Dear CLQ members, Hastings Community, and the larger Legal Community:
We are currently in the midst of a third civil rights movement. As such, it is long overdue that academics and scholars take a clear stance against White Supremacy and other oppressive systems that plague our society and often grow and develop in academia.
It should not have taken the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, and the Black lives that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, for this country to have engaged in a conversation about the humanity of Black people. And it cannot be at the expense of another Black life that we make real and systemic changes to finally value the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
For too long, legal institutions have hidden behind a facade of neutrality that has only served to perpetuate violence and inequality. For too long, legal academia has only given a platform to white men and the concerns of white people, thereby shaping the field of law in their own image and preserving the status quo. For too long, scholars have debated issues that affect our lives but rarely are we—Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—allowed to speak for ourselves and determine our own destinies.
Change has to happen now.
It is not lost on me that most people who have held a position like mine, Editor-in-Chief of a law journal, have not looked like me and have not had the same kind of experiences as I have. It is not often that a working-class, queer, Pilipinx immigrant, woman of color, first-generation law student has held this title. I benefit from the strong leadership of my predecessor, the first Latina to ever lead this journal. I will not let this opportunity to shift the focus of our journal go to waste.
I vow not to give a platform to anti-blackness. I vow to use this position and access to give voice to those whose voices have been snuffed out by state-sponsored violence. Neutrality is not an option; the journal scholarship we publish represents active choices in the constant process of re-imagining and re-envisioning the practice of law. This process persistently has tangible effects on our lives. To be on the side of justice means to engage with these issues head-on.
I call on authors who have historically been silenced in legal academia to publish with the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. I call on legal academics who honor the fact that Black Lives Matter and who engage with how oppressive systems are perpetuated within our field. I call on legal scholars who are ready to discuss how we can push the United States Constitution to finally start fulfilling its promise and protect the rights and liberties of all people. All people including black trans folks, immigrants, and people who are or have been incarcerated.
We will be heard. We must actively restructure these spaces now. Our ideas will shape the just and equitable future that we have dreamt about.
Editor-in-Chief, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Volume 48
With the dedication and support of CLQ’s Executive Board:
Cecilia Salem, Executive Editor of Acquisitions
Ayushi Neogi, Executive Editor of Operations
Stefania Borda, Executive Editor of Notes
Brynna Bolt, Executive Editor of Articles
Joseph Feldman, Executive Editor of Productions