Richard Thompson Ford
The George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School

Richard Thompson Ford is the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. An expert on civil rights and anti-discrimination law, Richard Thompson Ford has distinguished himself as an insightful voice and compelling writer on questions of race and multiculturalism. His scholarship combines social criticism and legal analysis and he writes for both popular readers and for academic and legal specialists. His work has focused on the social and legal conflicts surrounding claims of discrimination, on the causes and effects of racial segregation, and on the use of territorial boundaries as instruments of social regulation.


He has published regularly in Slate, the Boston Review, the San Jose Mercury News, and the San Francisco Chronicle as well as in several prestigious academic journals including the Harvard Law Review and the Stanford Law Review. He is the author of Racial Culture: A Critique and The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse.

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Rights Gone WrongHow Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality

Since the 1960s, ideas developed during the civil rights movement have been astonishingly successful in the fight against overt discrimination. But can they combat the whole spectrum of social injustice---including conditions that aren't directly caused by bigotry? In Rights Gone Wrong, Richard Thompson Ford argues that extremists on both sides of the political divide have hijacked civil rights for personal advantage, diverting our attention from serious social injustices. Is equality really served by endless litigating and legislating against every grievance or slight?

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The Race CardHow Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse

What do hurricane Katrina victims, millionaire rappers buying vintage champagne, and Ivy League professors waiting for taxis have in common? All have claimed to be victims of racism. But these days almost no one openly defends bigoted motives, so either a lot of people are lying about their true beliefs, or a lot of people are jumping to unwarranted conclusions--or just playing the race card. Daring, entertaining, and incisive, The Race Card brings sophisticated legal analysis, eye-popping anecdotes, and plain old common sense to this heated topic.

The Race Card A discussion about how bluffing about bias makes race relations worse.
Post-Race, Post Rights Professor Ford's lecture about how changes in race and the economy are making civil rights laws irrelevant.
Rights Gone Wrong A talk on how legal entitlements can undermine social justice and social harmony.

Check out a  New York Times review of The Race Card.

Learn more about Richard Thompson Ford here and follow him on Twitter.

Praise for The Race Card
"Pragmatic . . . few would object to Ford's emphasis on the need for long-term solutions to persistent segregation and poverty."
-The New Yorker

"Ford is bracing. . . . He takes dead aim at racial opportunists, opponents of affirmative action, multiculturalists, and the myriad rights organizations trying to hitch a ride on the successes of the black civil rights movement. . . . Best of all, he argues his humane, centrist position without apology or hesitation."
-William Grimes, The Seattle Times

Praise for Rights Gone Wrong
"A rationalist analysis of the efficacy of a multitude of antidiscrimination laws…All sides can learn much from Ford’s thinking."
-Publishers Weekly

"Ford has written a highly accessible narrative that underscores the need for Americans to roll up their sleeves and do the heavy lifting necessary to address persistent economic and racial inequality….With this book, Ford has in effect contributed a new placard to the American protest march."
-America magazine