NBCnews has been live covering the JFK funeral today. I've been watching while I'm reading and writing (about science-and its wonderful). The incredible horror and sadness the terrible blow his assassination must have been to the American people at that time has been made clear to me in a way that books and pictures have not been able to transmit to me before now.
An avid Stephen King fan, I read his 11/22/63 with no full grasp of the way this event must have gripped the country, perhaps world. In his afterword, King talked about Dallas in 1963. He spoke of the vitriol that greeted the Johnson's and Kennedy's in Dallas that came in the form of hurled insults and spit. King cautioned against allowing the fervor of political passion to overcome us today. He argued for cool headedness lest history repeat itself. His warning has shifted my perspective of the Ray Kelly incident at Brown. In this moment, I am of two minds. One tells me that good governance and calmness must be observed at all times. I can’t imagine President Obama in a box 2 years after his first inauguration. Can you?
The other just knows that Ray Kelly should have been given no purchase to either champion or defend his policies in a place of higher learning. I believe that a responsible compromise between the two could have, and should have been reached. A panel should have been convened in place of this lecture. One that included both Kelly and informed scholars (eg. Michelle Alexander) to rebut his policies.
Things happened as they did and I wasn’t sorry then. I struggle to find sorrow in it now. Still, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t believe that the lecture should have been so riotously ended. The human in me-the one that has been violated by people in positions of power on multiple occasions- simply wishes that the constitution was equally applied, and that the “arc of justice” much shorter.
I'm very weary of this call to long suffering.