Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research17:2 (Fall 2007). Copyright ©2007 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In Like a Loaded Weapon, Robert A. Williams Jr. argues that reliance by the courts on racist precedents from the nineteenth century perpetuates racism against American Indians and prevents Native tribes and nations from vindicating their human rights, both under the law and in society more broadly. Taking his title from a dissenting opinion in the infamous 1944 Korematsu decision of the Supreme Court, which upheld the forced relocation and internment of thousands of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II, Williams cogently demonstrates how racially biased patterns of Janguage and belief incorporated into legal opinions pose a deadly threat to human rights.