Competing Narratives, Competing Jurisprudences: Are Law Schools Racist? And the Case for an Integral Critical Approach to Thinking, Talking, Writing, and Teaching About Race
23 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2009 Last revised: 13 Dec 2012
Date Written: 2009
In this essay, the author responds to Professor Dan Subotnik’s “Are Law Schools Racist - Part II, ” 43 U.S.F. L. Rev. 761 (2009), and calls for addressing the issue of institutionalized racism in law schools with a commitment to genuine connection by embracing the teachings of social and emotional intelligence. Professor Subotnik’s essay discounted the existence of anti-black racism in law schools and claimed that the real race problem within law school communities arose from racism against whites. Professor Magee argues that Professor Subotnik’s essay demonstrates two common dialogical problems that sit at the root of her call for a different approach to race pedagogy: 1) the problem of competing literacies and narratives, and 2) the problem of competing jurisprudential and methodological approaches. To work toward reconciling the competing narratives and philosophies that make understanding across the lines of race and gender so difficult, the author suggests adopting an Integral Critical approach to such discussions. This approach requires participants to listen with an open heart to the competing narratives of those with whom we engage, and set about to approach the next conversation from a place not merely of argument but of self-reflection and awareness, of humility and empathy.
Keywords: legal education, law schools, racism, critical race theory, emotional intelligence
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