Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two Tales

Today I was going to blog about congressional candidate Anthony Woods, but I will have to start off on a more somber note.

While I was in BarBri classes this afternoon, many of the people in front of me in class were reading news stories and I could see the yellow or red ticker on top of the web pages, which indicates breaking news. None of them were sitting close enough for me to tell what they were looking at, and I do not bring a laptop to class.

When I came home, I discovered that at 12:40pm today, an eighty-eight year old "hardcore" white supremecist, James von Brumm, entered the Holocaust Museum today and killed security guard Stephen Johns with a rifle.

While any killing is sad, this incident seems overwhelmingly tragic. Such a violent and racially charged murder with anti-semintic overtones in a place that memorializes the victims of that same exact kind of hatred. And how scary it must be to have this kind of event happen in a crowded tourist attraction right at the beginning of summer.

Rest in peace Stephen Johns and many thanks to the officers who shot down Brumm before he could inflict any more violence.

Shifting gears from grief, to maybe some hope, as I mentioned above, I was originally just going to post on Anthony Woods, a congressional candidate with a biography that Aaron Sorokin couldn't even dream up. I highly recommend you read about his story here.

To make a long story short, he is an African-American male who raised by a single-mother who worked six days a week as a maid. He graduated from high school with honors and attended West Point. After that, he was deployed to Iraq twice and earned a bronze star for his service. Then he attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he mentored low-income minorities applying to college and went to rebuild homes in New Orleans in his spare time. While at Harvard he came out as gay and was honorably discharged. Now he is running for Congress in California's 10th district to, among other things, repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. He thinks that while we are fighting two wars, the army should not be turning down talented soldiers.

I think whatever happens in his race for Congress, he has a great deal of potential in politics or whatever else he pursues. He's already done more at 28 than many people do in their whole lives. In addition to having that great story that shatters so many stereotypes, he has that conviction and initiative to fight for what he believes in. He's a do'er, and I like that.

There are so many people in the world like Anthony Woods, and that is what restores my faith after reading tragic news like I did today.

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