Leonard Pitts’ commentary in the Dec.10 Sentinel, “Not ‘cruel and unusual’ to execute someone?” ended by suggesting that “what’s ‘cruel and unusual,’ is us.” Well stated. Some say we Americans , indeed most humans, value human life. Do we really?
If we did value life in America, would we take the life of our fellows by 400,000 annually in hospitals by mistakes and poor hygiene when simple diligence could prevent such? Thirty-three thousand perish by crashing into one another in traffic when we could design roads and vehicles that could make crashes practically obsolete. Would we not instantly recall faulty products? Would we run red lights?
Would we not remove onerous financial roadblocks that deny health care to others?
Would we fail to lead the charge for research to eradicate suffering by our lack of aggressive leadership in stem-cell research?
Worldwide, would we still murder other human beings simply because the other progeny have different religious or other beliefs?
Would we have dictators killing fellow citizens? Would we not eradicate the need for refugee camps? Would we artificially prolong life after it no longer has human quality? Would we insist on prosecuting a so-called war on drugs with its attendant gang activity and imposing harsh penalties just because some people want to exercise personal freedoms? Would we value mere existence or a better quality of human existence by our demonstrated efforts to improve life, not just in the United States, but also on the entire globe? Would we sanction the destruction of life by the state via execution as revenge for taking the lives of others? If we thought human life sanctified, would we spend trillions of dollars prosecuting dubious wars against our fellows? Would we be so uncaring about the other life that inhabits this planet, the animals and the plants? Those have life, too. Some say we Americans, indeed most humans, value human life. Do we really? We have so many examples and illustrations that say otherwise. In every lifestyle and in every community, we kill and devalue life at an alarming rate.
Choice Edwards lives in Clermont.