Monday, February 10, 2014
Top Shelf Short Stories: Lawyer's League
by Sherman Alexie
Alexie's short story, "Lawyer's League," is about Richard, a half Indian half African American who believes he's on the road to the White House. He talks about how he's spent his life getting a good education and being semi-good at basketball while trying to convince Indians to vote.
Racism is really the core of this story. Richard experiences racism throughout the story, like when he talks about how any college would want him due to being Indian and then his encounter with Big Bill.
However, that isn't the only kind of racism the reader sees in the story. Richard shows his tendency to be racist as well. This comes off the best when he meets a woman at a dinner that he really likes. He talks about how he'd love for her to "rain" on him and even compares himself to a teenage girl drooling over a wedding magazine. In the end, Richard decides to pass on making any leeway with the woman. Why? Because she's blonde and blue-eyed and how would that look in the media? As much as Richard is aware of how people look at him, he has no self-awareness of his own prejudices. What's heartbreaking is that Richard deprives himself of what could possibly make him happy - just because of how it would look on the outside to everyone else.
It's Alexie so, of course, I'm going to recommend it. Racism is described in the best way in this story - subtle and heartbreaking.