Great article and excellent points- none of them new of course, but worth reiterating. There is great frustration in attempting to reconcile the full and nuanced truth with an easier, lazier and more comfortable narrative that seems to suit the general public. People are complex. People make mistakes. The lazy among us find it convenient to see black or white, good or evil, worthy or despised. Asking most people to consider a more complex tone, or to consider that good (and great) people can do horrible things and still retain all of their positive qualities is too much work. To ask people to question the dogma, to consider actual statistics/data, to reject the incorrect conflation of “seriousness of offense” with risk of recidivism – well it’s asking them/us to do hard work – work that will only serve to undermine our assumptions, and make us less comfortable with the world (and our neighborhoods) as we choose to see it. We choose to remain unenlightened out of laziness and our comfortable state of schadenfreude. The “at least I’m not a sex offender” outlet.
Again, great piece. One minor note…Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unalienable, not unalienable… I know this only because I’ve been corrected for the same mistake!