The Constitution and American Racism

Setting a Course for Lasting Injustice


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About the Book

Racism has permeated the workings of the U.S. Constitution since ratification. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, supporters of slavery ensured it was protected by rule of law. The federal government upheld slavery until it was abolished by the Civil War; then supported the South’s Jim Crow power structure. From Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era until today, veneration of the Constitution has not prevented lynching, segregation, voter intimidation or police brutality against people of color. The Electoral College—a Constitutional accommodation for slaveholding aristocrats who feared popular government—has twice in 20 years given the presidency to the candidate who lost the popular vote. This book describes how pernicious flaws in the Constitution, included to legalize profiting from human bondage, perpetuate systemic racism, economic inequality and the subversion of democracy.

About the Author(s)

David P. Madden is a retired trial lawyer having tried a substantial number of cases in federal and state courts throughout the U.S. He was a National Board of Trial Advocacy Certified Civil Trial Advocate, AV rated for professionalism and ethics by Martindale Hubbell, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the JAG Corps, who has taught law, American history and military history at the college level. He lives in Dayton, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

David P. Madden

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 213
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8394-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4175-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. “The security the southern states want…” 5
2. “The Peculiar Institution” 30
3. The Law of Slavery 49
4. States’ Rights as Revisionist History 70
5. “The Constitution is colorblind” 97
6. Tyranny of the Republic 123
7. The Power Vested in the President 136
8. Civil Rights 149
9. Democracy Is Government “by and for the people” 160
Chapter Notes 177
Bibliography 191
Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

“Highly recommended…. Anybody concerned about civil rights, government power and process, and the ongoing and even strengthening rule of racist attitudes and systems in the U.S. needs to read this book, which ideally will be part of any civil rights or civic studies discussion.”—Midwest Book Review