A call to those who may be too far to hear us just yet.

Now and again I’m allowed to venture out among normal people and talk to them about the things they do and think about. It seems I do myself a disservice by only engaging in shop talk with like minded people. I mean, what’s the point of all of this preaching to the choir on these things?

Here, for example, is a typical conversation between two criminal defense lawyers. We shall call them Harry and David:

Harry:  “Hey, the death penalty is bad.”

David:   “Yeah, it’s not a deterrent. All the stats show that. And there are so many innocent people who have been exonerated.”

Harry:    “Totally man. It’s just wrong.”

Harry:    “That prosecutor is such a douche. I can’t believe he doesn’t know his job”

David:    “Doesn’t he know he is supposed to seek justice and not just convict?”

Harry:  “Man, I don’t know why the judge didn’t take into account the fact that my client was (insert horrible, tragic, can’t even believe a person could go through that and still live event here) when he sentenced him.

David:  “Dude, if you couldn’t get the judge to listen on that, we need to overhaul the whole system.”

Seriously folks, isn’t that how it goes? Sure, we may talk in more technical terms and fill in the blanks better. But that is the general gist of it all. So, when I do get out and about and the conversation goes like this:

Me:                 “I think the death penalty is wrong.”

Friend:          ” I think child molesters should get put to death.”

Me:                  “What if you were accused of molesting children?

Friend:          “I never thought about it like that.”

Isn’t it our job, we people who write and talk and get on our soapbox, isn’t our job to make them think of it like that. And if we don’t do that then what are we doing?

Gideon wrote eloquently about Aaron Schwartz and his prosecution. If you don’t know who Aaron Schwartz is and what happened to him, I invite you to read here and here. Gideon says, basically, hey you guys who are so up in arms over Aaron Schwartz, you thought it couldn’t happen to you. But it does. It happens to smaller yous all the time. It happens every day. Everywhere. And while what happened to Aaron Schwartz is a tragedy, it is the one we are all too familiar with.

I’ve been defriended in real life and on this world wide computer for my never-ceasing preaching. I am called judgmental by those who hold views that I find appalling. It is disconcerting to me that so many people truly believe that because they don’t “do anything wrong” they will never face the terrible wrath of their very own government. I hope beyond all hope it is true for every last one of us.

For you. And for me.

There is a day when I hope my conversation with people will go like this:

Me:        “Hey, how about all that amazing justice that we’ve got here?”

Friend:  “Yeah, we really are lucky.”


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Posted in: Not Gulity No Way   |     |   7 Comments

7 Responses

  1. How long will you be lucky? | a public defender - February 15, 2013

    […] Seddiq writes today about an issue I touched on in the Aaron Swartz […]

  2. Lyle - February 16, 2013

    I’ve been defriended on the web and IRL as well. That means were preaching to those that need to hear us. The choir doesn’t ditch you, and a close minded friend needs the intervention.

  3. shg - February 16, 2013

    Sometimes, it’s worthwhile to ponder whether people defriend because of an excess of passion and a dearth of persuasion. The former is often easier than the latter, but less helpful.

  4. Mirriam - February 16, 2013

    Right. I don’t have much passion. So that isn’t the problem.

  5. Mirriam - February 16, 2013

    Which leads me to wonder why no one likes you?

  6. Mark Draughn - February 16, 2013

    I realize this was not a “please validate me” post, but just for the record, some of us first noticed you and liked you because of the way you preach your views. I hope you never stop.

  7. shg - February 17, 2013

    Does no one like me? That makes me sad, but I guess it’s something I will have to live with since I’m not inclined to hand out red balloons to make people like me better.

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