When people talk about immigration reform, they tend to focus on people like us: Ivy League graduates, brought to America early in life, unaccented and unencumbered. Upend the institutions and narratives that praise us for our degrees but exclude those who didn’t have our access.
If we start to think about each of us as all the different threads that weave together to become the fabric of our community, we could actually have a constructive conversation about our American culture and the values on which our country was founded.
The truth is I got my dream job mostly because I was lucky. I was also in the right place at the right time. But I would not have been in the building if I had not stubbornly put myself there. So go where you want to be. Ask for what you want. Otherwise, you might have to go to law school.
There were countless days where I would felt like this self-praise was a lie and that I was shielding myself from the truth of my ugly body. Yet for every one of those days of doubts, I would have a day of love for every inch of my brown skin―stretch marks and cellulite included.
To my mind, full-throated political engagement belongs on op-ed pages and in the hard work of citizenship. That said, faculty members should not be “watchlisted” if they make other judgments than mine about how to deploy academic freedom.