Friday, July 22, 2011

My Liberalism Takes Another Hit

I was talking yesterday with a colleague about the killing of Kenneth Wade Harding in San Francisco over the weekend. I said I could understand how people in the community could react initially to what we all thought at the time was the death of a young black man at the hands of the cops. I said if I were there, I'd have been protesting and upset at the beginning. What I couldn't understand was the continued outrage once the facts came out. He was a convicted child rapist. He tried to force his 14-year-old victim into prostitution. He was the suspect in the shooting death of a 19-year-old pregnant woman in Seattle just days before. He fired at the San Francisco cops as he tried to escape when he was stopped by them. Video and photos and audio seem to clearly show he had a gun and he started shooting first.


And yet the protests continue.
***
We are talking with a couple of interviewers, one an African-American woman and the other a Latina, about one of our studies which involves interviewing women who recently had a baby. The Latina interviewer mentions a woman whom she recently completed a survey with who happened to live in Mexico. It turns out that she lived in Mexico up until the time she gave birth, and she immediately returned to Mexico after giving birth.


I mentioned to my colleague that our previous conversation and that current one underscored my need to give up my ACLU card yet again. I am astounded at the woman who crossed the border illegally to give birth. I am astounded at the protests of a justified shooting of a bad man.


We explain our previous conversation. The African-American woman couldn't agree more with our confusion over the continued protests even as more and more supporting information for the shooting comes out. [It since turns out Harding died by his own hand.] The Latina murmured how sad it was about the poor man who was clearly troubled and who so obviously needed help.


As I walked back to my office, I told her she so definitely needed my ACLU card.

1 comment:

That Uncomfortable Itch said...

It's a hard day when you have to question your beliefs and where you stand, especially if when at 20 those beliefs were so completely woven into your being. It's a fucked up world, no? Makes me want to cove to a secluded isand and make coconut husk jewelry.

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