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#408 Lynching Memorial, Infant in Senate

Memorial for Lynching Victims The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, officially opened on Thursday, April 26. The memorial commemorates more than 4,400 African Americans who were lynched in the U.S. It has metal slabs, resembling tombstones, for each county covered, with the names of individuals who were lynched. The overall effect brings many people to tears. It shows how immense the terror of lynching was. If lynching were practiced as widely now as it was in the past, sometimes with crowds watching and celebrating, we at CLN could be expected to have included it on our list of opposition to socially-approved killing. Instead, we use the term “racism” as an umbrella term to cover lethal actions that still remain widespread, such as police brutality, the drug war, a disproportionate number of feticides and executions, and the potential danger of racial discrimination in some places where euthanasia is pushed.

Missing the Point An article in Slate magazine complains about a pro-life radio ad which said: “Did you know one out of three babies aborted in American are Black? . . . That could be the next Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King they’re aborting.” The Slate author, Ben Mathis-Lilley, goes into detail about whether Douglass actually was conceived in rape, a rather strange diversion since the principle still applies to those who definitely were conceived through rape of enslaved mothers. The author brings up how Martin Luther King got an award in 1966 from Planned Parenthood, which is true – but at that time, Planned Parenthood was also an abortion opponent. Yet there’s one way in which the pro-life ad misses the point, too. A Black child shouldn’t be required to have the potential to be a strongly admired figure in order to avoid being killed. Being a human being is enough.

Celebrate: Infants on the Floor in the Senate Because US Senator Tammy Duckworth gave birth to a baby recently, the Senate gave unanimous consent to change the rules to allow her to bring the baby onto the floor of the Senate so she could vote. Now, babies between birth and one year can be brought on the floor. Babies before birth, of course, were always allowed to come in with their mothers. Now, if only we can get them to vote on more legislation to spread the welcoming and practical arrangements to working mothers everywhere.

Photo: Sen. Tammy Duckworth sitting with baby Maile in lower right

Latest CLN Blog Post: Learning from WWII While there are people who argue for and against the justification for the Second World War, John Whitehead writes about Finding Common Ground on and Learning from World War II. He makes that case that “War, even waged in the most just of causes, typically involves killing those whom even the war-makers should recognize as innocents.”

Quotation of the Week Milton Zimmerman Where is the American Conscience? April 20, 2018 I am concerned that when many of us Americans talk about injustice in this country, we don’t realize that there are sensitive points of conscience, human rights, and decency that we are largely neglecting. One aspect we need to pay attention to is that of killing – from murder, suicide, and abortion to capital punishment, physician-assisted suicide, and warfare. Law enforcement and our justice system are doing what they can to stem murder and the psychiatrists do what they can to help those tempted by suicide. But what about the other four?

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