Thursday, April 4, 2013

Impeach Scalia and Remember Martin Luther King

I am writing this on April 4.  Forty-five years ago today I was sitting in a barber shop with my little boys.  It was just a week until Good Friday. The radio was on in the barber shop, and the news came over the radio that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed.

It was a day of great shock and sorrow.  So were the death days of the other civil rights martyrs, among them Medgar Evers, killed in his own driveway.  The four little girls blown up in their Birmingham church.  James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwermer  -  murdered in the Mississippi night.   Beautiful Viola Liuzzo, who went to the Deep South all the way from Michigan to help in the civil rights struggle and was murdered by the KKK.

There were many more killed in the civil rights struggle.  And many, many more were beaten and injured.  And beyond them there are the centuries of beatings, cruelties, shootings and  -  as recently as my teenage years  - lynchings.  It is a terrible story of oppression.  But it is also a magnificent story of a courageous fight for freedom .

Now comes Scalia.  I will not give him the title of Justice of the Supreme Court.  Because there is nothing of justice about him.  Nor is he supreme in any way.  He is a buffoon and should not be sitting on even the lowest of judicial benches.  No, he's worse than a buffoon.  He is an ignorant and heartless man.  He is a disgrace to the robes he wears.

He should be impeached.

I could go through the litany of his stupid remarks and ignorant misstatements, but I don't want to bother.  Nor need I offer any evidence for his impeachment beyond what he said during the recent argument about the Voting Rights Act.  He used the phrase "racial entitlement" to refer to the protections in the act for the hard-won voting rights of minorities.

There is nothing in the current meaning of "entitlement" that applies to those provisions of the law.  The term "entitlement" has been perverted as of late to refer to Social Security and Medicare, with the right wing's infused connotation that these social support programs are some kind of handout. Which they most certainly are not.  We elders earned them and paid for them from our paychecks.  We elders also earned them by carrying this nation forward for the generations that follow us.  The civil rights movement was among our great achievements as a generation, but we contributed even more.  We paid our dues and then some.  

The provisions of the Voting Rights Act were also paid for.  They were paid for by the blood of King, Evers, Cheney, Goodman, Schwermer, the four little girls, Liuzzo and those many others who died or were beaten bloody so that a people could be free.

Scalia disgraces this country with his snarky ignorance and ill-disguised bigotry.  He spits on the memory of those who died in a struggle that has spread world-wide and is triumphing everywhere.  He is a nothing.

Back in the days of the Warren Court when liberty and equality were getting the support of the Court, the right-wing conservatives proclaimed by bumper sticker "Impeach Earl Warren".

Clearly the time has come for "Impeach Scalia".


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