Racial Culture: A Critique

RACIAL CULTURE is a brave, disturbing, and important book by a first class legal scholar. Richard Ford challenges every left and liberal shibboleth about racial justice in contemporary multicultural societies, while arguing relentlessly for racial justice.

— Professor Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley

Racial Culture by Richard Thompson Ford

Richard Thompson Ford, Racial Culture: A Critique, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.


Racial Culture advocates a narrow but robust form of race consciousness. Justice and sound policy requires a sober accounting of the practices of racism and a realistic assessment of its victims and likely future targets. “Colorblindness” threatens to become blindness, not to race, but to racism; because colorblindness cannot be enforced on the population as a whole, racism will continue to do its dirty work. Colorblindness will keep us from diagnosing and remedying the evil of racism. For these reasons, race consciousness must be robust: we must acknowledge the existence of racial groups – groups produced by racism – in order to craft appropriate remedies and administer remediation.