The 18th century concept of the social contract is widely recognized in the 20th century as serving as the basis, usually in the form of a constitution, of the legitimacy of governments of contemporary nation states. But is the U.S. Constitution, in relation to its national minorities, a true social contract, or did it mark the consolidation of an unwritten, unspoken anti-social contact that even to this day submerges the rights of American national minorities to historic, cultural and socio-economic recognition and rights as founding peoples of the United States of America?

This book views the African American minority problem within the context of an historically evolved American problematic of white nationalism, which sought to unify the United States by seeking to assimilate all ethnic groups into a dominant and majoritarian Anglo-Saxon culture — even as it practiced systemic discrimination against formerly enslaved Africans via segregation. Two melting pots were created, one for whites, and one for blacks of whatever descent. while nonetheless maintaining the formerly enslaved African population in a state of de facto apartheid (segregation), under the rubric of “separate but equal”.

Despite 20th century systemic changes providing for nondiscrimination and civil rights, assimilation remains problematic for African Americans, whose difference from the European descent majority is both racial and very distinctly cultural. This has led, despite the success of individuals, to their collective relegation into the bottom rung of what is emerging as a caste-based American society.

The key to achieving and sustaining equal status for African Americans and other U.S. national minorities may lie in the possibilities for collective empowerment afforded by minority rights (the right to develop as unique cultures, which may require control of their own socio-economic and/or politico-legal institutions within the multinational state) in addition to civil rights and nondiscrimination — suggesting that in order to fully conceptualize and address systemic discrimination we must re-envision American society not a melting pot — but as a stew.

This work establishes Dr. Kly as the most important African-American political theorist since W.E.B. DuBois.



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