A Conversation with Just Law Podcast and APALSA

As AAPI Heritage Month comes to an end, we reflect on the tragedies of the past year and the surge of anti-Asian violence and racism that many Americans have faced.  

At the same time, we celebrate Asian American pride and Asian American joy. We acknowledge the collective and diverse Asian American experience. We commemorate all the different ways we identify as Asian American.

Throughout the past semester, APALSA has put on a number of events to educate and engage the community in these discussions, here at BC Law and beyond. Some highlights include a book giveaway for BC Law students, a Minari movie watch party, the Instagram Story Project (which can still be found on @bc_apalsa), and America’s Anti-Asian Racism: Looking Back and Moving Forward — a joint collaboration event with Boston University APALSA featuring panelists Dr. Sherry Wang and Professor Andrew Leong. 

This past month, APALSA has been working on another collaboration event. BC Law’s Just Law podcast invited APALSA to be featured in one of their episodes, and some members share their stories and provide insight on what it’s like to be an Asian person in America. In this episode, they address their personal experiences with the Model Minority Myth, the notion of the Perpetual Foreigner, and struggles with self-identity and sense of belonging. They discuss Asian American empowerment, cultural barriers and cultural reconciliation, and the various ways that racial trauma has been embedded in their lives and in our society. 

In their conversation, they find that many of their experiences have been similar, and they can find a sense of camaraderie and validity in their lived experiences. However, they also find differences in their lived experiences and viewpoints — a testament to the multifaceted nature of Asian American identity, and dispelling the notion that Asian Americans are a monolith. Just Law and APALSA invite the BC Law community to tune in on this episode as they create space for an open and honest conversation highlighting the challenges and experiences that are uniquely Asian American.

You can listen to the podcast below. A video Zoom recording of the episode can also be found at the bottom of this post. 

President Biden Withdrawing US Troops from Afghanistan Just Law

In this episode, Tom Blakely interviews international security expert Peter Krause on the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11th, 2021.  Peter Krause’s research and teaching focus on international security, Middle East politics, terrorism and political violence, nationalism, and rebels and revolution. He has recently published one book and two co-edited volumes Rebel Power: Why National Movements Compete, Fight, and Win (Cornell University Press, 2017), Coercion: The Power to Hurt in International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Stories From the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science (Columbia University Press, 2020). He has published articles on the causes and effectiveness of terrorism and political violence, why states negotiate with ethno-political organizations, social movements and territorial control in Israel, U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war, the politics of division within the Palestinian national movement, the war of ideas in the Middle East, a reassessment of U.S. operations at Tora Bora in 2001, and field research amidst COVID-19. Krause has conducted extensive fieldwork throughout the Middle East. He currently teaches courses on Middle East politics, terrorism and political violence, research methods, and international relations. He is a faculty associate in the International Studies Program and the Islamic Civilization and Societies Program at Boston College, as well as a research affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. Krause was formerly a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies of Brandeis University, LUISS University, and Uppsala University.
  1. President Biden Withdrawing US Troops from Afghanistan
  2. A Necessary Conversation with APALSA
  3. Free For All
  4. COVID-19: Analyzing the Legal and Policy Implications of the Pandemic
  5. Mental Health March With Rebecca Langsam (3L)

Finally, BC Law has been working with the Yellow Whistle Project this past month to distribute yellow whistles to members of our community. The Project’s mission statement is as follows: 

“In nature, yellow is the color of daffodils and sunflowers, signaling the advent of spring, bringing hope, optimism, and enlightenment. In America, yellow has been weaponized against Asians as the color of xenophobia. The Yellow Whistle™ is a symbol of self-protection and solidarity in our common fight against historical discrimination and anti-Asian violence. The whistle is a simple gadget with a universal purpose — to signal alarm and call for help — for all Americans. We shall not remain silent, because we belong.” 

A shipment of one hundred and fifty whistles have arrived at BC Law and will be distributed on campus (distribution details to follow). Members of our community are encouraged to pick up a whistle to show support in our collective fight against anti-Asian hate and to stand in solidarity with the Asian American community, as members of our community have so done during these past few months.

AAPI Heritage Month may be over, but this conversation is not. Anti-Asian violence is not. Our efforts to continue striving to be anti-racist cannot be over. We are still learning — all of us. We continue to expand our understanding and knowledge. We check our own privileges and biases. We reflect on our own complicity to racist systems and recognize the ways in which we uphold white supremacy. We show each other compassion as we learn and unlearn. 

We celebrate being Asian American. We delight in it. We take pride in it. 


Rosa Kim is a rising third-year law student at BC Law. Contact her at kimeot@bc.edu.

Condemning Complicity in Anti-Asian America: Their Fight is Our Fight

I find it almost impossible not to acknowledge the recent attacks on the Asian American community. The same way I desire every conscious soul to affirm that Black lives matter- I must also affirm that the life of each Sister and Brother in every beautiful culture within the Asian American community matters.

Vulnerable conversations are powerful because it forces us to acknowledge our deficits and choose our mode of liability. That is, we can choose to ignore our own complicity in a system that breeds hatred and systemically condones discrimination, or we can actively work to dismantle this evil. I’m afraid that far too many people in our society, perhaps subconsciously, perhaps even myself, have fallen into the former.

Dr. King forcefully condemned this passivity in a Letter from Birmingham Jail when he blamed the stagnated progress of civil rights on White moderates, who were more devoted to a “negative peace in the absence of tension” than a “positive peace in the presence of justice.” Although his purpose, at the time, was to rally around the agitating methods of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King’s rhetoric echoes today as a condemnation of complicit silence.

Where are you, CNN? 
Where are you, my fellow activists and leaders of social justice?
Deafening silence from the news media and our so-called allies
Feigned outrage only when it’s trendy  
I am traumatized by your apathy

(Excerpt from Not Your Model Minority)

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Student Life: the APALSA Lunar Dinner

This weekend, the Asian and Pacific American Law Student Association (known as APALSA) hosted its annual dinner to celebrate the lunar new year. I didn’t get a chance to attend as a 1L, but heard amazing things, so I made it a priority to buy a ticket this year.

The dinner is held in Chinatown, which is in downtown Boston near a neighborhood called Back Bay, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. BC Law students pay $8 for an 8-course meal. Let me say that again: Eight dollars. Eight courses.  Continue reading