The Oberlin Review

Police Racism Dehumanizes Black Youth

Aliyah Abu-Hazeem, Contributing Writer

December 12, 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, not only about the Ferguson decision, but also about the senseless violence that has been occurring across the nation. My thinking has, unconsciously, enabled my silence. I am not silent because I have nothing to say. In fact, I have much to say. Far more than this white space can hold. I was brought up on the sentiment, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” and I know that my words are impactful and will resonate with many people, especially during a time of national grieving such as this. My silence doesn’t indicate a choice not to stand in solidarity for the innumerable Black and Brown individuals’ lives that are lost on a daily basis, in a system that we cal...

Laws Against Hitchhiking Reflect Misguided Fears

Andrew Fedorov, Contributing Writer

October 10, 2014

Hitchhiking, as both an activity and a means of travel, fills you with a sense of liberation. Once you’ve done it, you know that any day, you can leave your present situation behind and just step out, stick out your thumb and go anywhere you can think of. While traveling, I spent a couple days in Paris with a girl from Scandinavia; at home, she told me, whenever she felt trapped, she would hitchhike cross-country and would then feel free again. However, this kind of liberation is hard to come by in a society that regulates behavior based on irrational fear. Last weekend, my friend Tim and I attempted to hitchhike to Detroit for a little place-hacking. Multiple gas station employees threatened to call the police...

Q&A with Jeaninne Bell: Legal Scholar, Hate Crime Expert

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

March 8, 2013

What is your experience with legal cases specifically related to hate speech? Well, I’m an academic, so I’ve written about hate speech. Everything from cross burning to … noose hanging to interactions between hate speech and how it affects the individuals. I have a book on crime, which is different from hate speech. I have a couple books on hate crime. What particular things constitute hate speech? Defining the term, what things specifically imply hate speech? Hate speech can be defined legally, but it is unconstitutional for the government to regulate hate speech. So that’s something that’s important. A case, RNC vs. St. Paul, was a Minnesota case that went up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Co...

Off the Cuff: Marta Tienda, sociologist and professor, and Richard Kahlenberg, senior fellow at the Century Foundation

William Passannante, Staff Writer

March 1, 2013

A very important Supreme Court ruling is coming up in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. How do you think the Supreme Court will rule in this case, how do you hope it rules and why? Tienda: I am not optimistic about the decision upholding the Grutter decision [in which the Court upheld the affirmative action policy of University of Michigan Law School]. Justice Kagan has to recuse herself, so that means 4–4, [giving] Kennedy the swing.  If he does swing in the direction of keeping the Grutter intact, then it’ll remain because it would be 4–4. There’s nobody to break the deadlock in that case. … If they keep it all, they could either overturn it, which is probably the greater likely outcome, but one nev...

Spade Speaks on Limits of the Law

Robin Wasserman, News Editor

September 28, 2012

Dean Spade, founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and associate professor of law at Seattle University, spoke Wednesday on the limits of the law in combating discrimination. Speaking casually — and occasionally sarcastically — to a nearly full West Lecture Hall, Spade emphasized the importance in activism of recognizing how issues are connected to each other, to capitalism and to the law. Spade’s “Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of the Law” was the first talk in the Queering the Law Symposium and part of the Year of the Queer lecture series.  Spade started the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in 2002 in response to high levels of incarceration among trans youth, especially those of color and those fr...

Off the Cuff with Judge Susan Richard Nelson

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

March 9, 2012

You have a long history in litigation centered on product liability and tort cases, perhaps the most impactful of which was your 1998 tobacco case that resulted in a multi-billion dollar settlement. How did you become involved in that case? What do you perceive to be its significant results? I started practicing law in 1978, and in 1984 I joined a law firm in Minneapolis. They were well known for doing high-level product liability cases and representing the plaintiffs, which was unusual for a big law firm. Product liability was a big field, generally speaking, in the law back then. It is less so now, but it certainly was back then. So, I did a lot of trial work, and then in 1994 the firm was considering this big underta...

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