Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

How the García Cousins Lost Their Accents: Understanding the Language of Title VII Decisions Approving English-Only Rules as the Product of Racial Dualism, Latino Invisibility, and Legal Indeterminacy

Christopher David Ruiz Cameron
California Law Review
Vol. 85, No. 5, LatCrit: Latinas/os and the Law: A Joint Symposium by "California Law Review" and "La Raza Law Journal" (Oct., 1997), pp. 1347-1393
DOI: 10.2307/3481062
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3481062
Page Count: 47
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
How the García Cousins Lost Their Accents: Understanding the Language of Title VII Decisions Approving English-Only Rules as the Product of Racial Dualism, Latino Invisibility, and Legal Indeterminacy
Preview not available

Abstract

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination in employment based on, among other things, national origin. The adoption by employers of policies requiring employees to speak only English in the workplace would appear to constitute national origin discrimination against bilingual Latinos, whose Spanish-speaking ability is central to their identity. Yet it is settled in the federal courts that implementing "English-only" rules does not even state a prima facie case of discrimination. In this Essay, the author seeks to understand why judges hold national origin challenges based on language discrimination in such low esteem. He argues that three themes drawn from the growing literature of LatCrit theory help explain these results: racial dualism, the tendency of courts to view civil rights discourse in terms of Blacks and Whites to the exclusion of Browns and other people of color; Latino invisibility, the tendency of legal institutions to make Hispanic litigants and their injuries disappear; and legal indeterminacy, the tendency of the jurisprudential tools of legal reasoning to be ambiguous and manipulable. The author concludes that understanding judges' use of language-phraseology, choice of metaphor, and silence-offers insights into the values and prejudices that have assigned Latinos and other minorities to second-class legal status. By confronting these values and prejudices, courts and combatants may begin to change them and accord victims of national origin discrimination the respect they deserve.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1347
    1347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1348
    1348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1349
    1349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1350
    1350
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1351
    1351
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1352
    1352
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1353
    1353
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1354
    1354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1355
    1355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1356
    1356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1357
    1357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1358
    1358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1359
    1359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1360
    1360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1361
    1361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1362
    1362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1363
    1363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1364
    1364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1365
    1365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1366
    1366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1367
    1367
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1368
    1368
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1369
    1369
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1370
    1370
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1371
    1371
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1372
    1372
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1373
    1373
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1374
    1374
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1375
    1375
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1376
    1376
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1377
    1377
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1378
    1378
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1379
    1379
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1380
    1380
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1381
    1381
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1382
    1382
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1383
    1383
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1384
    1384
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1385
    1385
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1386
    1386
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1387
    1387
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1388
    1388
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1389
    1389
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1390
    1390
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1391
    1391
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1392
    1392
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1393
    1393