standing letters

“Take time to ponder the meaning of Juneteenth” set the table on Page A4 on July 3, not just “Around New England,” as the header beckoned, but “Around the World” too, please. We also need to ponder the real life meaning of “justice for all”, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” “equal protection under the law” ... which is only a starter set. What’s truly remarkable is the precedent-setting ideals this country was founded on juxtaposed to the miserable outcomes we’re currently experiencing. Black lives matter, but so do white policeman’s bullets. Of course George Floyd didn’t die because of our sins, but he did die as a result of them, with problem recognition the first step toward reconciliation.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” is tough to buy into, “justice delayed is justice denied” is right, but with recent human rights (Roe), guns (New York) and environmental (emissions) rulings, the current Supreme Court cuts to the chase, creating the hybrid “injustice everywhere is justice denied”.

We’re all indisputably approaching our own personal expiration date, which inches closer every second, with “justice” obtained posthumously, merely games people play.

America was founded with the best of intentions. “All men are created equal” sounds good, though when written, “men” was confined to white male landowners, suggesting the majority of humans were not created equal. Evolution is comforting but makes the “for it before he was against it” put-down meaningless. Trying to currently teach our very real, less than admirable American history to our country’s children, we’re running up against wacko right-wingers who pretend to protect our children from being uncomfortable. Yeah, and the people Juneteenth honors were enslaved comfortably? Juneteenth is a most powerful recognition that we’ve evolved to believe all humans deserve the opportunity to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The COVID pandemic has interrupted this (r)evolutionary progress, but all animals with a consciousness deserve this pursuit, which I hope we can return to.

Jay Lustgarten


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