Resisting Racial Hierarchy: Internal Colonialism and the Right to Self-Determination

Los Angeles, CA

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The UCLA Faculty Diversity and Development and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center present:

Resisting Racial Hierarchy: Internal Colonialism and the Right to Self-Determination

The law perpetuates racial subordination in the United States in a variety of ways.  One is the use of the criminal justice system to incarcerate a huge segment of the poor, especially young men of color. Another is the plenary power doctrine, which gives Congress and the Executive virtually unlimited power over immigrants, American Indians, and residents of unincorporated territories--i.e., U.S. colonies--like Puerto Rico and Guam. How do we best address such structural barriers to the empowerment of our communities? The Constitution's promise of formal equality rings hollow in the face of contemporary realities. This talk will address internal colonialism in the U.S. and explore the liberatory potential of the right of all peoples to self-determination.
Natsu Taylor Saito (J.D. Yale, 1987) is a professor of law at Georgia State University's College of Law in Atlanta, where she has taught Race, Ethnicity and the Law; Immigration; Criminal Procedure; International Law; Human Rights; and Professional Responsibility.  Her scholarship focuses on questions of race, citizenship, and the rights of indigenous peoples; national security and political repression; and international human rights remedies for race-based injustices.  She has published over twenty law review articles as well as two books, Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law (NYU Press, 2010) and From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay: Plenary Power and the Prerogative State (Univ. Press of Colorado, 2006). Professor Saito is currently writing a book on internal colonialism and race in the United States (forthcoming, NYU Press). 

Co-sponsored by: UCLA Department of Asian American Studies, UCLA Postcolonial Theory and Literary Series Colloquium