Thursday, April 03, 2008

justice department lawyer dismissed because she's gay

i listened to this NPR story about leslie hagen, a lawyer with the justice department who routinely performed outstanding work, was widely lauded by her colleagues, and was ultimately sacked for dubious reasons. anyway, it has recently come out that the likely reason for her removal was a rumor that reached her superiors: hagen is a lesbian.

what! what grounds is that!

this story made me angry in a way i wasn't when katrina happened. i just felt much more emotional. i think there's two reasons for this: first, it's much easier to get emotionally caught up in a single story, rather than the plight of untold numbers. this seems to be a a quirk with our minds that doesn't let us emotionally scale up with the numbers, at least not easily. in fact, without a face on the tragedy, we lose interest.

but it's not just that. there's something about an individual injustice where the individual really appears alone. in addition, while discrimination based on sexual orientation happens every day in this country, this was a somewhat unique confluence of discrimination, our federal government setting a very bad example, and an invasion of a private space.

first i wanted to hurt george bush. then i wanted someone to ask him point blank how he'd approach this situation -- but what would i expect to get from this line of questioning?

oh my blood is just boiling, i need to infuse it with some tea leaves, calming leaves, maybe lavender.

1 comment:

neha said...

i have to admit i'm surprised by the intensity of your response! I feel the worst when it's children, or kids in high school. They're less able to help themselves, and more likely to suffer at the hands of parents who don't understand, and with fewer rights.

It's times like these that I am very happy the ACLU exists: You should donate, or get involved!