Hurricane Scalia at Georgetown Law

From One Black Student

Many Georgetown University Law students experienced a familiar feeling of marginalization after reading that the “Georgetown Law Community” was mourning the death of Antonin Scalia on the Law Center website’s home page. If the institution, knowing the damage Scalia’s actions and decisions caused our lives and communities, could nonetheless attribute a public statement celebrating his legacy to the entire community without regard for our views and feelings; the message is clear: we are not apart of the “Georgetown Law Community” as far as public discourse with the institution is concerned. Thus, it seems we are free to walk the halls, enter the class rooms, pay tuition and exist in the space. But they send us to eat in the kitchen when company comes.

Additionally, the intellectual spat that has ensued is symptomatic of a broader illness growing within American politics and apparently spreading to academia. Well articulated ideologies and clever rhetoric are weilded particularly well by lawyers and thus are especially dangerous when speakers have no regard for the pain of others, and unacceptable when speakers purport to speak on behalf of others. One of the reasons privilege is problematic is because it is virtually impossible to exercise it without abuse. However, I am grateful that all involved have doubled down on their positions and shouted them from the mountain tops. The transparency is useful for those of us deciding how to feel about our soon to be alma mater. We got the message loud and clear.

P.S. If I had any doubts that this whole debacle had racist undertones and implications; the sleazy, unfounded, petty, comparison of Justice Scalia to Justice Thurgood Marshall destroyed them.

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