As LatCrit reaches its twenty-fifth anniversary, we aspire for this symposium Foreword to remind its readers of LatCrit’s foundational propositions and ongoing efforts to cultivate new generations of ethical advocates who can systemically analyze the sociolegal conditions that engender injustice and intervene strategically to help create enduring sociolegal, and cultural, change. Working for lasting social change from an antisubordination perspective enables us to see the myriad laws, regulations, policies, and practices that, by intent or effect, enforce the inferior social status of historically- and contemporarily-oppressed groups. In turn, working with a perspective and principle of antisubordination can inspire us to develop practices and policies capable of redressing entrenched structures and systems of inequality. LatCrit theory has always recognized and consistently argued that Law is instrumental to dispossession and often colors antidemocratic means as “legitimate.” Despite being carved above the entrance of the Supreme Court of the United States, and despite the centurial efforts to enact legal reform and social change in the United States, the promise of “Equal Justice Under Law” has not been realized. Everyday headlines make plain that the U.S. constitutional commitment to “Equal Justice Under Law” remains illusory for myriad individuals and indeed for entire communities. Today’s front-burner legal issues and social struggles range from mass protest against white supremacist policing, to surviving unemployment amidst the global Covid-19 pandemic, to equal pay for equal work, mass incarceration, voter suppression, student debt, climate adaptation, family separation and immigrant detention, hunger, homelessness, healthcare access, ubiquitous surveillance and “big data” mining, and many more topical controversies. Some are new, but most connect to past generations’ struggles against injustices and aspirations for social change. Law articulates power and thus has the potential to limit the powerful. For this reason, those who serve power work night and day to ensure that Law continues to serve their masters’ interests. To dismantle and replace the “big lies” that purport to constitute “Law” requires antisubordination perspectives, including those long-cultivated by LatCrit theory, community, and praxis. The Foreword proceeds as follows. In Part II, we define the concept of Am´erica Posfascista (Postfascist America), explain how it illuminates U.S. law and society in the first decades of the twenty-first century, and suggest how it resonates with the other LatCrit 2019 conference themes (i.e., resisting the dispossession threatened by the Second Redemption). In Part III, we overview LatCrit’s twenty-five years of producing theory, building community, and living praxis. In Part IV, we overview the symposium articles and discuss their relation to the conference themes. In Part V, we conclude with a brief discussion of the forthcoming LatCrit-affiliated book, Critical Justice: Systemic Advocacy in Law and Society, and its promise to help educate people to advocate effectively and ethically for systemic justice.
Sheila I. Velez Martinez,
Foreword: The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting the Second Redemption in América PosFascista (Postfascist America) with LatCrit Scholarship, Community, and Praxis Amidst the Global Pandemic,
Harvard Latinx Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.pitt.edu/fac_articles/407
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