Today: slept in late (6:30 am) after a play last night (based on the Hound of the Baskervilles) and did a very convoluted 12 mile course in West Peoria, St. Mary Cemetery, Moss/Bradley and Bradley Park. Pace: steady 15:45 ish, and I did stop to get drinks and coffee (needed to drink for this walk; it was a bit humid)
Along the way I thought about math (how to explain stuff to undergraduates) and about a social issue.
Two current events got me on this track:
1. Joe Biden and his talking about getting along with segregationists in the Senate in the 1970’s.
2. The move When They See Us. Yes, it appears that the “Central Park Five” were not guilty of the brutal assault and rape, but they were a part of a group of 30 who DID harass and assault others.
That lead me to think about some things.
One of my favorite boxers, Joe Frazier, used to steal cars (he admitted this in his book, which I enjoyed reading).
Jesse Helms, a bigot who served in the US Senate, adopted a disabled child.
William Jennings Bryan, who was so wrong about teaching evolution in public school, supported women’s suffrage.
Clarence Darrow, who was right about teaching of evolution, but grew disenchanted with women’s suffrage (due to its aligning with prohibition…note: Stone’s biography Clarence Darrow for the Defense had him ridiculing members of the suffrage movement, but it was a 1941 book)
In my own personal life: I’ve had relatives and in-laws express bigoted views from time to time…and yet give the shirts off of their backs. Personally: I was anti-gay as a young man; I lost it when I actually met some openly gay people..that is a story for another day.
My point: 1. No one is perfect; people have flaws AND are, in part, products of their environments. 2. People can change with time.
Sadly: it appears that on all sides, it is fashionable to focus only on the flaws AND to forget that sometimes people DO change for the better. And when we look at the past, we should think of context.