MEET LINDA KENNEY BADEN
Not many of us get portrayed in a movie by an Academy Award-winning actress.
So, how exactly shall I introduce Linda Kenney Baden, other than to say even though Helen Mirren won a Screen Actor’s Guild award for her spot-on likeness of the famed New York City criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, the far more interesting drama has been played out in the real-life experiences of Kenney Baden, for all her personal and professional accomplishments.
Here’s what conservatives once defended.
The super rich have never had it so good. At least not since the late 19th Century, a reprehensible period in American history known as the Guilded Age when wealthy robber barons in mansions and plantations treated the working class like farm animals, and government did next to nothing to help common people. In other words, unbridled capitalism and conservatism at its unapologetic worst.
It took the mass collectivization of workers and the formation of labor unions to mobilize enough power and pressure to achieve an unprecedented series of bold landmark legislative victories, several of which were enacted by President Theodore Roosevelt, the last true Republican progressive to embrace the working class. By today’s standards, “TR” would be Bernie Sanders. The 40-hour work week, mandatory overtime pay, the elimination of child labor, food and drug standards, workplace safety, and the right to unionize and bargain for fair wages and benefits without reprisals were but a few of the monumental triumphs that would never have come about without labor union activism and progressive politics.
Yesterday, something unusual happened at the crossroads of Flamingo and Fort Apache, in Las Vegas.
There’s a Home Depot on the southwest corner of that busy intersection. On most mornings and afternoons, for-hire Latinos hang out in front of the store, hoping for a few hours work. If someone drives by, they often wave and hope to the catch the eye of a homeowner in need of labor. Presumably, most if not all of these workers are undocumented. In other words, they’re illegal aliens.
What was most unusual on this otherwise magnificent Saturday afternoon was the appearance of three police cars in the parking lot, blue and red lights flashing, as the illegal aliens were being rounded up. I’d never seen that before. I’ve shopped at that Home Depot perhaps 50 times in ten years and have never once witnessed any kind of disruption, nor problems of any kind. I’m not sure why those illegals on this day were suddenly being arrested. Sure, they were probably here in this country illegally. But the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department certainly has better things to do with their time and resources than chase lots of poor people across the border back to Mexico. Besides, isn’t that the job of of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service?
In 1963, an elected public official named George Wallace openly defies federal law, denying equality.
Justice over bigotry shall ultimately prevail in Kentucky.
But let us not forget the disgraced bigot who openly stood in defiance, blocking a public doorway, thwarting the U.S. Constitution, and obstructing the basic freedoms of others. Moreover, let us remember all those repugnant voices who joined in on the spectacle and openly defended such bigotry under the false pretenses of “religious freedom” and “states rights.”
Presumably the land of liberty and equality, America has witnessed this shameful moment before.
And it revealed an immoral ugliness that even its most ardent protagonist later went to great lengths to apologize for, trying their best to make amends for clearly being on the wrong side of history.
You’ve got to hand it to conservatives.
The so-called advocates of “law and order” have become champions of unlawful disorder.
A Kentucky woman named Kim Davis, a self-described “Christian,” opposes marriage between same-sex couples. Fair enough. As a free citizen, she’s got that right (to protest). In fact, any liberal on the other side of the issue (myself included) would defend her individual rights as a citizen to the fullest to speak out on behalf of her beliefs, no matter how wrong we think they are.