Race, Class, and Structural Discrimination: On Vulnerability in the Political Process


The goal of this paper is to illustrate this racially intersecting lockout problem and to argue for the importance of attending to this problem within the context of the law of democracy. Specifically, this paper will illuminate the heart of this problem: the intersecting vulnerabilities that poor people of color suffer from within the political and economic process. Such vulnerability lies at the heart of both the historical and present-day discrimination within the franchise (and the structures that affect it). This paper focuses on the idea that vulnerability to the majoritarian forces and inequities in the political process ought to serve as a factor in defining the harms that minority populations suffer within the political process. The contention here is that such vulnerability premised on the confluence of historical factors such as race and socioeconomic status creates a particular risk that the interests of such groups will not be met and that the people within these groups will not be able to participate fully within the political process.


race, class, structural racism, voting rights

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28 Saint John's Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development 35 (2015)


COinS Atiba R. Ellis Faculty Bio