Review of Lopez’s “White by Law”

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Last updated: February 5, 2019

The need for a clear relationship between racial identity and the system of criminal justice is of undeniable significance in today’s modern setting. As such, it is notable that such condition was effectively exemplified through a literary work such as the book “White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race by Ian Haney Lopez.

The publication of the said book not only determined the social and lawful sources of whiteness or of being a white American. Ultimately, the book served its very purpose and essence when it succeeded in turning its awareness and eventual realization to contemporary white identity as well as accomplished an undertaking of calling upon those belonging to the white race to recognize while at the same time surrender their advantaged racial distinctiveness.Originally released in 1996 and re-published after ten years, “White by Law” was critically commended and absolutely propelled Lopez as one of the moving and excellent fresh minds in the legal field. The book became the first material that completely discussed and investigated the social, particularly the legal framework and understanding, of both the white and black races. This was efficiently carried-out by the book especially when it eventually served as an inspiring work for a generation of essential race theorists and a public that is concerned with the connection of American law and race. The book is now utilized and referred to by people whose interests concern racial disparity, civilization, way of life, government, gender and related socially-invested aspects of American society (Lopez, 2006).In its 10th anniversary edition, it is definitely commendable that Lopez effectively re-examined the legal structure of race.

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This is because the book triumphed in its argument that the existing race law or related measures have created disturbing racial principles and practices that maintained racial prejudice under the disguise of colorblind white supremacy. Ultimately, the book allowed the public to realize that such racial paradigm is harmful hence the need for it to be legally resolved.ReferenceLopez, I.H.

(2006). White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race. New York: New York University Press.


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