VOLUME V / Issue 3
FROM THE EDITORS
As the year drew to a close, we hope everyone found some time to relax. But as we reflect on the year that is beginning, perhaps it’s helpful to remind ourselves why we chose not only law school but UCI. Without further ado, we want to dedicate the remainder of the editor’s note to Professor Robert Solomon’s reaction to the Ferguson Grand Jury decision.
Jeremy Cowan and Anna Rea
In response to the Ferguson Grand Jury decision, I read the comment “Why do we speak of charity and love then go onto social media and write hateful comments?” This is a question for which there are many answers, none of which is satisfactory, and none of which I am particularly qualified to give. I am, of course, a white male, living in a society which, in my opinion, truly does privilege white males. I did nothing to deserve this privilege. Today, as on many other days, I am aware – too aware – that my privilege includes the knowledge that of all the lessons I would like to teach my son, my list does not start with lessons like “do not put your hands in your pockets” and “do not wear a hoodie” and “if you see a police officer, keep your hands in plain sight, do not turn your back, do not argue, do not….” My son, like me is privileged. He is also white.
We are lucky to live in a diverse community. Court rulings are a big part of our lives, and we are unlucky to live in a broader society in which court rulings are viewed differently depending on our race or gender or whatever other factors put us in a tunnel in which our opinions are formed by the limitation of the light at the other end. You know the next line – the light may be a train coming in our direction.
I did not mean to write this piece. I meant to write about a loss of civility, an on-line world in which LOL has come to mean FU, a sarcastic response following an unnecessarily mean-spirited comment, offered anonymously. I guess this fits somewhere into the dialogue. Anonymity leads to a form of courage that allows us to challenge authority, but also to express our worst tendencies. Too often the dialogue becomes diatribe, a race to the bottom, like a never-ending version of “your team sucks.” We need to find ways out of this dilemma. We need to think more about people who think differently than we do, and why that is. We need more empathy, more sympathy, more valuing what we have. It’s a long and winding road, but the journey will be worth it.
“I thought I’d be sitting under an apple tree now, you know, at this point of my life. And I don’t want to leave the world in this situation that I’m in.”
The quote above was spoken to me on a Friday morning in early November by an 83-year-old woman who stopped by the Elder Abuse Clinic at Central Justice Center for help. She was facing a series of harassing behaviors from her son’s live-in, on-and-off girlfriend that were exacerbating her health issues: hypertension and cancer amongst them. The police had told her on numerous occasions that she needed a restraining order for them to take appropriate actions, and after being sent on a wild goose chase through the courts of Orange County, she found our Clinic. READ MORE.
Claire–Lise Kutlay’s latest recommendations: The Lost Bean and McVean’s American Grill. READ MORE.
When choosing law schools, the small size of UCI Law’s alumni base initially gave me pause. Ironically, what I assumed was a limitation of our school turned out to be one of its greatest assets. What our alumni lack in numbers, they more than make up for in UCI Law gusto. READ MORE.
Absent Actual Policy Changes, UCI Administration’s New Free Speech “Discussions” Continue to Chill Campus Activism
You might think that UCI’s recent public support for free speech would be heartening for campus activists. Our new chancellor’s first email to students voiced his support for free speech. The university followed by launching its freespeech.uci.edu website, and Vice Chancellor Parham and Dean Chemerinsky recently spoke at a campus forum on free speech. During the forum, they gave out little stickers with American flags and the web-link for the school’s free speech website. But within all these proclamations of the university’s support for free speech, there have been warnings and threats regarding the limits of protected speech. READ MORE.
In the name of climate justice and fiscal responsibility, I urge the UCI Law School community to join the ranks of fellow UC faculty and students in calling upon the Regents of the University of California to divest the University’s portfolio of all investments in the 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies with the largest oil, coal, and gas reserves. READ MORE.