To celebrate the turn of the millennium, the University of Chicago
is offering some new thoughts in a new forum: the Reflections
2000 Web site. Each week during the spring and fall 1999 quarters,
the site will feature a different essay by a distinguished faculty
member. Authors will be drawn from all the divisions and professional
The site made its Internet debut during the last week of March
with a piece by Provost Geoffrey Stone, JD71, the Harry Kalven
Jr. distinguished service professor in the Law School, who wrote
a speculative Supreme Court decision dated June 21, 2101. In John
Powers and Mary Smith v. Director, United States Agency for Mandatory
Miscegenation, a white couple fought for the right to have a child
together, arguing that the Mandatory Miscegenation Act of 2100 violated
the United States Constitution.
As imagined by Stone, the Court wrote: Congress has determined
to put an end to this endless cycle of racism in the most direct
and most effective way possible: by creating a nation of one racenot
a race of whites, or blacks, or Asians, but a single, mixed race
If ever there was a compelling governmental
and societal interest, it is in the elimination of racism in our
nation, once and for all.
Although we feel for the petitioners,
who unquestionably love one another and wish nothing more than to
bear a child together, the interest of the nation is paramount.
It is through such sacrifices, not small, but essential, that we
will finally attain a society in which all people are in fact as
well as in declaration created equal.
We find that
the Mandatory Miscegenation Act of 2100 is consistent with the United
States Constitution and therefore affirm the decision below.
Visitors can post their opinions on the material, read others
comments, and participate in informal polls regarding questions
posed in the essays. At final tally, 42 percent of respondents agreed
with the hypothetical Supreme Court decision.
In the coming months, expect to hear from philosopher Martha Nussbaum
on global justice and psychologist John Cacioppo on emotions and
rationality. Other faculty whose millennial musings will appear
include Leora Auslander, Anthony Bryk, Martin Kreitman, Shadi Bartsch,
Jean and John Comaroff, Keith Moffat, Martin Marty, PhD56,
Saskia Sassen, Wu Hung, and Wendy Doniger.
World Wide Web location: www.uchicago.edu/millennium