Racial Suffering as Human Suffering: An Existentially-Grounded Humanity Consciousness as a Guide to a Fourteenth Amendment Reborn
36 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008 Last revised: 21 Jan 2010
Date Written: 2004
This essay further explores the author's proposed Humanity Consciousness approach -- a jurisprudential, methodological and pedagogical tool to assist in reinterpreting and reconstructing law and public policy and deconstructing its structural alignment with white supremacy and racism. The focus of this essay is on the links between critical race theory, the philosophy of existence (i.e., existentialism) and a liberation-focused Humanity Consciousness. The author demonstrates the important but still underappreciated role to be played by the analysis of lived-experience and personal inquiry narrative (what anthropologists call "autoethnography") in understanding the full nature of racial harm. Grappling with the nature of racial harm by analyzing all our stories supports an alternative approach to post-slavery Constitutional theory - and specifically in this essay, to Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence: one that embodies a commitment to law and politics aimed at fulfilling the full promise of the Reconstruction Amendments to uplift, liberate and create the conditions for a post-racist America.
Keywords: Fourteenth Amendment, Reconstruction Amendments, Humanity Consciousness, existentialism, critical race theory
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation