Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1L Winter Memo

I've made a habit of logging my Facebook posts on this blog, since Facebook isn't a great place to search for content. It looks like I missed this one from February 2014, so I'll post it here now:

I have a major assignment due next week. Because of how I chose to prioritize my time the past few weeks, I am incredibly behind. I am fairly certain that my end product won't be very good, and that most likely I will receive a low grade.
I will confess to feeling some stress over this, but I am actively choosing to shift my thinking. The truth is that one bad grade is not determinative of my future. I can learn from it and move on. Furthermore, regardless of whether I got a stellar or a horrid grade on the assignment, I would still be incompetent as a legal writer. This sort of skill takes practice. I'm sure that the first 10, 50, 100 writing assignments I produce as a lawyer will be far from amazing.
Yet I still recognize a subtle panic that comes over me when I think about this assignment. Perhaps this too is part of learning how to be a lawyer, how to manage this panic. Because in the future, it won't be my grade that is on the line. It will be a parent's right to child custody, it will be an entrepreneur's dreams for her business, it will be a prisoner's plea for exoneration. In the future, clients will say "I don't understand my rights, so I'm putting everything in your hands." This is an awesome responsibility. Learning how to manage my emotions now is a crucial key to serve my clients well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Justice Conference 2016

I'll be attending the Justice Conference again this year on June 3-4 in Chicago. The Justice Conference is presented by World Relief, an international development and relief organization founded as the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals.
I attended the conference last year and left truly inspired. Of course, big conferences alone cannot solve systemic injustices of racism, poverty, and slavery. The work takes work. But conferences can spark movement and inspire ideas.
If you're interested, you can check out videos of previous conferences. Past speakers include N.T. Wright, Noel Castellanos, Lynne Hybels, and Shane Claiborne. I particularly want to highlight the talk by Bryan Stevenson, the founder and director of Equal Justice Initiative, who speaks about how faith animates his work in representing people on death row. Last year also featured musical performances by David Crowder and Rend Collective.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I was at a comedy show several months ago. Two black women were on stage, dressed in heavy coats, pretending to be two old black men. Cracking jokes, having a laugh. Then they said something that caught my attention. "You know which people are most likely to marry later in life? You know which people have the hardest time finding a date? Asian men and black women. They should get together and make themselves some cute blasian babies!"

This bit came to mind because I came across an article in Vice exploring the world of "Asian Men Black Women" dating. The article explores several reasons why Asian men and black women are considered undesirable. Asian men are seen as reserved, passive, and unmasculine, while black women are seen as domineering, aggressive, and difficult. I found particularly striking the data from OK Cupid which indicated that while black women reply the most to messages, but get the fewest replies themselves. So small informal communities Asian men and black women are forming. Although fetishization is an issue, there is a certain beauty to these relationships.

When I read the article, I thought about the racial tensions that exist between Koreans and African Americans in Los Angeles, especially after the 1992 riots. I was only five years old at the time, and we were not living near where the riots occurred. But those events brought to the surface deep animosity between Koreans and African Americans. I hope that things are better, but I honestly don't know.

My friend Albert Alby Wang once commented to me about the beauty of interracial relationships, because they represent the heart of racial reconciliation. These relationships naturally have more difficulties, both from suspicious voices outside and misunderstandings within. But that also presents an opportunity for love to flourish and overcome trials. Of course, I would caution against pursuing an interracial relationship purely as an object lesson in racial reconciliation. "I love you because I'm Asian and you're black" isn't a formula for a winning romance.

Would I date a black woman? I'm not dating anyone at the moment—the explanation for the complete absence of any sort of romantic endeavors in my life is best saved for another post. I believe that my parents would be open to it, although I do know that they would prefer a Korean woman. I think my extended family in Korea wouldn't even know what to say. For myself, I'm open to the idea, maybe more open now than I would have been several years ago.