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Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution

Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution

by Elie Mystal
Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution

Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution

by Elie Mystal


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MSNBC legal commentator Elie Mystal thinks that Republicans are wrong about the law almost all of the time. Now, instead of talking about this on cable news, Mystal explains why in his first book.

“After reading Allow Me to Retort, I want Elie Mystal to explain everything I don’t understand—quantum astrophysics, the infield fly rule, why people think Bob Dylan is a good singer . . .” —Michael Harriot, The Root

Allow Me to Retort is an easily digestible argument about what rights we have, what rights Republicans are trying to take away, and how to stop them. Mystal explains how to protect the rights of women and people of color instead of cowering to the absolutism of gun owners and bigots. He explains the legal way to stop everything from police brutality to political gerrymandering, just by changing a few judges and justices. He strips out all of the fancy jargon conservatives like to hide behind and lays bare the truth of their project to keep America forever tethered to its slaveholding past.

Mystal brings his trademark humor, expertise, and rhetorical flair to explain concepts like substantive due process and the right for the LGBTQ community to buy a cake, and to arm readers with the knowledge to defend themselves against conservatives who want everybody to live under the yoke of eighteenth-century white men. The same tactics Mystal uses to defend the idea of a fair and equal society on MSNBC and CNN are in this book, for anybody who wants to deploy them on social media.

You don’t need to be a legal scholar to understand your own rights. You don’t need to accept the “whites only” theory of equality pushed by conservative judges. You can read this book to understand that the Constitution is trash, but doesn’t have to be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620976906
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 03/01/2022
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Sales rank: 20,257
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Elie Mystal is The Nation’s legal analyst and justice correspondent, an Alfred Knobler Fellow at the Type Media Center, and the legal editor of the More Perfect podcast on the Supreme Court for Radiolab. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, the former executive editor of Above the Law, a former associate at Debevoise&Plimpton, and a frequent guest on MSNBC and Sirius XM. The author of Allow Me to Retort (The New Press), he lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Canceling Trash People Is Not a Constitutional Crisis 9

2 Bigotry Is Illegal Even If You've Been Ordered to by Jesus 18

3 Everything You Know About the Second Amendment Is Wrong 31

4 Stop Frisking Me 41

5 Attack Dogs Are Not Reasonable 51

6 Why You Can't Punch a Cop 61

7 Stopping Police Brutality 72

8 It Says What It Says 76

9 The Taking of Black Land 88

10 A Jury of Your White Peers 100

11 It's Not Unusual to Be Cruel 112

12 The Most Important Part 125

13 Conservative Kryptonite 136

14 Reverse Racism Is Not a Thing 155

15 The Rule That May or May Not Exist 166

16 The Abortion Chapter 175

17 You Know This Thing Can Be Amended, Right? 190

18 The Right to Vote Shall Be Abridged All the Damn Time 202

19 What If Your Vote Actually Didn't Matter? 214

20 Abolish the Electoral College 226

21 The Final Battle 236

Epilogue 245

Notes 259

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