July 23, 2017

Clinging to chances for hope

Thankfully, there is Circuit Court on this warmer than normal Tuesday here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.

In court, I can concentrate on covering news about crimes against society: Breaking and entering, grand larceny, drug abuse as well as probation violations from those convicted on other criminal actions.

It will give some of us a brief respite stop having to cope with the obliteration of rights and outright destruction of the Constitution of the United States sparked by the inanity in Washington, DC.

The day-to-day criminal activities of our time is a brief respite but while the dangers of what is occurring in the national political sideshow is affecting us all.

My wife avoiding spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair because she was able to obtain health insurance to provide needed back surgery through the flawed, but working, national plan called the Affordable Care Act.

That plan may or may not remain in place until she reaches 65 in a year and a half and qualifies for Medicare and Supplemental Insurance.

But what happens to the 18 million Americans who were able to obtain needed health insurance under the act derided as Obamacare?  Will the headlong rush to replace the insurance with something more limiting and expensive costs them their chance for decent healthcare?

Good friends of mine, two male servicemen who risked their lives for their country, married each other last year because obscene laws banning gay marriage were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Will their happy union be cancelled out by a return to Victorian intolerance when a new rabid right-wing zealot is appointed to the Court by a new President who is deep-sixing freedoms for Americans?

Will those with Arab roots like those of my Lebanese-Irish wife find the doors closed to any change to escape the tyranny of their place of birth to find hope in our country?

Those worries and others should concern all of us who now live in an America under fire, more than ever, from within.

Yet we can still find reasons for hope.

In the Georgia city of LaGrange last weekend, police chief Louis M. Dekmar, stood before a crowd at a traditional African American church and apologized for the lynching of Austin Callaway, a young black man dragged from his jail cell by a mob of racists whites 77 years ago.

Said Dekmar, who is white:

I sincerely regret and denounce the role our Police Department played in Austin’s lynching, both through our action and our inaction. And for that, I’m profoundly sorry. It should never have happened.

Dekmar wasn’t even born when that atrocity occurred.  Yet, a police chief who works to equally enforce the law and help the people of his community, felt he needed to be “honest, decent, unbiased and ethical.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Chief Dekmar said;

It became clear that something needed to be done to recognize that some things we did in the past are a burden still carried by officers today. Institutions are made up of people, and relationships go like this: Before you trust somebody, you need to know that they know that they did you wrong, and that you’re stepping up and apologizing for it.

Good words from a good man.

Dekmar gives us hope.

 

 

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