The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins: “We the People of the United States.” But who that statement includes is not a static concept. The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited naturalization to “free white persons,” one of a series of foundational laws and texts that established a legal basis for white privilege. Since then, the courts have been at the forefront of both protecting that privilege and, in recent years, challenging it.
v. explores the contemporary ripples of landmark Supreme Court decisions. Tracing Dred Scott v. Sanford to the protests in Ferguson, Mo., the xenophobia of Korematsu v. United States and Japanese internment to the appropriation of Japanese culture today, v. uses legal texts to examine the evolving definition of "We the People." The case law serves not only as historical document, but as a literary point of departure.