San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In this Article, Professor Brooks examines the current state of "formal equal opportunity" and finds it may not be the final expression of interracial relations in the United States. The inquiry begins with the realization that after the passage of hundreds of civil rights laws, Black Americans seem worse off socially and economically than Black Americans were under Jim Crow. The author criticizes civil rights analysis for its failure to ask the right question - the "subordination question." This question would require scholars to analyze the subordinating force or mechanism in civil rights law which the author believes to be formal equal opportunity. The author concludes that formal equal opportunity is a failed public policy because it is operationally flawed in that it gives low priority to the interests of Black Americans.