One of the core values of this country is freedom of speech. The ability to disagree with your neighbor and/or the government without loosing your freedom or your life is tantamount to everything that is American.
But there is still a line that had yet to be crossed. Until today.
As Congress debated and prepared to certify that Joe Biden will be the next President, rioters stormed the Capital building, forcing members of Congress to to hide. One woman was killed. Believing the lies that you know who has been spreading for weeks that he lost the election, they have turned to violence to achieve their goals.
This is not democracy. This does not happen in the United States.
If there anyone to blame, it is the Republicans. It is one thing to support a candidate who matches your beliefs. It is another thing entirely to blindly follow an inept, immature, and selfish man-child who is nothing more than a used car salesman. This is how democracy dies. This is also how diversity dies.
The only bright spot is that both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their respective Senate runoff elections in Georgia.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t wait for January 20th.
We all make mistakes, that is part and parcel of being human. But what happens when that mistake leads us to jail and years later, we have to look at the people who were affected by that mistake?
That is the concept of the CNN program, The Redemption Project with Van Jones. The premise of the program is as follows: host Van Jones tells the story of a victim (and/or their family), the perpetrator who was jailed for their crime and their face to face meeting years after the crime was committed.
I have watched the first two episodes and I have found the program to be compelling and worthy of an hour of watching television. When we make a mistake, the first step is to admit that we made it. First steps are often the hardest to make, especially when that mistake leads one person jailed and another person (or their family) forever affected by that mistake.
The theme of the show is restorative justice, leading to a conversation with the person convicted of the crime and the person and/or their loved ones who were affected by the crime In the two episodes that I have watched, I have seen a spark of hope. While there is no way to go back in time and undo what has been done, both parties walk away with a sense of peace, perhaps a little understanding and a human connection that goes beyond the general idea of a victim and a perpetrator.
I recommend it.
The Redemption Project with Van Jones airs on Sunday night at 9pm.
The corner-stone of any democracy can be described in one word: compromise. These days in America, compromise is a dirty word, especially when one has to reach across the political aisle.
Earlier this year, writer and television news commentator Van Jones published Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. In this non-fiction book, Mr. Jones calls out the political bullsh*t on both sides of the aisle and forces the reader to examine how we all are guilty of putting our own interests and beliefs ahead of the good of our country and our fellow citizens.
This book is wake up call for all Americans. It reminds us that at the end of the day, we must find a way to compromise and get along, even if we will never see eye to eye. In the book, he uses an analogy of a family reunion. A young child has wandered away from their parents and has fallen into a well. While the Democrats and The Republicans bicker and disagree, no one is doing what should be doing: finding a way to get the child out of the well. I can’t think of a better analogy for the current political climate in America.