SCALIA WAS CRUEL, BUT WE SHOULDN’T BE

Metro USA (Boston) - - NEWS - ERNEST OWENS @ MrErnestOwens

The death of Supreme Court Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia last week drew mixed re­ac­tions all over so­cial me­dia.

For lib­er­als, it meant the end of an ex­treme con­ser­va­tive force on the Supreme Court. To con­ser­va­tives, it meant one fewer war­rior for their cause.

As an openly gay black Ivy League grad, I re­garded Scalia as the en­emy. He wasn’t fond of my abil­ity to love my part­ner through mar­riage.

The first Ital­ianAmer­i­can Supreme Court jus­tice even re­cently sug­gested that blacks don’t be­long in elite univer­si­ties, which was be­yond pre­pos­ter­ous.

While some in the me­dia have tried to whitewash his op­pres­sive at­ti­tudes — la­bel­ing him a “Con­ser­va­tive Lion” — I’m not too con­cerned about that.

What dis­ap­points me the most is how those who have risen — de­spite Scalia’s cruel ju­di­cial at­tempts to sup­press them — can’t move past the pet­ti­ness.

“Ding dong, the witch is dead,” one per­son posted on my Face­book time­line.

“Scalia can fi­nally rot in hell where he be­longs,” an­other wrote.

All the while, I just couldn’t seem to find it in my heart to spew such ha­tred, be­cause I didn’t think it could make mat­ters bet­ter.

Re­spect for the dead is a sa­cred value that was in­stilled in me when I was a child.

Re­gard­less of how we may in­di­vid­u­ally feel about Scalia, he was a law­ful man who had a fam­ily.

It re­minds me of see­ing the racist tweets when for­mer NAACP Chair­man Ju­lian Bond died. I was dis­gusted.

In this case, what makes us any dif­fer­ent from our ag­gres­sors when we choose to cel­e­brate the death of peo­ple who don’t share our pol­i­tics?

How do we foster a com­mu­nity of pro­gres­sive re­silience when we take ad­van­tage of the low- hang­ing fruit of mal­ice?

What gains do we make when we fall into the trap of hav­ing dou­ble stan­dards for cru­elty?

Pro­gres­sives shouldn’t find vic­tory in the ab­sence of an ad­ver­sary, but in the vin­di­ca­tion of their al­lies.

It’s about win­ning the war, not the bat­tle. And you can be vic­to­ri­ous with grace.

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