Jervis’ Temper And Facing Racism

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - March 26, 2008
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I have to say I’m flummoxed. While I must admit never having had to clean egg off my property, I cannot for the life of me understand the public support for a man who loses his temper, allegedly drives through a neighborhood with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit and rams into a vehicle carrying a bunch of kids.

Let’s be clear. I don’t condone the egging. The kids deserve the punishment received from their school, they should be charged with property damage and with DUI if they were driving drunk (as Gerard Jervis allegedly was), and their parents should ground them for life. Kids may be kids, but kids who don’t receive consequences for reckless or destructive behavior are likely to grow up to be bad ... er ... eggs. At the very least, they should be held up as examples of what will happen to those who may be contemplating a similar spree.

And Jervis? If he’s guilty, then he shouldn’t get off the hook. If one of those kids had been killed or injured because of Jervis’ alleged loss of control I seriously doubt anyone would be justifying his actions. He is, after all, an attorney whose livelihood depends on his understanding and practice of our laws. More to the point, he is a grown man. He’s the one who’s supposed to know better.

Remember that old saying, “two wrongs don’t make a right”? In an age when movies about vigilante justice are wildly popular, we seem to have forgotten all about that. But it certainly applies here.

three star

In watching Barack Obama’s speech in which he tackles the “R” word - racism - I can’t help but be struck by a feeling of relief. The monster lurking in the shadows has come out and can finally be examined in the full light of day. Obama needed to address the issue of race because, let’s face it, it is not going away.

“The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care or education or the need to find good jobs for every American.” - Sen. Barack Obama

He is talking in part about the words of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Obama rightly rejects the pastor’s incendiary words but does not “disown” the man. I strongly suggest you read the full text of his speech before you make a judgment.

And I ask you this: Are you as tired as I am of the seemingly implacable and intractable nature of the race divide in this country? Problem is, racism is like a tumor. You feel it, you know it’s there, but it’s easier to ignore it than to deal with it. The longer you let it go, the harder it is to excise it and the greater the possibility you will not survive it.

No matter whom your choice is to lead our great but imperfect country-Obama, Clinton, McCain - you should be demanding that the discussion continue. Real discussion- not shrill, opinionated blather. We need a mature, profound and intelligent effort to bridge the divide - not the tit-for-tat gotcha mentality of the current cultural climate.

In that, I have to fault the news coverage as well. Short sound bites rarely capture the essence of a person’s words, and all the endless, instant “analysis” promotes speculation, not understanding or wisdom.

There is no doubt now that this country can change. The Clinton and Obama candidacies are proof of that. I hope people embrace it rather than getting scared and retreating to their separate corners of the room.


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