University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review


Joubin Khazaie

Document Type



This Comment will argue that the racist language enshrined in foundational Supreme Court decisions involving Native tribes continuously enacts a form of colonial violence that seeks to preserve a white racial dictatorship. The paper will use Frantz Fanon’s scholarship on colonial violence and the dehumanization of Indigenous people as a framework to understand the history of legalized racism against Indigenous people in the United States. Fanon’s analysis allows us to understand how language is used to dehumanize Native people in order to establish a system of hierarchy that informs the societal roles of the colonizer and the colonized. The paper will then trace the use of racial stereotypes and brutalizing language against Native Americans in Supreme Court decisions under Justice Marshall. Further, the paper will argue that the racist precedents and language relied upon by the Supreme Court have operated as a form of colonial violence that serve to justify the denial of property, self–governance, and cultural survival of Native Americans.