On the plaza outside Samford University’s Beeson Law Library in Birmingham, a statue depicts the relationship of justice and mercy. The Angel of Mercy is seen encouraging the blindfolded Lady of Justice. She is staying the sword of justice to keep it from being used too swiftly, tempering it with compassion. The sculptor is Glynn Acree from Roswell, Georgia who also created statues for Emory, Georgia Tech, Mercer, and the University of Georgia.
Justice is not about vengeance; neither is the law. Justice must be tempered with mercy, with compassion. And yet, there was our president/pretender today, warning 800,000 young people who have never known any other country to prepare to self-deport. How heartless and cruel.
I am not, never have been a fan of Republicans, let alone the man they have now chosen to lead the party. That’s well-known to any who know me. But this latest act strains my credulity, appalls me in ways I never thought possible. I won’t ask what the rush is to get everyone of Hispanic descent out of our country. I know only too well that it is blind, hate-filled racism.
And I am full of fury at people who hide their hate behind the rule of law. If the rule of law were so damned important, why did the president/pretender pardon Joe Arpaio, an act done completely outside the law and the usual constraints of presidential pardons. People who ask why the Dreamers have not applied for citizenship reveal an appalling ignorance about the citizenship process and the archaic laws that govern the move from immigrant to citizen, a years-long process that can cause a person to leave the country for seven or eight years before returning. Do you realize what would happen to the life you’ve built for yourself and your family if you had to leave for eight years? What could you come back to?
Many of the Dreamers are in the midst of their education, well on their way to becoming solid citizens with strong contributions to make to this country. The dissolution of DACA could well send them into lives of poverty—and worse, robbing them of their golden dreams and us of their future contributions. Does anyone in this administration think beyond their long, pointy Pinocchio-like noses?
Congress can fix this. Will they? Will they have the guts to buck the president? They have on other matters, to my delight and surprise. But do they see this as deserving and important. I can only pray for guidance for them. Writing my senators is useless, and I have long ago given it up.
I weep for my country. I weep because I live in a country I once could be proud of and now am ashamed of its cruelty, inhumanity, lack of compassion. What if justice turns its blind eyes on you? How will you be sure it is tempered by mercy?
Please pray for the Dreamers…and for our country. May goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives.