Every baby lawyer dreams of working at the US Supreme Court. To clerk for one of the justices. Argue a case before that pantheon of legal gods. Maybe one day sit behind the august bench. It's not just the prestige. The US Supreme Court rules on the issues that really matter. Brown v. Board of Education. Roe v Wade. Citizens United v FEC.
This week's decision to uphold the Muslim Ban shattered my dream. I'm almost as depressed now as the day Trump was elected. Or maybe what I feel are the shards of the aforementioned dream slowly making their way to my heart. The reality that I have only now come to realize is that the US Supreme Court cannot protect us anymore.
By some strange fluke of fate, this week's blog post is about another travel ban. My example is not one motivated by religious animus but rather racism. I'm talking about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This piece of work had an effect across the United Stated but there's only one place where you can see its scars carved in stone. Angel Island, a former US Immigration Station, is also home to hundreds of poems written by Chinese detainees into its walls.
I try not to lose hope. I keep myself busy writing book reviews. This week, for the first time, Bookish.asia published one of them: Palm-of-the-Hand Stories by Kawabata Yasunari. If you'd prefer a more personal version of this same book review, you'll find it on my website under the title Kawaakari.
But I find it hard to concentrate on this or any other writing. I keep asking myself what I can do. So here it is. I'm asking you to register to vote in the US midterm elections. If you live abroad or will be out of town or don't know your schedule on November 6, request an absentee ballot. The US Supreme Court isn't going to save us. We have to save ourselves. Please vote.