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Island's gonna sink Robert Sheridan bobsheridan bobsheridan@earthlink.net Waytago, Marguerite!

Your mention that Benjamin Perine was owned as a slave by the pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church on StatNisland calls to mind something I read in Frederick Douglas's autobiography a few years ago. He was a slave who escaped North, having first learned to read in a Baltimore shipyard by learning the letters marked on the lumber by the white workers.

Douglas, if I recall correctly, was owned by a minister of a Protestant church. Douglas had a lot of trouble understanding how it was that a minister whose job it was to point out the difference between right and wrong could fail to see that owning him, renting him out to shipyards, and keeping the rent for himself, was anything but right.
Douglas, in short, points out that the ministers were among the worst offenders in terms of moral blindness. I wonder whether Catholic priests or rabbis in the South owned slaves. I'm having trouble picturing it.

There's nothing like 20-20 hindsight to see other people's moral deficiencies.

I wouldn't like to be reminded of our own moral blindness.

On the other hand one of the issues that interests me is the lack of quality control in criminal justice. Touchy subject because QC in CJ means bad guys go free. It also means that not guilty people go free instead of being mistakenly imprisoned. This is an idea whose time has not yet come. I think it may be growing closer, however.

-rs



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