August 22, 2017

Welcome First-Years! This year’s incoming class was treated to an astronomical phenomenon as they began their first day of law school. How many law students have answered ready for the first time in the midst of a total eclipse of the sun? You’re a special class and the rest of us here at Loyola look forward to meeting you and bringing you into our community.

This is a special time not just for our first-years, but for all law students. America indisputably is deeply divided on a number of issues, specifically including racism. Words matter. And lawyers have a unique ability to reach into their toolbox and find a way to frame discussions in a manner that promotes unity through respecting the humanity and dignity of others.

This site is committed to equality and equity for all. While we all no doubt are busy as we start a new academic year, we hope that our site will enable you to access resources, provide a forum for you to speak when you need to, and to simply find solace in the inspirational words set forth in our many profiles.

August 15, 2017

Violence and White Supremacy in Charlottesville, EPA Suing, The President’s Wall, A History of Hate, Disney’s Lesbian Moms

On Saturday, white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the decision to remove a statue of a Confederate general (see 1). A large number of counterdemonstrations were planned as a reaction to this protest. Violence broke out; three people were killed and dozens were injured. This count includes the death resulting from a car driving into a crowd of anti-racist protesters. The 20 year-old suspect was “very big into Nazism” and “really had a fondness for Adolf Hitler” according to one high school teacher. In his initial statement, President Trump condemned violence on “many sides”. Writer Ian Simpson noted “Trump declined to single out any political ideology by name.” On Sunday, the White House claimed that Trump “said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups.”

This month, after being sued by 15 states, the EPA went back on their decision to halt the implementation of rules from former President Barack Obama’s term (see 2). The goal of the rules is to reduce ground-level ozone in order to avoid breathing problems and premature death in people that are sensitive to pollutants. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), claims that the decision to go back on his original plan demonstrates the EPA’s dedication to collaborating with states. According to reporter Michael Biesecker, “a dozen public health and environmental groups” also sued the EPA. New York’s attorney general comments that this reversal “is an important win for the health and safety of … over 115 million Americans directly impacted by smog pouring into their communities.”

Further information regarding the environmental and human health came to light early this month with an announcement from the Trump administration (see 3). According to writer Chris D’Angelo, The Department of Homeland Security is able to “exempt itself from all legal requirements it determines necessary to construct barriers and roads under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 199.” The Trump administration will “bypass 37 environmental and other laws to expedite construction” of one section of President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall. As early as 2014, there was a study conducted that show that security barriers “were restricting the movements of native species like pumas and coatis, a raccoon-like creature, thus limiting their access to food, water and habitat.” The study states that these changes could lead to a “possible collapse” of these vulnerable populations.

This month A.C. Thompson, an investigative journalist, examined the persecution that many Sikhs face in the United States (see 4). The monotheistic faith “with a heavy emphasis on social justice” advocates for treating everyone equally but Sikhs do not always receive this same respect in return. Two of Thompson’s interviewees were Iderjit Singh Mukker and Harpreet Singh Sain. Mukker recounts one attack that left him unconscious with a broken cheekbone and badly damaged eyes. His attacker screamed “Bin Laden, go back to your own country!” The Sikh Coalition formed in order to “collect reports of hate crimes against Sikhs and aid the abused.” Harismran Kaur, the Legal Director, states that there are “spikes of hate violence after other terrorist attacks [and after politicians make] xenophobic or Islamophobic statements in the press.” Kaur goes on to state, “it’s absolutely imperative that as a society we take a stand against hate violence.”

Earlier this month, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation confirmed that two lesbian entertainers, Wanda Skyes and Portia de Rossi, would voice the mothers of a two-mom family on an episode of “Doc McStuffins” (see 5). Jude Dry reports that this show is the first LGBTQIA+ inclusive show on Disney Junior, and the second for Disney as a whole. Doc McStuffins portrays a young African American girl who wants to emulate her mom and become a doctor. The show is created and executive produced by Chris Nee, an out lesbian who has said:  “I always envision Doc McStuffins as a show about what it means to accept everyone as part of our communities. As part of a two-mom family, I’m proud to have an episode that reflects my son’s world, and shows everyone that love is love in McStuffinsville.”

Written By: Faith Lewis, LLS Contributor

1) Violence and White Supremacy in Charlottesville

2) Trump neglects environmental standards for building the wall

3) EPA backs off after being sued

4) A History of Hate

5) Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi to Voice Lesbian Moms on Disney’s ‘Doc McStuffins’

Written By: Faith Lewis, LLS Contributor