Sunday, August 19, 2012

Poison ivy and Pa voter suppression

When I was  around six years old,  an older child, a neighbor of my relatives, picked up a leaf. Holding it in his hand, he said, "this is poison ivy" and proceeded to rub it on my face. I didn't know what poison ivy looked  like, yet I also didn't believe  someone could be so cruel to do such a thing.

He was a bully and I was already, in my little life, setting the stage for victimhood ( it is a complex I am still  unlearning.) Despite the fact that I went running and screaming into my aunt's house where my mother and aunt both tried to wash off the poison, it was a fait accomplis. I developed a horrific case of poison ivy with my face swollen and my eyes shut for weeks. There was no antidote of prednisone then. All there was was  calomine and patience.

I relate this story because I think not only I , but that there is collectively, the sense of "no,that person could not possibly do the unthinkable, could they"? That group can't possibly be out to harm  me (or us)Surely, democracy and justice will prevail.

I  flashed back to my poison ivy incident when I recently read (August 16,2012) that Judge Simpson of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania upheld the Pennsylvania Legislature's voter ID law. This new law is blatantly an act of voter suppression, and yet justice did not prevail,politics did.Judge Simpson is Republican and he, I think, ruled according to party lines. It felt like, yet again, being confronted  by a bully with poison ivy in his hands: "no, you wouldn't rule this way, would you, your Honor"? Admittedly, I choke on the word "honor" here: there is no honor in using the law like a leaf of poison ivy to rub in our collective faces.

The "prednisone antidote"---the Pennsylvania Supreme Court--- is available here. Let us hope  that it becomes the healing remedy to this travesty of justice incurred by Judge Simpson's ruling. may we all be  agents against, not victims to, voter suppression.

Depending on how the state Supreme Court rules, will this be a rise of the Wounded Feminine moment or yet another dollop of dirt on her grave?

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