Getting Back to Basics: Some Thoughts on Dignity, Materialism, and a Culture of Racial Equality

27 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2012

See all articles by Christopher A. Bracey

Christopher A. Bracey

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: March 8, 2012


Dignity is the most compelling value in racial reform. Racial inequality is expressed as an ongoing attempt to deny minorities dignity. Dignity requires that to truly have freedom and equality, each of us has equal ability to exercise our fundamental freedoms. In order to ensure that this is possible, persons must possess the material wherewithal to exercise that freedom. The government, in order to combat racial inequality, must ensure that persons have the capability to live a “safe, well-nourished, productive, educated, social, and politically and culturally participatory life of normal length.” This approach requires structural changes in the obligations of the state, and promotes a culture of racial equality that traditional race jurisprudence is unable to realize.

This article presents a dignity centered model of racial empowerment, and explores and critiques its viability.

Keywords: race, racial equality, racial discrimination, race and dignity, dignity, minority, fundamental freedoms and equality, social justice, racial justice and materialism, minority discrimination, minority dignity, racial oppression, oppression, baseline equality, fundamental liberties, liberty, equality

JEL Classification: D63, J15, J18, J7, J70, J71, J78, J79

Suggested Citation

Bracey, Christopher A., Getting Back to Basics: Some Thoughts on Dignity, Materialism, and a Culture of Racial Equality (March 8, 2012). Chicano Latina/o Law Review, Vol. 26, Spring 2006, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-16, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-16, Available at SSRN:

Christopher A. Bracey (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-2546 (Phone)
202-994-5614 (Fax)


Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics