Through the course of my JD so far, De Minimis has been plagued by submissions which incite racism, sexism, and perhaps worst of all, the big-brained centrist “think”-piece that was “The Woke Oblivion.”
It is a testimony to the privilege of some at this law school that they see nothing wrong with speaking first on topics they know little about. This became obvious to me with “You Cannot Be Pro Choice and Pro Vaccine Mandate,” which couldn’t have had stronger “cis male speaking out of turn” energy if its author used the piece to announce their running for elected office with the Liberal Party.
The issue here is the prevalence of works which do little to promote constructive thought. We see too many articles which betray privilege; treating major issues as mere semantic curiosities, rather than considering the experiences of real people.
Before we proceed, yes, I have one of those privileged standpoints. If you’ve ever managed to peer through the blinding glare of my pale skin, you’d know that. I’m another cis white man with something to say. But the purpose of this article isn’t to play saviour or speak for anyone else. It’s to reflect on the state of this publication. We need more of the student body to bring forward their experiences and perspectives. We need more thought-provoking pieces, more witty zingers and satire, more high-quality discussions and debate in this publication. Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of articles published by this masthead that I’ve loved reading, and that they have published works polemic enough to inspire this chronically lazy student to write something is to the editorial team’s credit. Still, I don’t think the dogged “neutrality” claimed by them in publishing certain submissions, to the point of having to endure external probes into racial discrimination, is actually very neutral at all.
So what are we, the incensed law school public, to do about this state of affairs? It seems to me that we represent the overwhelming majority. Should the LSAT test what it’s supposed to, we are supposed to be rationally minded, intelligent people, and rationally minded, intelligent people tend to be upset when their law school, or an aspect thereof, represents values misaligned with their own. Furthermore, rationally minded, intelligent people tend not to propagate values such as vaccine scepticism, racism, or “anti-political correctness” (which, as far as I can tell, really means being anti making others feel comfortable, and anti allowing those who have not enjoyed as easy a life as you to join your elite spaces).
I don’t have much in the way of solutions. As evidenced by this article, I’m a much better complainer than anything else. But I have one suggestion. Drown it out. I have read tripe from uninformed people speaking out of turn during my degree. However, the far more memorable aspect of my degree has been the overwhelming number of passionate, intelligent, insightful, witty, funny, and attractive members of this law school. Yes, I’m talking to you, dear reader. The fit you wore in our last D&E tute? Mwah. No notes. Divine.
Where was I? Yeah, drown it out. It seems to me the editorial team of De Min won’t take responsibility for articles they tacitly support by publishing. Cowardice is their right. At least, if this article is published, they are somewhat consistent. So given that cowardice is the right of the editorial team, and given you and I, dear reader, are not members of said editorial team, nor of the Very Special Clique of Private School Lads Who Haven’t Matured a Day Since Their Last Regatta, that leaves only the passionate, intelligent, et cetera people I mentioned earlier. I know you can produce high quality works. I know you have unique and fascinating stories to tell. I know I would enjoy reading your stories far more than the aforementioned works.
I can’t force anybody to write anything. Nor should they feel like they have to. In an ideal world, the editorial team would recognise that they’re aspiring lawyers, not journalists. Their masthead’s name means “trifling matters” or some such. Few things should be more effective reminders that it is not, and need not be, a bastion of “journalistic freedom.” For that reason, their version of “editorial neutrality” is disingenuous. All the same, I think the best way for this law school to enjoy an enriching unofficial newsletter is for people to write good content and submit it. You, dear reader, have the power to produce something more entertaining and thought-provoking than “I’ve never experienced a single hardship and I am very smart and everyone else in my law school is very stinky and stupid.”
James Wilkinson, who doesn’t need a pseudonym.
The views in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of De Minimis or its Editors.