Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
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 i...more
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 nego...more
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"The aspiration of civil rights has always been to permit people to pursue their human flourishing without limitations based on bias."
My book club read a few months ago a book by that name, Covering by Kenji Yoshino (more info at his website). He talks about the history of the gay rights movements, but also makes it clear that the covering phenomenon is universal and does not only occur in members o...more
One of the most interesting parts of his analysis is the concept of mutable characteristics, which do not gain any legal protection, and those of immutable characteristics, which do have legal protection. Yoshino's argument that they are...more
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 expr...more
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 d...more
Instead, Yoshini provides an extensive - and...more
I was surprised that Yoshino quoted a great deal from Eric Liu's The Accidental Asian (though I understand why he uses the excerpts he does). I found Liu's book annoyingly uncritical. In contrast, Yoshino is often painfully honest in a way that demonstrates just how far he has come in allowing his true, authentic self to come forward.
The only gap in his an...more
The drawback of the book is that Yoshino is a law professor. Yoshino cites too many cases about covering when th...more
Kenji Yoshino, as a professor of law and deputy dean at Yale Law School, fills critics with faith in his scholarship and intellectual rigor. It is his personal story, however, that reaches out from the legal decisions to grab reviewers' attention and provides the soul of his polemic. Though some critics ponder whether a social solution to such divisive, intricate problems is truly possible, they agree that, in urging society toward the ultimate goal of "human flourishing" (Los Angeles Times), Co...more
A great b...more
The author begins with his coming out of the closet story and his experiences with assimilation or what he calls "covering." In later chapters, he takes the concept further and discusses covering for disabilities, religion, sex and race.
The author has a background in poetry and he tries very, very hard to convey his po...more
What makes it so worthwhile is that the author consistently questions his assumptions and notes his inconsistencies. For example, is gay marriage an instance of covering? Or, just because you choo...more