Two Giant Steps Forward and One Step Back: Ketanji Brown Jackson and the Ten Year Anniversary of the Homicide of Trayvon Martin

One of the most potent and universal quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. is as follows:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Last Saturday, February 26th, was the ten-year anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Had his killer (who shall not be named on the blog) not decided to take the law into his own hands, young Mr. Martin would be 27. He might have graduated from high school and college, started a successful career, and perhaps said “I do” by now. But he will forever remain 17, a promising life full of possibilities that we can speak of in a hypothetical manner.

Though we cannot bring Travyon back to life or undo the acquittal of the man who was responsible for his killing, we can see look to our present and see where progress has been made. The men responsible for the executions of both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty of their respective crimes.

During the 2022 Presidential election, President Biden promised to nominate an African-American woman to the Supreme Court. On February 25th, he kept his promise. After Justice Stephen Breyer announced his upcoming retirement, Ketanji Brown Jackson was introduced to the country as his replacement.

This is one GIANT step forward. As both a woman and a person of color, Brown Jackson, represents the true nature and the potential of this nation. With March being Women’s History Month and this coming Tuesday being International Women’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our wins and identify where there is more work to be done.

Of course, not everyone welcomed her with open arms. Her legal abilities and history were questioned by some Republicans (no surprise there). The obvious inquiry is if Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh had to face the same criticism. Probably not. My hope and prayer is that not only will she sit on the highest court of the land, but also that she will help to create the America that we know is possible.

May the memory of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, etc, be a blessing and a reminder of how far we need to go.

Justice Served: Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Found Guilty

Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following about justice:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”

Yesterday, America made a giant step forward in reaching the ideals set up by her founders. The men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I can breathe again. If the jury had gone in the other direction, I can only imagine what the response would have been like.

While we cannot undo what has happened, we can do the right thing going forward. The message is clear: acts of hate will not be tolerated. Those who perpetrate such actions will be caught and have their day in court.

Rest in power, Ahmaud. You will never be forgotten.

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WTF is Going on in This Country?: Kyle Rittenhouse & Paul Gosar

The purpose of the news is to share the events of the day. It’s not supposed to induce a WTF moment.

On Friday, Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges. While two men are dead and a third must live with the trauma of being shot, Mr. Rittenhouse will be returning to his family. This is the problem with the justice system in America. Jacob Blake was assumed to be guilty simply because of his skin color and not even given the opportunity of a fair trial.

Last week, Arizona Representative Paul Gosar published what can only be described as a heinous video on his Twitter account of killing AOC and then attempting to do the same to the President. After he was censured by the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Gosar.

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If the Representative from Arizona had any other job, not only would he have been fired immeditately, but he might have also been sued. But because he is in Congress and a very right-leaning Republican who still stands with you know who, he gets away with it.

We don’t have to always agree with one another. That is the beauty of the nation and what she stands for. But when we threaten to hurt or kill one another, either on the internet or in person, there MUST be consequences.

That is, unless you align politically in a certain direction, where violence and destruction are the norm when you don’t get your way.

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P.S. If the men who are accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery are acquitted, the response may likely be ten times more than the response to George Floyd‘s murder last year.

My Heart Breaks For Jacob Blake’s Children

When it comes to our children, we are taught that we should model the behavior that we want them to emulate.

If that is the case, then I wonder what the children of the Jacob Blake have learned. On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Blake, an unarmed African-American man, was shot by police. They shot him in front of his three children as they sat in the family car. The children are all under the age of ten.

As of yesterday, Mr. Blake was still in intensive care.

I have to wonder what message this sends not only to his children, but to everyone’s children? That people of color, especially African-American men and women, are automatically suspicious because of their skin color?

This summer has been one of upheaval, to say the least. Between the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, protests have been happening non stop. The message should be loud and clear. Law enforcement does not have the carte blanche right to arrest and kill simply because the assumed perpetrator has dark skin.

My prayer is two fold. The first half is that Mr. Blake wakes up and returns home as physically and emotionally whole as possible. The second half is that his children are do not grow up with the emotional scars that come with what they witnessed.

Happy Tuesday.

Trevor Noah Speaks of the Painful Truth of Racism in America

It has been said that until one has walked a mile in another’s shoes, one can never truly understand the other person. But that does not mean that we can’t at least try to understand another person’s perspective.

We live in a country in which one’s skin color is one of the factors that determines one’s fate. We also live in a country in which unconscious bias and white privilege also play a role in determining one’s fate. As a Caucasian woman of Eastern European Jewish descent, I’ve never thought about the privilege automatically assigned to me because of my skin color. The last few weeks have made it painfully clear that because of a twist of fate, I have access and a perception that is denied to Americans of color.

Because I do not have the first person experience that a person of color has, I will not even try to speak of that experience. But Trevor Noah has that experience and it is heartbreaking.

I would say that I hope (which often springs eternal) that we, as Americans have finally learned our lesson about racism and racial inequality. But the last few weeks have reminded this nation, in a painful way, that both are still alive and well, even in 2020.

Jogging While Black: The Murder of Ahmaud Arbery

If there is one sin that America has yet to truly face to up to, it is racism.

The latest victim of this insidious hatred is Ahmaud Arbery.

Back in February, Mr. Arbery was out jogging, bothering no one. Father and son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael decided that jogging while black is a crime. Believing that Mr. Arbery was responsible for a series of recent break-ins, they shot him dead.

The unnecessary loss of this man is heartbreaking. What is even more heartbreaking is that today would have been his 26th birthday.

Thing I would ask the men accused of killing him is if they believed that he was the perpetrator of the break-ins, why didn’t they just call the police? Or is one African-American male interchangeable from another?

I’m not African-American, but I am an American and a human being. My heart breaks for those who loved Mr. Arbery and must find a way to live on without him. My hope is that justice is served and Mr. Arbery will be the last person of color who is targeted and/or killed because of their race. But hope in this case, always springs eternal. Especially when it comes to the dicey issues of race and race relations.

May the memory of Ahmaud Arbery be a blessing.

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