I have a lot of fond childhood memories listening to my uncles and grandpa tell fishing stories. Almost always, the stories seemed to be larger-than-life adventures full of excitement and laughter as they reenacted the scenes of reeling in gamefish from the Michigan lakes where they spent weekends together. It seemed, however, that the hero of the story was whichever relative was telling the story. They would have great fun interrupting each other to argue about the many exaggerations and story-telling liberties each of them made as they told the story. In fact, sometimes the story would have to be told by each of them before anyone had any idea of what really happened… and probably no one of them actually told the whole truth anyway. But that was the fun of it – they all told such great fish stories that no one actually cared – it was all about the story, and less about the truth. After all, at the end of the day, they either caught the fish, or it was a story about the one that got away.
But not all stories have such low-stakes. The stories of legal history, for example, are high-stakes stories because knowing these stories is the only hope we have to right long-standing injustices that have plagued our nation – sometimes for hundreds of years. The fruit that has grown from the poisonous tree of some of these laws need to be recognized. This can only happen if people know the story.
In today’s episode we look at the question of who tells the story of the legal history of the United States using the book Christianity and Critical Race Theory: A Faithful and Constructive Conversation by Robert Chao Romero and Jeff M. Liou.
Let’s go now and listen, to this conversation.