While attending seminary school in Pennsylvania, Martin Luther King Jr. cultivated “the arts of pulpit oratory,” the habit of visualizing philosophical problems and other objects of criticism by invoking many-sided jewels and multi-runged ladders. This article appropriates King's jewels and ladders as tools for humanizing juridico-discursive practice toward migrants/emigrants/immigrants and refugees. By drawing attention to the process whereby persons are subordinated and become subpersons, we are able to see how the standpoint of racialized dehumanization is historically patterned and furthermore involves an overlap of legal, political, and artistic expressions. Consequently, jewels and ladders become theoretical as well as practical tools for visualizing the moral standing of migrant/refugee populations in modernity.

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