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Abstract

A vast divide exists in the national imagination between the racial struggles of the civil rights era and the racial inequality of the present. The attitudes and legal strategies of segregationists in the civil rights era are conceptualized as explicit, gross, and founded exclusively in raw racial animus. In contrast, racial inequality in the present is conceptualized as subtle, subconscious, and structural. The causes of modern racial inequality—and the obstacles to its remediation—are thus characterized as fundamentally distinct from those undergirding historical racial inequality.

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