Every day, the news challenges us to work out whose story we believe and why. And that act may require more of us than we find convenient. Rev. Floyd Thompkins has this Perspective.
In the past weeks we have experienced two astonishing arrests. First, there was Christopher Paul Hanson, a coast guard lieutenant who worked at the national office of the coast guard located in Washington D.C. He was arrested and accused of being a white nationalist with plans to overthrow the very government for which he worked. Then Jussie Smollett was arrested and charged with filing a false police report that drew upon the most egregious aspects of racism and homophobia for which he was the very symbol of progress.
Both men are apart of the hero class of the American mythology of the left and right. Because of such mythologies the right has a hard time believing in the possibilities that law enforcement officers can engage in blind racist acts. Likewise, the left immediately assumes that every testimony of every victim is always true. For the left and the right these arrest challenge our assumptions.
In Jussie Smollett and Christopher Paul Hanson we are reminded about the complexity of human beings. What we see is not the total story. What we know about someone is not enough to canonize or castigate them. Everyone will need grace. Everyone will require truthful correction. No one is immune to the odd mixture of surprising intelligence and breathtaking stupidity that make up our humanity.
Whether these men will ultimately be proven to be guilty or innocent, the very discovery of their possible human foibles should give us all pause to contemplate what we are all capable of doing - both good and bad.