Romero on A Brown Buffalo’s Observations on Color(Blindness), Legal History, and Racial Justice in the Rocky Mountain West @SturmCOL @UtahLawReview
Tom Romero, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, is publishing A Brown Buffalo’s Observations on Color(Blindness), Legal History, and Racial Justice in the Rocky Mountain West in the Utah Law Review for 2022. Here is the abstract.
This essay is a series of three observations about interrogating and complicating the meaning of color for all of us who call the Rocky Mountain West home. Published as part of the University of Utah Law Review’s annual symposium asking legal academics and law practitioners to ‘tell our stories’, this essay is designed to highlight the importance of racial consciousness in the legal geography of the Rocky Mountain West. These observations are divided into three reflections. In the first, I explore what has long been the defining feature of race relations in the Rocky Mountain West—the persistent tension between the region as a racial utopia free from de jure racial inequities and the legacy of state-sanctioned racial violence and deep-rooted nurturing of White supremacy. Trekking through some of the ‘legalscapes’ of property, state constitutional, civil rights, and martial law, this observation spotlights the legal creation and negotiation of color lines across the region’s multi-racial geography. The second observation connects this history to the present day, detailing some of the ways that the region continues to struggle with and be in tension with its ability to confront forthrightly deep-rooted racial inequities. Understanding these recent developments as part of a larger history of colorblindness demonstrates the legacies as well as challenges of racial disparity and inequity in the current geography of the Rocky Mountain West. I offer one final observation on the legal, moral, and professional needs for all of us, as practitioners and human beings, to become color conscious as we live, learn, work, and pray in the Rocky Mountain West.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.