I used to think gun violence in America was someone else’s problem – something that affected people in poor neighborhoods in the inner city, far from where I was raising my son, Jordan. After all, Jordan’s father and I were enjoying good careers in the airline industry and I was raising our only child in a comfortable Atlanta suburb. Jordan’s friends were well off and well educated and came from all races and ethnicities.
A lot can change in twenty years.
In 1994, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had just been adopted after a failed effort to end the military ban. No states were close to marriage equality. The push for a federal hate crime law covering lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans was still years away. The Supreme Court had not yet ruled the ban on “sodomy” unconstitutional. Ellen had not yet come out.
What happens when immigrants are able to become citizens rather than just seeing their immigration status legalized?
The answer is simple: We will have a stronger and more integrated America.
With the recent return of the Trayvon Martin case to the news in the form of a new advertisement dramatizing the tragic killing, it seems like a good time to look back and reflect upon what this episode tells us about our country and its relationship to its youth.
It appears that the worst sex abuse scandal in the history of American sports is finally getting the attention it has demanded for decades. And Congress is taking notice.
It’s about time.
Earlier this month, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sent letters to hundreds of groups--charities, think tanks, trade associations, restaurants, car dealerships, and many more--requesting that they disclose their ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and their position on “stand your ground” laws for a Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee hearing on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. After similar abuses of power at the Internal Revenue Service were met with broad public condemnation earlier this year, it’s baffling that Durbin would choose to take this course of action. These strongly-worded requests, on official Senate letterhead, were a step beyond any of the IRS’s inappropriate actions, and miles outside Durbin’s responsibilities as a senator.