In every nation’s life, there come breaking points.
Breaking points are many. They’re points in the road where the great mass of humanity says “Enough”; things as they were are no longer good enough, no longer just enough, no longer decent—human—enough. A point of disgust is reached, where what went before will no longer suffice. Where, indeed, what went before was exactly the problem. Where what went before was a Gordian knot of injustice, unfairness, veritable evil.
We have reached such a point.
The election of a black president, buoyed by a coalition which didn’t conform to the lineaments of the previous holders of power, have made that old, decrepit, dying coalition erupt in one last blast of fury.
We saw it in Texas, in Ohio, in North Carolina, where legislatures have made it known that women are to be kept down, subservient, subject to the will of their betters.
We saw it in the halls of Congress, where the Republican House doesn’t pretend to care about immigrants, but is doing everything it can to stanch the coming tide, hoping that if it engages in one more bit of obstruction their power will be secure. But the future that is coming is as sure as that tide, and the leaders of that House haven’t the wisdom of King Canute, who displayed before his court that he was merely human, and had no power over nature, or the forces of history.
And we saw it, most heartbreakingly, in the verdict which decreed that one could shoot an unarmed black teenager in the street as nothing more than an animal, less than one, and walk away, freedom intact, rights preserved. (We have to ask how free Mr. Zimmerman will be; if he has any shred of humanity, his remaining life will be one of anguish and regret. But at the moment, I’m not feeling so charitable.)