October 10, 2017

Social Justice Tuesday, PILF Reminder, and NFL / Charlottesville / Campus Protests

It’s the second Tuesday of the month and that means Social Justice Tuesday at Loyola! This week’s panel includes presentations on how law students can make their concern for social justice a part of their professional work. This can include becoming involved in Loyola’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF). Today’s panel will be held in the Burns Lounge at Noon. Cookies will be served.

And speaking of PILF . . .  Do attend the annual PILF auction on Saturday, October 14, which marks the 25th anniversary of this event. As mentioned, the theme this year is James Bond. Click here for more information.

This week saw more protests on both sides of social justice. On Saturday, white nationalists returned to Charlottesville with their tiki-torches, again chanting racially charged epitaphs. In related news, DeAndre Harris, an African-American man who was severely beaten by a mob of white supremacists at the initial Charlottesville riot in August, has himself been charged with assault. Per the news reports, a warrant for Mr. Harris’ arrest was issued after the purported “victim” went to a magistrate’s office to obtain the warrant. Mr. Harris apparently had used a flashlight to defend himself after being bludgeoned by white nationalists, one of which also tried to “spear” him with a pole draped with the Confederate flag.  

By contrast, support for social justice includes increased student activism targeting campus ties to slavery, such as the #silentsam movement at the University of North Carolina. At UNC, the protests have focused on memorials to Julian Carr, who gave a UNC dedication speech in 1913 in which he referenced the “pleasing duty” of publically whipping an African-American woman. Similar concerns have been raised at Duke University, where Carr also has donated land. This conversation has also occurred at numerous other college campuses, with a symposium scheduled this month that is expected to be attended by at least 30 southern universities. And again, many NFL football players silently voiced their concern against systematic racism by taking a knee, raising a fist, or engaging in other symbolic gestures, during the playing of the national anthem at football games. 

October 3, 2017

PILF, Puerto Rico, and Player Protests – Loyola’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) hosts its annual PILF auction on Saturday, October 14. This year’s celebration marks the 25th anniversary of this event. The theme this year is James Bond. Do get your costumes and tickets, and / or donate, for this wonderful Loyola tradition. Click here for more information.

On a national note, Puerto Rico continues to struggle after the devastation from Hurricane Maria. Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, strongly criticized President Trump’s lack of urgency. In a tearful press conference last week, Mayor Cruz begged for assistance, plainly saying that Puerto Ricans were dying as a result. Two weeks after landfall, Trump finally visited the island, yet quickly chastised Puerto Rico for having “[t]hrown our budget a little out-of-whack.” He also was pictured in a photo-op lobbing paper towels to emergency-ridden citizens in need of food and water. Another slight includes that the Administration refused to provide Puerto Ricans with a waiver to use food stamps to purchase prepared hot meals, such as at those served at fast-food restaurants. Waivers were provided to both Texans and Floridians in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. A recent poll found that 49% of Americans expressly disapproved of Trump’s response to Puerto Rico. Only 32% approved.

Player protests at professional football games during the playing of the national anthem continued this week. The goal of the protests is to call attention to the nation’s long and ongoing history of institutionalized racism. The protests spilled over to high school athletics, with differing results from administrators. Two high school football players in Crosby, Texas were kicked off the team after taking a knee and raising a fist during the national anthem. By contrast, high school cheerleaders in Charlotte, North Carolina who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem were praised by their high school principle, who posted a picture on Instagram and stated that he was “proud of ‘em.”

Editor’s Note: EQ4ALL is proud of all of your efforts to fight for equality for all. Keep up the fight!