The sad part is: the author may actually think this is sufficient. Emotion (and surely anger most of all) is hardly a valid motive, The culture has been trying for centuries to exterminate that as a defense. We criticize juries for leniency in a “crime of passion” and this is no different. A defense based on hormones is no defense whatever.
The value of rationality is precisely that the causes for anyone to be moved to action can be enunciated and reason applied. Anger has no ability to elicit change. If the reason someone acts is that he feels anger but no rationale is proposed then a completely justifiable response is that I do not feel angry and have no reason to change. To change merely because of fear of violence is fascism’s first defense. Mussolini advocated violence in the Po Valley in the early 30’s on just such a basis as what is being proposed.
Do we REALLY want to go down that road?
I truly believe that to be a good teacher, a decent writer or a perfunctory scholar one has to concede the limits of evidence, reason, and rationality.
It is no wonder I believe that. Evidence, reason and rationality can rarely explain my place in this world. I know the limits even as I try to stretch them. It is either futile or the human experience or, I suspect, it is both.
For months I have participated and supported the ground work of activists, scholars, teachers, preachers, parents, young people, old people, and people people in Ferguson, MO. My contribution amounts to little more than nil on the grand scale of things. Mostly, I have hoped that people would persist.
It is an unreasonable hope.
Representatives of the State, of a public that includes black people who are also a public, were defiant when they announced the grand jury results of Michael…
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