St. Mary's Law Journal


Harvey Gee


A new generation of progressive intellectuals has evolved, attempting to transform the manner in which law, race, and racial power are understood and discussed in America. The latter half of the twentieth century proved to be a time of profound demographic changes. Racial and political reform policies of the post-modern Civil Rights Movement failed to fully respond to these dramatic social changes. A theory was created to address social racism because the “color-blind” model posited by the Supreme Court of the United States perpetuated racism by supporting the existing hierarchy. Critical Race Theory attempts to tackle these dramatic social changes and reflects the perception that “conventional legal scholarship fails to satisfactorily address the complexities of race and the law in the United States.” Since its inception, where it once reflected only the voices of African Americans and whites, Critical Race Theory has grown considerably as an intellectual movement. The Critical Race Theory Movement is comprised largely of left-wing scholars who seek to challenge “the ways in which race and racial power are constructed and represented in American legal culture and society.” In the mid-1990s, the Movement expanded to encompass the concerns of Asian Americans, Latinos, and other nonwhites. These emerging paradigms better reflect the reality of the nation's racial complexity and the interplay of multiple racial and ethnic experiences. Asian Americans are raising their voices to speak to mainstream America and others in legal academia about the need for a new commitment to race relations and multiculturalism. Asian Americans are growing in prominence and as they emerge politically within this new dynamic, their presence in legal literature will likewise be acknowledged with either great admiration or fervent criticism.


St. Mary's University School of Law