Sep 22, 2011

An Eye for an Eye Leaves Everyone Blind

As parents we are told that spanking our children teaches them that hitting is okay. We are told that "do as  I say, not as I do," doesn't work.We need to model ideal behaviors. Teach by example. If you want your kids to know that brushing their teeth is important, they need to see you brushing your teeth. If you want your kids to treat others with respect, then they need to see you treating others with respect. You want your kids to read a lot of books, they need to see you reading a lot of books. Modeling ideal behavior is the best way to teach people the importance of that behavior; else they think, "If it's so important, why aren't you doing it?"

If killing people is wrong, shouldn't our government model that belief? The death penalty teaches us that it is okay to kill. But an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

The commandment says, "Thou shalt not kill." It doesn't say, "Thou shalt not kill unless you are the state of Georgia." Murder is wrong. Period.

Read Amnesty International's Death Penalty Facts.

Read about the most recent state-sanctioned murder of Troy Davis.

Take action to stop the next scheduled US executions on Amnesty International's action page.


  1. Jen, my heart can hardly take this post.  I don't believe in the death should be abolished.  It is a brutal, inhuman, barbaric act that is used to control and "punish" people.  I don't believe in hate, I believe in growth...a nation that kills it's own people is no nation at all.  We are divided...and the poverty and death that we continue to perpetuate is our evidence.  Prayers for the family of Troy Davis and praise for the compassion of the family of James Anderson.  It's sad that we are not all raised with their love.  <3  Thanks for sharing.

  2. It is so hard to stomach government-sanctioned killing. I read an Amnesty International report stating that almost half the states in our country still accept capital punishment. You are right: it is barbaric. It is so interesting to juxtapose the Troy Davis case with the James Anderson case. What makes one victim's family so compassionate while another's is not? How do we teach people compassion? Would learning compassion/empathy stop them from supporting a system of state-sanctioned murder? Thanks for sharing on this sad, serious subject, Chantilly. 

  3. I recently found your blog and I love it. I lived in Iowa for 8 years with my Iowan husband and we are the proud parents of a Latina.  I came back here today to see you post my favorite anti death penalty quote.  Your posts sums up the reasons why I am anti death penalty.  Thank you for your elegant and inspirational writing. I have enjoyed rediscovering Bill Cosby's humor and India Aire's "I choose". 

    I live you with a great song by Ani Difranco "Crime for Crime".

  4. Wendy, thanks for sharing that intense Ani Difranco song. It describes perfectly the reasons everyone should be against the death penalty. I hadn't heard it before and really identify when she says, "what might be justice to you might not be justice to me." Great song.

    Also--I am so thankful for your comment about my blog. Thank you for reading, and for commenting! I appreciate it very, very much. It is always nice to hear from someone familiar with life in Iowa, and to meet another mom in a family of mixed cultures. 

  5. I promise I do not work for Ani Difranco, but I wanted to share this song

    so i take a few steps back

    and put on a wider lens

    and it changes your skin,

    your sex, and what your wearing

    distance shows your silhouette

    to be a lot like mine

    We miss Iowa a lot.  We might end up back there after I finish my Masters.

  6. The death penalty is about "revenge." It still hasn't proven to be an effective deterrent to murder, nor will it ever. My heart breaks for the mothers. Always. I hope and pray that our country outlaws it soon.

  7. I had some friends who were Ani fans when I was in grad school and now I can understand why...What a beautiful way of describing the power of that moment---when you are given the chance to see things from another perspective.  

    I looked up the lyrics so that I could read while I listened and the church part of the song really brought back a memory for me. When I first started dating my husband I had a shaved head with a rat tail and long bangs (I was another white girl with the hair.) He took me to his mom's church and it was my first time being in a traditionally black church. It was an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing another song from such a wonderful storyteller and bringing that memory back to me. 

  8. You're right, Ezzy. It is about revenge. People often use the argument, "what if it was your child who was brutally killed? you'd want the perpetrator to suffer then!" While I don't know exactly how I'd feel, I do know that killing people is wrong. There are no circumstances in which that fact can change. 

  9. The whole situation is bad. I agree that we need to set the examples.

  10. Thank you for sharing your story.  And I like that you read the lyrics while you listened.     I like how in the begining she sings “From the depth of the Pacific to the height
    of Everest” and in the end she switches to “From the height of the Pacific to
    the depths of Everest.  Shows the no
    matter the distance between us there is always some common ground.  I feel like we always need to keep that
    common ground in mind so we do not dehumanize each other and are able to show
    empathy, “distance shows your silhouette to be much like mine”. 


    I was a huge Ani Difranco fan in my early
    to mid twenties.  She put a lot of
    thoughts of mine into beautiful songs when I was starting to make my own path
    in this world. 

    I shaved the underneath of my hair for a few years in the mid 90s.  It was one of things I did when I left home! (That and a tattoo)

  11. Your hair and tattoo story sound very familiar, Wendy :-)


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