Foreword: “Racialism” and Reason

Clueless, I am not; but still I can wonder why I, of all people, was recruited to write a foreword for this symposium – sight unseen, before its component papers had even been submitted. Neither legal representation nor the teaching of it has ever been for me a main activity or focus of scholarly reflection. Although I have written occasionally about race – in defense of busing, on the side of affirmative action – no one could mistake me for a critical race theorist. I am the original-model imperial scholar, as of last report only partially redeemed. “Liberal” is the usual name for the brand of legal theorist I think I am and certainly intend to be. But isn’t “liberal” an opposite to “critical?” So what am I doing here?