By William Covington
Introduction: It is my privilege to introduce the Washington International Law Journal’s winter quarter symposium. This publication presents six articles exploring past and present injustices, their operation, and possible solutions. What makes this issue special is its range. This special issue begins with Erika George, Jena Martin, and Tara Van Ho sharing their dialog dissecting Business and Human Rights. Dongsheng Zang takes the reader through the racist actions of Victorian liberalism during the British colonial rule over Hong Kong. Nicci Arete attacks what has become a destructive barrier to the practice of law—the bar examination. The articles are thought provoking and especially relevant in a world reawakened to recognizing and addressing the exploitation imposed and maintained on historically marginalized groups.
As a 71-year-old African-American teaching professor who
experienced de jure segregation, I find renewed hope in the recent
global movements for social justice. I also find it ironic that once again
the United States is serving as a catalyst for international change. Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, a leader (50+ years ago) of non-violent protests in Northern Ireland said: “Martin Luther King was very much our inspiration.”1 Perhaps in the future, the same shall be said about Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
I urge readers to deeply consider what the term “Global
Reckoning” means to you. Is it a call to action? Is it an incentive for
self-reflection? Is it a demand to examine our institutions? Or is it all of the above, and perhaps more? These articles can help answer these