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A House Is Not a Home: Lessons on Race, Love, and Housing in Rhinelander v. Rhinelander
Unformatted Document Text:  \\server05\productn\H\HLC\44-1\HLC108.txt unknown Seq: 2 29-JAN-09 8:05 232 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review [Vol. 44 Twenty years later, in 2008, McIntosh’s words ring equally true and have become a staple in the anti-racist literary canon. We, a black 4 woman and a white man who are married and living together in Iowa with our threebiracial children, have given McIntosh’s work serious thought over the years,both voluntarily and involuntarily. We use it in our lives as a basis for ex-amining our own invisible knapsacks of privilege, such as our unearnedprivileges as heterosexuals. For example, in our actions and efforts to sup-port the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, we often remind ourselvesof the benefits that we have received as a result of the Supreme Court’sdecision in Loving v. Virginia 5 in 1967. Loving held that anti-miscegenation statutes were unconstitutional, thus ensuring at least the legality of our mul-tiracial marriage in every state. 6 We also use McIntosh’s work as a basis for understanding our own individual social advantages and disadvantages as aresult of our two different races. For instance, I, Jacob, a white man, amoften reminded of my own white privilege when I shop alone in malls andam neither followed around in stores nor asked to produce various forms ofidentification when purchasing items. 7 Whereas I, Angela, a black woman, am often exposed to my racial disadvantage when I read the newspaper,watch television, or listen to the news, all of which are filled with negativeand stereotypical images of black people. 8 Finally, we use McIntosh’s work 4 We prefer to use the term “blacks” to the term “African Americans” because the term “blacks” is more inclusive. See Why “Black” and Not “African-American,” Adan Gonzalez, 3J. B LACKS H IGHER E DUC . 18, 18-19 (1994) (explaining why the term “black” is a more inclu- sive term than “African-American”). Additionally, we find that “[i]t is more convenient toinvoke the terminological differentiation between black and white than say, between African-American and Northern European-American, which would be necessary to maintain semanticsymmetry between the two typologies.” Alex M. Johnson, Jr., Defending the Use of Quotas inAffirmative Action: Attacking Racism in the Nineties, 1992 U. I LL . L. R EV . 1043, 1044 n.4 (1992). 5 388 U.S. 1 (1967). 6 Id.; see also infra Part II.B. Almost twenty years before Loving, the California Supreme Court struck down California’s anti-miscegenation statute in Perez v. Sharp, 198 P.2d 17 (Cal.1948). See R.A. Lenhardt, Beyond Analogy: Perez v. Sharp, Antimiscegenation Law, and theFight for Same-Sex Marriage, 96 C AL . L. R EV . 839, 847 (2008) (using Perez to argue that “identity-based restrictions that prohibit someone from marrying the ‘person of [her] choice’inflict significant citizenship harm”). 7 See Mary Jo Wiggins, Race, Class, and Suburbia: The Modern Black Suburb as a “Race-Making Situation,” 35 U. M ICH . J.L. R EFORM 749, 797-98 (2001-2002) (detailing how professionally dressed black people are routinely followed in stores); James Ragland, BlackShoppers Feel They’re Unwelcome: Oprah Isn’t the Only One Complaining about Stores, StudySaid, D ALLAS M ORNING N EWS , Aug. 7, 2005, at 7E. (“The Oprah incident [in which billion- aire Oprah Winfrey was prevented from entering an Hermes store in Paris, allegedly becausethe store had been having problems with North African women] renewed talk about racialprofiling in stores. The study found that 56 percent of black respondents sensed that storeclerks or security guards were watching them more closely than other customers. By compari-son, 40 percent of Hispanic and 17 percent of white respondents say the same thing.”). 8 See C AMILLE O. C OSBY , T ELEVISION ’ S I MAGEABLE I NFLUENCES 36-37 (Wellington & Chiu, eds. 1994) (describing images of black people in the media as the “Savage African,Happy slave, Devoted servant, Corrupt politician, Irresponsible citizen, Petty thief, Social de-linquent, Vicious criminal, Sexual superman, Unhappy non-white, Natural-born cook, Perfectentertainer, Superstitious churchgoer, Chicken and watermelon eater, Razor and knife ‘toter’,

Authors: Onwuachi-Willig, Angela., Murray, Melissa., Hamilton, Vivian. and Abrams, Kerry.
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\\server05\productn\H\HLC\44-1\HLC108.txt
unknown
Seq: 2
29-JAN-09
8:05
232
Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
[Vol. 44
Twenty years later, in 2008, McIntosh’s words ring equally true and
have become a staple in the anti-racist literary canon.  We, a black
4
 woman
and a white man who are married and living together in Iowa with our three
biracial children, have given McIntosh’s work serious thought over the years,
both voluntarily and involuntarily.  We use it in our lives as a basis for ex-
amining our own invisible knapsacks of privilege, such as our unearned
privileges as heterosexuals.  For example, in our actions and efforts to sup-
port the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, we often remind ourselves
of the benefits that we have received as a result of the Supreme Court’s
decision in Loving v. Virginia
5
 in 1967. Loving held that anti-miscegenation
statutes were unconstitutional, thus ensuring at least the legality of our mul-
tiracial marriage in every state.
6
 We also use McIntosh’s work as a basis for
understanding our own individual social advantages and disadvantages as a
result of our two different races.  For instance, I, Jacob, a white man, am
often reminded of my own white privilege when I shop alone in malls and
am neither followed around in stores nor asked to produce various forms of
identification when purchasing items.
7
 Whereas I, Angela, a black woman,
am often exposed to my racial disadvantage when I read the newspaper,
watch television, or listen to the news, all of which are filled with negative
and stereotypical images of black people.
8
 Finally, we use McIntosh’s work
4
We prefer to use the term “blacks” to the term “African Americans” because the term
“blacks” is more inclusive. See Why “Black” and Not “African-American, Adan Gonzalez, 3
J. B
LACKS
 H
IGHER
 E
DUC
. 18, 18-19 (1994) (explaining why the term “black” is a more inclu-
sive term than “African-American”).  Additionally, we find that “[i]t is more convenient to
invoke the terminological differentiation between black and white than say, between African-
American and Northern European-American, which would be necessary to maintain semantic
symmetry between the two typologies.” Alex M. Johnson, Jr., Defending the Use of Quotas in
Affirmative Action: Attacking Racism in the Nineties
, 1992 U. I
LL
. L. R
EV
. 1043, 1044 n.4
(1992).
5
388 U.S. 1 (1967).
6
Id.see also infra Part II.B.  Almost twenty years before Loving, the California Supreme
Court struck down California’s anti-miscegenation statute in Perez v. Sharp, 198 P.2d 17 (Cal.
1948). See R.A. Lenhardt, Beyond Analogy: Perez v. Sharp, Antimiscegenation Law, and the
Fight for Same-Sex Marriage
, 96 C
AL
. L. R
EV
. 839, 847 (2008) (using Perez to argue that
“identity-based restrictions that prohibit someone from marrying the ‘person of [her] choice’
inflict significant citizenship harm”).
7
See Mary Jo Wiggins, Race, Class, and Suburbia: The Modern Black Suburb as a
“Race-Making Situation,” 35 U. M
ICH
. J.L. R
EFORM
 749, 797-98 (2001-2002) (detailing how
professionally dressed black people are routinely followed in stores); James Ragland, Black
Shoppers Feel They’re Unwelcome: Oprah Isn’t the Only One Complaining about Stores, Study
Said
, D
ALLAS
 M
ORNING
 N
EWS
, Aug. 7, 2005, at 7E. (“The Oprah incident [in which billion-
aire Oprah Winfrey was prevented from entering an Hermes store in Paris, allegedly because
the store had been having problems with North African women] renewed talk about racial
profiling in stores. The study found that 56 percent of black respondents sensed that store
clerks or security guards were watching them more closely than other customers. By compari-
son, 40 percent of Hispanic and 17 percent of white respondents say the same thing.”).
8
See  C
AMILLE
 O. C
OSBY
, T
ELEVISION
S
  I
MAGEABLE
  I
NFLUENCES
 36-37 (Wellington &
Chiu, eds. 1994)  (describing images of black people in the media as the “Savage African,
Happy slave, Devoted servant, Corrupt politician, Irresponsible citizen, Petty thief, Social de-
linquent, Vicious criminal, Sexual superman, Unhappy non-white, Natural-born cook, Perfect
entertainer, Superstitious churchgoer, Chicken and watermelon eater, Razor and knife ‘toter’,


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