After an early walk with Finn and a morning of writing, I listened to Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk, “We need to talk about an injustice”. He’s the author of “Just Mercy / A Story of Justice and Redemption” and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, in Montgomery, Alabama.
According to EJI’s website: Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.
In his TED talk, Attorney Stevenson attributed part of the intractability of our race problems to our unwillingness to be uncomfortable. He said, “we’re unwilling to commit to a process of truth and reconciliation”.
I learned that Germany has outlawed the death penalty because, well, how could they consciously execute people given their history? Makes sense.
But, Stevenson asks, what about our problematic history?
(Did you know that in Germany it’s also illegal to display swastikas? Can you imagine an America in which our morals, our relationship to history, and our leadership were such that there could be a law clearly and unequivocally outlawing Confederate flags?)
To support his assertion that “mass incarceration has fundamentally changed out world”, Stevenson cited the following (horrifying) statistics:
1972 — 300,000 people incarcerated
2018 — 2.3 million incarcerated
plus 7 million paroled or on probation.
Meanwhile, I think I’ll be in Salem on Saturday which means I’ll be skipping the march in Cambridge as well as the opening for the Fuller Craft Museum’s show in Brockton, Mass.
I posted this on FB and instagram already, but in case you missed it — the hat that I knit (circled in yellow) for my cousin Ginny Mallon (who marched on Washington last year) is part of a show called: Revolution in the Making: The Pussyhat Project.