Friday, July 10, 2009

A history of race in America

In the excellent book Dred Scott’s Revenge, Judge Napolitano explores the long and tangled history of race relations in America. He starts with the beginnings of slavery in the New World, through the Civil War, Jim Crow Laws and “separate but equal” educational rulings and explores how the federal government has often been at the root of causing the racial divide. Judge Napolitano has a negative view of Abraham Lincoln and gives his reasons in clear, well-reasoned arguments. The book also looks at how race relations have shaped current policies in law enforcement and politics. The titles of the chapters in the book are somewhat predictable, except for the last one: baseball.In this chapter, the author stresses how one person with a strong moral compass and personal fortitude can change entrenched and accepted practice for the better. The conclusion of the book gives an overview of some of the author’s other books, and how he stresses natural law (those rights given by God or by being human) is necessary to our continued freedom. By embracing natural law, nations must therefore reject positivism (the law that rejects natural rights and allows the majority to dictate what the law should be).

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