Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Professor Meera Deo of Southwestern Law School has published Why BIPOC Fails in the Virginia Law Review Online. The abstract is given below, and the full article is available right here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3858825
This Essay initiates a discussion about how we should critically examine which issues and data are most relevant to our arguments and advocacy efforts and how we should match language to the particular groups at the center of those priorities. This will mean aggregating groups at times, and naming them separately at others. This Essay argues that whether finding community through unity or standing separately to highlight distinctions, either of these options is better than utilizing the term BIPOC. Particular examples showcase the failures of the term BIPOC, both in theory and in practice, including ways in which it can be misleading, confusing, and contribute to the invisibility of the very groups that should be centered in particular contexts. Instead, allies, advocates, and academics should not simply use whatever term is currently in vogue but instead critically examine the language we use and carefully match it to our data, priorities, and conclusions.