It’s not that I didn’t want to keep up with the SCOTUS rulings, the South Carolina church murders, and the escape and capture of two convicted murderers in northern New York.
I went online often to catch up, and there was just too much — too many posts, too many tweets, too many angry, polarizing comments.
Too much noise.
I tuned a lot of it out, figuring the passage of time would bring some welcome light, rather than heat, into the court of public opinion. So, with a nod to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words above on his memorial in Washington, D.C. …
The South Carolina murders and the Confederate flag: Why did it take the premeditated murders of nine black church-goers by a white racist to force an entire nation to do something about state-sponsored racism?
Let’s look around. Are there other symbols besides the Confederate flag in our midst that we accept, or will continue to ignore, until another act of hatred wakes us up? (And has anyone noticed that eight black churches in the south have caught fire since the murders?)
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The SCOTUS rulings:
When I toured the Supreme Court a couple of years ago and looked up at those nine chairs, I was in awe of our nation’s history, its Constitutional foundation and its balance of power. Sitting in the very chamber where decisions have been made to shape this country (school desegregation, due process, the right to counsel, etc.) was almost overwhelming. I felt proud and fortunate to live here and now.
Last week I tried to educate myself on the dissenting justices’ positions on the Affordable Care Act and especially on same-sex marriage. I couldn’t understand such opposition to equal rights, and hoped for a reasonable explanation based on their interpretations of law and the Constitution.
Starting with Justice Scalia was a mistake, as the snarkiness in his dissent on same-sex marriage was far from informative, and downright discouraging. And I had more than a little trouble with this statement from Justice Thomas: “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved.”
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
The Dannemora prison break: A convicted murderer (who dismembered one of his victims) was shot and killed by authorities Friday, three weeks after he and another inmate escaped from prison. Two days later, his fellow escapee — a cop-killer — was shot but captured alive.
Comparisons to films like “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Cool Hand Luke” (by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others) and speculation about who would portray these two bad actors in a movie, made me cringe. The escapees didn’t vandalize parking meters, or spring from the imagination of Stephen King. They killed people, including a sheriff’s deputy. So why make mythical cult figures out of them?
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”