaths of those two men, not to mention so many of the ills suffered disproportionately by African-Americans. But a serious, soul-searching discussion about the ways in which American society has been riven and fractured by race and racism? Perhaps not so much.

Patricia Williams is an astute analyst of race and and the law. She's the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, and her books include The Alchemy of Race and Rights and Seeing a Color Blind Future: The Paradox of Race. She also writes a column called Diary of a Mad Law Professor for The Nation magazine. 

Michael spoke with Patricia Williams about the frictions and intersections between race and justice in the United States.

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