Friday, October 24, 2014

Justice for Jennifer

Politics and justice do not usually mix well. The courts of our justice system insulates itself from public sentiment for a reason.

Justice is not a spectrum. It is a compass direction that must always point to true north. Public sentiment always represents a much larger expression than this.

Politics on the other hand is usually served by tides of public sentiment and public sentiment only insofar as the public passion is at its flood.

Both serve as distinctive expressions of the enduring life of our national values. Apart, they are clear. But taken together, they represent a false choice.

The cause of justice for Jennifer should prepare itself for a difficult road ahead.

Because when politics and justice mix, it is often at the expense of the other. Which one depends on who is left believing and holding on at the turn of the tide.

I am for equal justice before the law.

No one deserves to be murdered in the way she was murdered.

This is a human being, let us remember - with human struggles, human hopes, human connections, and a citizenship which causes her to belong equally and equitably with all other citizens in our Republic. One could say the same of Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton.

All of these are equal considerations.

The unfortunate thing is that, due to the inescapable weight of larger issues beyond the context of this case, these individually human considerations might have inadvertently taken on a political spin.

Due process, custody and safety, correctional jurisdiction are inherently non-political issues. They belong to a sovereignty (of being) that is universally exclusive and imiscible to States.

To be honest, I am not privy to the details of the issue. I do not think this is a hate crime though. It might be more a crime of passion. There are certainly things that can and must be done to prevent and deter crimes like this from happening again in the future.

I do not think this must affect our friendship and treaty obligations with the United States. I am thinking much more of those US citizens who live in friendship with our people than with the politics of the matter here.

However, if we do not streamline and clarify the process of expediting justice in cases such as these, it might affect the overall effectiveness of our being able to carry it out as kindred Countries. Defense being always a matter carried out in the absolute.

We are both a democracy and should understand the weight of public sentiment and the vitality of national memory. Our governments alone can not sustain the potency of a national friendship and treaties alone can not effect a truly common defense of this vital friendship.

Good will must be displayed in the treatment of this case on both sides.

My sincerest sympathy goes out to the family and the friends of Jennifer Laude. It would be remiss of me not to extend my condolences to the bereaved - to those loved ones she left behind in our care.

May her soul find the peace that this world was not able or willing to offer her. May she find her way back to the God Who loves us all and gives us hope for our humanity.

Jennifer Laude is a victim. This is the bottom line. Let us not make more victims in her name.

Justice must be done.

20141026: Apparently, there exists two other concurrent cases involving the murder of a transgender individual. When I began ruminating about the fate of Jennifer Laude, the first question that came to my mind was, "what was primary will driving the public outcry, the core sentiment as it were at the center of the outcry?"

Is it because Laude is a member of the LGBT minority sheltering under our Republic peace or is it because the alleged perpetrator just so happens to be a serving member of the US Armed Forces?

I was afraid it shall be the latter because it proves that much of the outcry is political - clamoring for an issue more than the human issue we should be dealing about in the immediate.

I understand Susselbeck is outraged. I do not wish to expound on his morality here. I sympathize with his loss of an intimate personal connection. He led one of  the protests in Aguinaldo, got into an unfortunate scuffle with one of our soldiers, apologized, and is now on his way back to Germany.

Should we make him into a persona non grata? I think we should have clearer guidelines on that too. This however, is a matter for our lawmakers and policy innovators.