‘The arc of the moral universe… bends toward justice’

On December 12 – more than five decades after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham — the people of Alabama made clear their intention to set right the hateful murders and destruction. They chose to trust the women who asserted that Republican candidate Roy Moore had sought them out and acted indecently towards them and they delivered their verdict that Moore was not fit to represent the people of Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

It’s time for truth to challenge power and privilege

Recently my daughter said to me, “Me too,” echoing the apparently rampant sexual harassment in our country, now and in the past. Most of us men do not see this, and some, unfortunately, practice it, especially men with power and position over women.
My daughter was speaking “truth to power.” She is a veteran teacher in New York City and an active member of an offshoot of Black Lives Matter. She and I agreed that the racial climate in the U.S. also requires a large dose of truth to power, challenging male privilege overlapping white privilege.

Let’s learn history, not political bias

Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh’s Oct. 16 CT Viewpoints piece on Columbus Day is a caricature of an argument. Her essay is full of errors — from petty math to fundamental facts about American history. Evidently unfamiliar with the First Amendment’s scope, she describes Christianity as “intrinsic” to “our uniquely American liberties.” She says Columbus — who sailed for the king and queen behind the Spanish Inquisition — “is the reason why we are a nation founded by Christians and blessed with the only Constitution in the world where the individual citizen derives their liberties from God, not the government.”

The Constitution is 230 years old

As countries go, the United States is one of the relative youngsters, nevertheless, our constitution is the longest lasting constitution in human history. So, Happy Birthday to the most important document in the life of every American citizen, a document which represents and embodies the freedoms that we have been enjoying for the last 230 years.

Why words still matter — Part II

Last January, the YWCA Greenwich hosted Why Words Still Matter, a program that explored the rise in hate speech and hate crimes, as well as how a community can monitor and respond to this behavior. A standing-room only crowd of concerned citizens, including high school students attended and engaged in this critically important discussion. Given the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, we want to share with you again the lessons learned at the YWCA Greenwich January forum.

In praise of mongrels

Before the wedding, my mother’ parents, who were high (albeit lax) Episcopalians, came a calling on my father’s parents, who were staunch Irish Catholics.  As a safety precaution, my paternal grandmother hid all the sharp knives.

Which will it be: Unequivocal support for Israel or our First Amendment rights?

An alarming paradox has taken shape in legislation before Congress:  Our representatives would violate Americans’ First Amendment rights in order to protect the State of Israel. This draconian legislation is H.R. 1697/S. 720, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” is a proposed law that could harshly penalize the free speech of Americans who support the international Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Proposed budget cuts will affect services to intellectually disabled

Imminent state budget cuts means that the hours of staffing that will be lost, the transportation funding that will disappear, the recreation dollars that will not be available, will remove choice and opportunity from the people we serve. These cuts will set our profession back decades in terms of equality, civil rights and equal access for people with intellectual disabilities.

Get disability out of the abortion debate

In the 1990’s, I was part of a group of women who wanted to reconcile reproductive choice with disability rights in the then new era of prenatal screening. Some in our group had disabilities such as spina bifida or muscular dystrophy that arose in utero. Others like me had conditions like cerebral palsy that occurred at or after birth but were concerned about ripple effect. Would we all become a new class of illegitimates?