Balancing Justice and Mercy

Details of the January 6 assault on the US Capitol continue to emerge as more arrests take place. The Capitol police should have been better prepared with all the advance notice of the planned armed rally. They should have sought reinforcements earlier. The DC government should have had the power to rouse its own National Guard. No officer should have aided the invaders. One of them should not have had to die defending lawmakers.

Today we are left the realities of a president in office who has committed treason and incited a riot on Congress. Can he be impeached again? Will Pence have the courage to invoke the 25th amendment? Or should attention be turned to affirming Biden’s cabinet appointments, inaugurating him in 10 days? Stemming the Covid-19 pandemic that claimed over 4000 lives in just one day that saw over 300,000 new cases reported on that same day?

My heart flips between calming my heart and hearing the voice of reason saying, “He must be stopped!” Two beings guard many Buddhist temples, one loving and compassionate, the other a Niō who defends the Buddha from harm.


Perhaps we need some of the Nio’s energy at this moment to balance a certain naïveté in our hope for a peaceful transition of power in these last days of white supremacy’s stand against the wave of multiracial, multicultural, antiracist energy enveloping our country in reaction to the injustice of three days ago.

Yet, as I edit my chapter on “Just Mercy” in Awake to Racism this morning, I reread this powerful statement:
“The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent – strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration.” ( Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2014),294.

It reinforces my deep-seated belief that LOVE trumps Hate. Never as quickly as we wish.

Congratulations to all my fellow authors! What a joy to celebrate with you yesterday at our “Commencement,” the beginning of our next book!

Published by Joann

This might be a second "profile," not sure what happened to my 2010 profile??

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