I know that I am not alone in my astonishment and despondency at the violence unfolding across America. I regularly read comments on foxnews.com headlines and am doing it more in these troubled times. I imagine it's like swallowing rat poison. There is no value in this exercise except it opens my eyes to the level of vitriol that is ripping apart our national fabric.
At best the comments are grotesque, at worst they are evil.
Systemic racism, police brutality, civil rights violations, white supremacy are as old as the hills. Pretending that things are suddenly worse takes away from the fact that it has been bad forever for those on the receiving end. The anger is certainly more intense than I have seen before.
The current administration is going to leave a lasting legacy on many fronts, chief among them on matters of race and racial equity.
In the early days after we arrived at JFK Airport in 1981, we gained a deeper understanding of the war of independence, civil war, and the civil rights movement. As we learned more, our appreciation grew by leaps and bounds for the uniform application of justice precipitated by these historic events. Unlike in many parts of the world, even the average Joe could get due process here. What a concept! Plus, the constitution offered a brilliant system of checks-and-balances where one branch couldn't usurp power and privilege. This country could never go off the rails with these underpinnings, or so I thought.
Four decades later, look where we are...
Between unitary executive theory, stacking the judiciary with political ideologues and a legislature that is half comatose and half rife with enablers, the Presidency has become the singular seat of power. It turns out that the constitution affords the idealism of checks-and-balances only if the people in power will it.
The dreams of our forefathers require men and women of impeccable vision for the greater good and an unbending spine for solving intractable problems. None are to be found now. Instead, this administration has shown that political expediency forgives the hijacking of the constitution and centuries old norms.
The brilliance of the system is tarnished forever.
That is the lasting legacy of this administration and the country that welcomed us warmly and has given us so much may never be the same...unless..."we the people" wrest back control. I am ready, are you?