Baltimore’s Freddie Gray joins Walter Scott and a host of other black young men who have met their deaths at the hands of police.In Ferguson Oklahoma a suit for $75,000 has been filed against the city by the family of Michael Brown.(Not much for a young man of 19 with lifetime earnings ahead of him!) In Baltimore protests blended into rioting and looting with the National Guard being mobilized.Six police persons(of diverse racial and gender origin) have been charged with unwarranted arrest and various degrees of misconduct endangering life.There are voices on the right charging a rush to judgment by a black attorney general backed by a black mayor(both women).In Los Angeles the police chief(LAPD) called for dual patrolling in the face of a risk of spread of rioting and civil disorder.The chief of the county sheriff’s department saw no need for special arrangements inasmuch as there was no indication that there would be a spread to Los Angeles county.In addition there appears to have been another shooting in the back of a young black man in Baltimore by a policeman on duty.There are indications that 85% of Americans white, black and Latino expect a long hot summer.If this were to be case it would indicate that we have made little progress since the end of the 60s and since the early 90s.I BELIEVE THAT THE PROGRESS THAT WE,AS A NATION, HAVE MADE IS BOTH REAL AND SUBSTANTIVE.A black President is not just window dressing,nor is a black first male and then( belatedly)female attorney general.The voices of the far left insist that we have advanced only those who could walk the walk and talk the talk ,essentially sell outs to the establishment.The far right mobilizes their constituency of old (mostly white) men and callous persons who see Robin Hood behind every corner and in any differently hued face.What appears to be true of both extremes is that they fear and resent change that occurs as a result of an orderly, constitutional and thus necessarily slow process.For them change is the enemy.Much depends on a politicized supreme court.
To our growing list of pariahs we add Tsarnaev, the Symbionese Liberation Front and James Holmes.The SLF denied us the test of the death penalty that the remaining two proffer.The guilt of all is without question but the finality of a death penalty(found so often to be mistaken)even in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who succeeded in stealing nothing but apparently had the intent to sell atomic secrets. What the heck,we might as well add them to the list of Pariahs