Wednesday, August 26 at 6:00PM
by JODY ARMOUR
in conversation with LARA BAZELON
"A must-read for anyone interested in understanding and dismantling mass incarceration.
- Chesa Boudin, District Attorney of San Francisco
America's criminal justice system is among the deadliest and most racist in the world and it disproportionately targets Black Americans, who are also disproportionately poor, hungry, houseless, jobless, sick, and poorly educated. By every metric of misery, this nation does not act like Black Lives Matter. In order to break out of the trap of racialized mass incarceration and relentless racial oppression, we, as a society, need to rethink our basic assumptions about blame and punishment, words and symbols, social perceptions and judgments, morality, politics, and the power of the performing arts.
N*gga Theory interrogates conventional assumptions and frames a transformational new way of thinking about law, language, moral judgments, politics, and transgressive art--especially profane genres like gangsta rap--and exposes where racial bias lives in the administration of justice and everyday life. Professor Jody Armour (Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism) calls for bold action: electing progressive prosecutors, defunding or dismantling the police, abolition of the prison industrial complex. But only after eradicating the anti-black bias buried in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans and baked into our legal system will we be able to say that Black Lives Matter in America.
Jody David Armour is a professor at the USC Gould School of Law. He has been a member of the faculty since 1995. Armour’s expertise ranges from personal injury claims to claims about the relationship between racial justice, criminal justice, and the rule of law. Armour studies the intersection of race and legal decision making as well as torts and tort reform movements. His latest book is N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law (August 18, 2020; LARB Books).
Lara Bazelon is a law professor, author, and contributing writer for Slate. Her op-eds and essays have also been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico, among other media outlets. Her book, Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction, was published in 2018.