Minorities

When I was in law school at the University of Michigan, many years ago, the Jewish Law Students organization sold t-shirts, emblazoned with “Michigan Law, Class of 1984.” I bought one.

A classmate chastised me. “They’re not a minority. Why would you patronize them?

Rather than analyze the comment, let’s do the math, and then let’s go back to analyzing the comment.

I’m female. The critic had no idea of my heritage.

My father was a Jew. My mother wasn’t.

I bought the t-shirt, because I was proud to be a member of the 1984 class of the University of Michigan Law School. My great-uncle and my dad were graduates, in 1899 and 1950, respectively, and although I hadn’t graduated at the time I bought the t-shirt, I hoped to be the third generation in my family to graduate from the University of Michigan Law School.

I did, in fact, graduate. I still have the t-shirt.

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About Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, was a trial attorney for 25 years and has served on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy on numerous occasions. She was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland State University for several years and served as an Interim Associate Professor of Law in the clinical program at Case Law School. In 2009, she returned to the small southwestern Michigan community where she was raised, and wrote a novel.
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7 Responses to Minorities

  1. Sue Glasco says:

    INo wonder you are proud of that Tshirt. Instead of asking that question, he/she ought to have asked him or herself why it was any of his/her business. Why would a classmate even have an opinion on from whom you bought a T shirt?

    • Jane Wilson says:

      Sue,
      It’s funny how memories attach themselves to things, or vice versa. The classmate’s comment stuck with me all these years, and as hard as I’ve tried to forget that moment, I can’t. Women made up 25% of my law school class. Not all the men treated us badly, but many did.
      I wasn’t sure if I should post this, and it’s too difficult to explain why I was reminded of this incident. In any event, thanks for your comment.

  2. Because some people are idiots and bigots, not necessarily in that order. Glad you still have the shirt, Jane.

  3. Reblogged this on nbsmithblog…random digressions and musings and commented:
    Words of wisdom from Jane

    • Jane Wilson says:

      Nan,
      I was just about to delete this. Some sexist comments are more subtle than others. I’m still wondering why this one, in particular, stuck with me all these years.

  4. julespaige says:

    We are all minorities if we look closely enough. Brains separate us – congratulations on having brains. (popped over from Pedometergeek’s reblog).

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