Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights (2020)

Covering The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights In this remarkable and elegant work acclaimed Yale Law School professor Kenji Yoshino fuses legal manifesto and poetic memoir to call for a redefinition of civil rights in our law and culture Everyon
  • Title: Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
  • Author: Kenji Yoshino
  • ISBN: 9780375760211
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Paperback
  • Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
    In this remarkable and elegant work, acclaimed Yale Law School professor Kenji Yoshino fuses legal manifesto and poetic memoir to call for a redefinition of civil rights in our law and culture.Everyone covers To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream Because all of us possess stigmatized attributes, we all encounter pressure to cover iIn this remarkable and elegant work, acclaimed Yale Law School professor Kenji Yoshino fuses legal manifesto and poetic memoir to call for a redefinition of civil rights in our law and culture.Everyone covers To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream Because all of us possess stigmatized attributes, we all encounter pressure to cover in our daily lives Given its pervasiveness, we may experience this pressure to be a simple fact of social life.Against conventional understanding, Kenji Yoshino argues that the demand to cover can pose a hidden threat to our civil rights Though we have come to some consensus against penalizing people for differences based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, we still routinely deny equal treatment to people who refuse to downplay differences along these lines Racial minorities are pressed to act white by changing their names, languages, or cultural practices Women are told to play like men at work Gays are asked not to engage in public displays of same sex affection The devout are instructed to minimize expressions of faith, and individuals with disabilities are urged to conceal the paraphernalia that permit them to function In a wide ranging analysis, Yoshino demonstrates that American civil rights law has generally ignored the threat posed by these covering demands With passion and rigor, he shows that the work of civil rights will not be complete until it attends to the harms of coerced conformity At the same time, Yoshino is responsive to the American exasperation with identity politics, which often seems like an endless parade of groups asking for state and social solicitude He observes that the ubiquity of the covering demand provides an opportunity to lift civil rights into a higher, universal register Since we all experience the covering demand, we can all make common cause around a new civil rights paradigm based on our desire for authenticity a desire that brings us together rather than driving us apart Yoshino s argument draws deeply on his personal experiences as a gay Asian American He follows the Romantics in his belief that if a human life is described with enough particularity, the universal will speak through it The result is a work that combines one of the most moving memoirs written in years with a landmark manifesto on the civil rights of the future This brilliantly argued and engaging book does two things at once, and it does them both astonishingly well First, it s a finely grained memoir of young man s struggles to come to terms with his sexuality, and second, it s a powerful argument for a whole new way of thinking about civil rights and how our society deals with difference This book challenges us all to confront our own unacknowledged biases, and it demands that we take seriously the idea that there are many different ways to be human Kenji Yoshino is the face and the voice of the new civil rights Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed Kenji Yoshino has not only given us an important, compelling new way to understand civil rights law, a major accomplishment in itself, but with great bravery and honesty, he has forged his argument from the cauldron of his own experience In clear, lyrical prose, Covering quite literally brings the law to life The result is a book about our public and private selves as convincing to the spirit as it is to the mind Adam Haslett, author of You Are Not A Stranger Here Kenji Yoshino s work is often moving and always clarifying Covering elaborates an original, arresting account of identity and authenticity in American culture Anthony Appiah, author of The Ethics of Identity and Laurance S Rockefeller University Professor Of Philosophy at Princeton University This stunning book introduces three faces of the remarkable Kenji Yoshino a writer of poetic beauty a soul of rare reflectivity and decency and a brilliant lawyer and scholar, passionately committed to uncovering human rights Like W.E.B DuBois s The Souls of Black Folk and Betty Friedan s The Feminine Mystique, this book fearlessly blends gripping narrative with insightful analysis to further the cause of human emancipation And like those classics, it should explode into America s consciousness Harold Hongju Koh Dean, Yale Law School and former Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Covering is a magnificent work so eloquently and powerfully written I literally could not put it down Sweeping in breadth, brilliantly argued, and filled with insight, humor, and erudition, it offers a fundamentally new perspective on civil rights and discrimination law This extraordinary book is many things at once an intensely moving personal memoir a breathtaking historical and cultural synthesis of assimilation and American equality law an explosive new paradigm for transcending the morass of identity politics and in parts, pure poetry No one interested in civil rights, sexuality, discrimination or simply human flourishing can afford to miss it Amy Chua, author of World on Fire In this stunning, original book, Kenji Yoshino demonstrates that the struggle for gay rights is not only a struggle to liberate gays it is a struggle to free all of us, straight and gay, male and female, white and black, from the pressures and temptations to cover vital aspects of ourselves and deprive ourselves and others of our full humanity Yoshino is both poet and lawyer, and by joining an exquisitely observed personal memoir with a historical analysis of civil rights, he shows why gay rights is so controversial at present, why covering is the issue of contention, and why the covering demand, universal in application, is the civil rights issue of our time This is a beautifully written, brilliant and hopeful book, offering a new understanding of what is at stake in our fight for human rights Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice
    • [KINDLE] ✓ Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights | by Ù Kenji Yoshino
      439 Kenji Yoshino
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      Published :2019-08-17T07:28:45+00:00

    One Reply to “Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights”

    1. Yoshino is a Yale Law professor, first generation Japanese American and a gay man The majority of his book discusses his own journey as a gay man, and a first generation American The legal arguments he builds about conversion pressure to conform to a heterosexual sexual orientation , covering hiding or playing down differences such as secual orientation, religion, disability and and reverse covering Law cases included in the book include cases of women who were penalized by their employers for [...]

    2. Martin Luther King Jr Day passed by while I was reading this book On that day, this quote from King s Letter from a Birmingham Jail stood out to me First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen s Council er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is devoted to order than to justice w [...]

    3. While I like the book and find it to be VERY well written, I find it thought provoking in that I seriously disagree with its central premise.We had this as assigned reading in a class on Asian American issues The author is law professor who started out as grad student in creative writing Having previously attended law school myself, I have got to rank this as one of the best written books on a legal topic I ve ever read The book charts the authors personal path, both as an Asian American negotia [...]

    4. First came passing, then the imperative to assimilate to a white ideal, and now the new civil rights challenge of our time, according to the author, is forcing people to cover or tamp down on their expressions of personhood, i.e telling gays not to flaunt , asking the religious not to be so visible in their belief, or asking minority groups to not act so different An interesting look at this new phenomenon the book s first half discusses this from the perspective of gay rights and then broadens [...]

    5. I did not miss the point of this book, that we should be free to express ourselves as we see fit I do disagree with much of it, however Throughout all ages and societies, there have been norms of behavior and action Are all of these right No Not all of them are wrong, however.I do not disagree that there are individuals in our society who feel oppressed I agree that we should be able to express ourselves We should feel free to embrace what we enjoy.However, to what extent should this expression [...]

    6. Yoshino got the title word of his book from the sociologist Erving Goffman s book, Stigma Published in 1963, the book describes how various groups including the disabled, the elderly, and the obese manage their spoiled identities After discussing passing, Goffman observes that persons who are ready to admit possession of a stigmay nonetheless make a great effort to keep the stigma from looming large He calls this behavior covering The book focuses mainly on gay covering, racial covering, and sex [...]

    7. I would think, I wish I were dead I did not think of it as a suicidal thought My poet s parsin mind read the first I and the second I as different I s The first I was the whole watching self, while the second I the one that I wanted to kill was the gay I nested inside it It was less a suicidal impulse than a homicidal one the infanticide of the gay self I had described in the poem This is another book I read for class, but wow did it impress me Yoshino does such an excellent job at balancing his [...]

    8. Kenji makes an amazing job He manages to appeal to our humanity and at the same time builds a strong logical legal framework to think about the origins and consequences of the covering demands in our society This is a must read for passionates of human rights, but most importantly, a clear need for those who prefer to stay in the margin.

    9. Most people are familiar with conversion see ex gays and being closeted law professor Kenji Yoshino is working on examining a third, subtle demand on non conforming people covering a concept introduced by Erving Goffman in Stigma Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity Even if someone is openly gay, they may still tone down their behavior Yoshino also covers racial covering and sex based covering, the latter of which is even complex, since women may be called on both to cover feminine beha [...]

    10. Kenji Yoshino is an up and coming east coast professor of law And covering is a term he plucked out of academic obscurity to refer to the legion of demands placed on people who are different but who are asked to tone down or erase those differences in order to get ahead in the Great White Straight Society Yoshino s contention is that, at the threshold of the 21st Century, the United States has grown out of its inclination to assimilate convert people of difference You re gay Well, stop it but ha [...]

    11. Yoshino writes of covering, a fascinating concept that not only allows him to explore the current state of civil rights, but describe a method of being in the world that, while common among gays and other minority groups, will likely resonate with any reader Fifty years ago, gays were asked to convert, to renounce their homosexuality as a pathological symptom or religiously problematic Today, gays are asked to cover to push down the aspects of their appearance or behavior that don t conform to m [...]

    12. So far, the main issues this of this book are 1 The author s horrible prose considering his oft mentioned background in poetry and english literature and 2 the unneeded extensive autobiography A quick thumb through the book shows that of the 282 pages, only 200 pages are devoted to the concept of covering and of those 200 pages, 27 pages are of his excruciatingly written backstory But, I m still hoping that once he begins fully explaining covering and various cases that correspond to it, the boo [...]

    13. This is a very different style of book from those that I usually read It was a book chosen as the freshman reading book for the university where I work, and I wanted to get a sense of what the cool kids read nerdy kids are reading these days It was a book that I wished went deeper I think it was very valuable to define a term that is not something I was familiar with academically but definitely experience on a regular basis as a person of multi layered and generally minority less privileged back [...]

    14. I wanted to like this book so much than I did Although I appreciate the personal nature of Yoshino s thoughts on covering, I think foregrounding his own experience actually leads to him ignoring or not contemplating the experience of other marginalized people He also has some serious problems with how he construes the choice to assimilate in the book, often decrying it in one chapter and requiring it in another.

    15. I argue for a new civil rights paradigm that moves away from group based equality rights toward universal liberty rights, and away from legal solutions toward social solutions The aspiration of civil rights has always been to permit people to pursue their human flourishing without limitations based on bias.

    16. My therapist recommended this book to me and I can see why While few people are making assimilation or conversion demands on me, I walk through the world endlessly bombarded with covering demands I highly recommend that everyone read this book, whether you belong to a marginalized group or not.

    17. i m not sure what glitch caused this book to have a rating of 1005.5, but it s certainly worth it poignant, moving, persuasive, yoshino entertwines personal narrative with insightful anaylsis on social pressures of sexual minorities to hid, pass, and then cover.

    18. Nearly every page of Part One of this book, in which Yoshino describes his own experiences with gay conversion passing covering, took my breath away I found his prose gorgeous and frequently had to pause to recover from the intensity of my emotional response to his words The rest of the book is less successful I found his examination of racial and sex based covering kind of superficial and often exasperating He pays lip service to pushing against the model minority stereotype as patronizing but [...]

    19. Overall, a book very much worth reading Yoshino s eventual argument is powerful and important I just wish he d gotten to it, or at least previewed it, earlier in the book As it stands, the subtitle of the book ends up feeling a bit clickbaity for a while He spends 170 ish pages alternating between the personal and public, the poetic and legal Throughout there are moments of greatness and truly poetic insights, but also a fair share of shoehorns and digressions that fall flat Then, starting with [...]

    20. This is such a beautifully written, thoughtful book Part memoir, part legal history, Yoshino argues that everyone covers we all downplay aspects of our True Selves in order to assimilate into the dominant culture Insightful and illuminating The new civil rights must harness this universal impulse toward authenticity That impulse should press us toward thinking of civil rights less in terms of groups than in terms of our common humanity 187

    21. Beautifully written This book seamlessly combines both autobiography and legal scholarship, and a key aspect in understanding the book is to put ourselves in the shoes of a traditionally disadvantaged group IMHO, always easier to tell someone to grow a pair than having to endure the experience Would highly recommend it to anyone.

    22. This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine Yoshino s book is a treasure for the sake of his coming out story alone I am always amazed by the unconditional acceptance that parents can be capable of.

    23. The memoir parts were pretty good, but the legal civil rights arguments were out of date Jurisprudence on gay rights has changed a lot in the past decade not complaining If I weren t a compulsive book finisher, I would have just read the first half and probably enjoyed the experience .

    24. Covering is an argument for a new direction of civil rights advocacy protecting individuals ability to live their full selves in our society Yoshino argues that as much as we should protect minority populations from facing discrimination because of the color of their skin or who they love, we should not require individuals to cover the characteristics that align them with their minority population traditional African American hairdos, for example, or lack of makeup for a less stereotypically fem [...]

    25. Although I enjoyed the book I have a few problems with it The book is very well written, perhaps one of the better written books I have read this year However, I can t help but view covering as something we all do because we all need to live in society Another form of Survival of the fittest I couldn t help but feel as if we keep looking for reasons to place labels on ourselves Why is it necessary to have a label Just because I choose to try to get rid of my accent doesn t mean I feel as if I m [...]

    26. Yoshino s writing style can be too flowery and metaphorical for my taste when he writes autobiographically, but his argument on covering is a brilliant expansion on what, in the 60s, Milton Gordon called Anglo conformity Here, Yoshino writes critically about the progress of minority acculturation, in which individuals no longer need to be white, male, straight, Protestant, and able bodied they need only to act white, male, straight, Protestant, and able bodied One point I thought was rather inge [...]

    27. I read this a few months ago, but am just reviewing it now This is because I m way ahead of schedule at work and somewhat bored So there you go.Rarely have I read a contemporary author with such mastery of the English language, discerning intellect, and heartfelt spirit of advocacy A former English scholar PhD , law student, and now professor at Yale, Yoshino beautifully articulates the unfortunate phenomena of covering an individual s attempting to mask traits which makes him or her different f [...]

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