What’s legal isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always legal

Source: McConnell, Trump, Ryan; Source: Jared Kushner

The moral high ground is the slipperiest slope that people of all political persuasions dare to climb, but from where I stand as a Black person, I cannot accept the dirty rationales shoveled by the Republicans for their politics and their leaders.

Recently, the New York Times further exposed an already naked and unashamed Trump family for their longtime tax fraud and what did we hear?

It was legal.

Similarly, the New York Times revealed Jared Kushner hasn’t paid federal income taxes in years — despite being worth over 300 million dollars — and we heard the same line — it’s legal.

This moment, Republicans are wrongly working to rig elections by erasing and suppressing as many Black and brown ballots as possible. Meanwhile, their pitiful pundits punt and say — it’s legal.

And because of the lowest resolution quality, the world saw distressing pictures of caged families at the border that grossly enlarged another sharp display of inhumanity in the Trump administration.

Faced with a handmade horror that snatched and separated screaming families — with visual and audio proof — the Republicans said the families were illegal; they said the administration’s actions were legal, and they even quoted the Bible.

It was all wrong and disgusting. A “right” can be all wrong. A legality does not always establish morality.

These are basic truths that marginalized people know well.

History tells us slavery was legal, Jim Crow was legal, and withholding the ability to vote was legal.

Even while those atrocities were legal, people opposed the laws that weren’t right. Too often, an injustice is in “justice.”

To shrug a shoulder with sentences about legalities is the laziest laissez-faire because passing unethical laws does not make for a more perfect union.

And so, I must heap a sizzling shame where it smokes and sticks.

As public officials, it’s plainly wrong for Trump and Kushner to pay no taxes and then bemoan the bloated federal budgets while saying we have no money for the entitlements of a rich nation.

In the court of public opinion and political pressure, I don’t accept that the laws make it right.

It’s obvious that lies have always been the basis for many laws.

Here’s what I see — people who default to the law when confronted with their improprieties do so because they are liars. They lie about the justifications for the laws and their practices.

Our history and the facts show us the lies. Black inferiority was a lie. The law that justified “Separate but Equal” was a lie.

With reproductive rights, it was a lie that women shouldn’t have the power to decide.

For the queer community, it was a lie that same-sex marriage would wreck other marriages, and that openly queer and trans soldiers would ruin the ranks.

With economics, trickle-down economics was a lie. Tax breaks for the wealthiest isn’t an automatic help for the neediest.

We also have lies standing in the way of laws that could help and heal.

It is a lie to say this country can’t fund Medicare for all. It is a lie to say we can’t do more to control guns. It is a lie to say climate change isn’t real.

Those action-stopping lies, and the laws justified by lies, aren’t right at all.

The country and lawmakers must ask whether the laws are right.

With laws, it’s simple. I want fairness, and fairness includes honesty. If a law isn’t fair, it must change.

And politicians know this; they know laws can and should change. These same Republicans hiding behind these laws are the same ones flaring with an itch to change the laws that don’t make them richer with the legal ability to oppress.

I see how laws can help the unethical avoid jail, but I also know unethical laws can create hells. I’m trying to get out of hell without paying a costly bail.

So, in this case, the legal defense of Trump, Kushner, and the GOP is the foulest bullshit. I know who dealt this; that’s why I say they aren’t exempt, and I hold them in contempt.

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