Applying Legal Theory to Racism in American Society

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Florida Southern College
Racism has shown to be a trying part of American history. From slavery to mass incarceration, race relations has proved to be a dominant force in social, economic, and political aspects of society. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the combination of the theories given by H.L.A. Hart, a British legal philosopher, and Derrick Bell, an American lawyer, professor, and civil rights activist, can be used to gain a more comprehensive view on the American legal system which can be used to show how there is room for reform under the current system. Racism has been prevalent throughout all of American history and so when thinking about the American legal system it is impossible to theorize about the system effectively without taking racism into account. While both Hart and Bell’s philosophical inquiries can be used separately, the combination of the two gives a more comprehensive view on how the American system operates. The value of this is that the combination of the two is more applicable to how the system operates in the real world.
Honors Thesis Spring 2020
Racism, Race awareness, Race discrimination -- Law and legislation, The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Imprisonment -- United States -- History, Criminal justice, Administration of -- United States -- History, Civil rights -- United States