Americans are understandably squeamish about official racial and ethnic classifications. Nevertheless, these classifications are ubiquitous in American life. Applying for a job, mortgage, university admission, citizenship, or government contract involves checking a box indicating whether one is Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American. In an increasingly diverse society with high rates of intergroup marriage, the American system of racial classification is getting even more arbitrary and absurd. With rising ethnonationalism threatening democracy around the world, it’s also dangerous. In his new book, Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classification in America, David Bernstein argues that it is time to consider abolishing official racial box-checking, thereby separating race and state.
Please join the Manhattan Institute for a virtual discussion of Classified, featuring David Bernstein, University Professor at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, with commentary by MI Paulson Policy Fellow Glenn Loury and Washington University Law School Professor Adrienne Davis. The panel will be moderated by MI Senior Fellow and Director of Constitutional Studies Ilya Shapiro.