Showing posts from June, 2020

Teddy Roosevelt

Did you see in the New York Times that the statue of Teddy Roosevelt that strides in front of the Museum of Natural History here in New York will be moved? I wrote about it at Thanksgiving time, 2018. Not to say I told you so, but I addressed the issues that Ellen Futter,  the museum's president has raised. Here's what she said; “We believe that moving the statue can be a symbol of progress in our commitment to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable society. Our view has been evolving. This moment crystallized our thinking and galvanized us to action." Theodore Roosevelt IV, a great-grandson of the 26th president said: “The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice."  The Art Students League weighed in because the artist, James Earle Fraser, taught there from 1907 to 1914. They said he is far better known for an entirely different piece, End of Th

Happy Fathers Day!

Here are some of the fathers in my family. As I celebrate these lovely men, I don't think it diminishes their achievements to remember that the opportunities they enjoyed were not open to all fathers. I think about this poem by African-American poet  Robert Hayden 1913-1980 Those Winter Sundays Sundays too my father got up early  and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,  then with cracked hands that ached  from labor in the weekday weather made  banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.  I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.  When the rooms were warm, he’d call,  and slowly I would rise and dress,  fearing the chronic angers of that house,  Speaking indifferently to him,  who had driven out the cold  and polished my good shoes as well.  What did I know, what did I know  of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Loving Day

Loving Day June 12 Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only love can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  Martin Luther King. June 12 is Loving Day, the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the aptly named 1967 Supreme Court Decision that vacated the two 1-year sentences of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving, who each pled guilty to a law criminalizing marriages between persons of different races, on the grounds that the Virginia statutory system violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision was relied upon in U.S. v. Windsor, which granted Edith Windsor a marriage exemption of $363,053 after her Canadian-wed wife passed away and the IRS denied her state tax refund, striking down the defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional in the process.  It was most recently cited in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennesee’s statutory definitions of marriage violated th

This Week

Leonora Reyes As I walked across Horatio Street to the gym a little girl approached me and asked for help. “I’m lost,” she said.  I looked around to make sure she wasn’t trying to lure me into an alley where a big scary guy would mug me but she was alone. “My mother gave me five dollars to go to the store and buy milk but there was a man who chased me and I ran down the subway to get away from him and I came up here. Would you take me to the Police Station?   And I’m hungry.” I asked where she lived and she didn’t know that or her phone number but she did know that if she got to a police station they would take care of her. She was seven. Never sorry for an excuse to skip the gym I took her to a deli and asked where the police station was.  So far I hadn’t needed to know. I bought her a healthy snack of a banana and a pint of milk.   We chatted as we walked to the 6th precinct.  Her name was Leonora Reyes. She carried a large paper bag that contained a coloring book,