TRANSFORMATIVE PLAYS FOR TRANSFORMATIVE TIMES IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
Justice and Liberty convey a message of pride in the founding of and ever prevailing strength of our democracy!
FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS ARE CRITICAL IN A DEMOCRACY!
Justice and Liberty are the first of two plays in a trilogy following the struggles and triumphs of Judge Grace Porter. They shine a spotlight on current court cases focusing on various issues that lend themselves to trials where amendments from The Bill of Rights can be argued as both applicable and inapplicable protection from the charges being faced, as witnessed by our founding fathers through a one-way window in the courtroom. Based on over twenty years of research, both Justice and Liberty are factually based and historically accurate with a couple of minor deviations to heighten the suspense.
Justice, the first title in the series, focuses on First Amendment protections/abuses across two trials. The first being the “J20” trials, resulting from the brazen and actual arrests of over 200 innocent protesters at the Inauguration Day festivities for Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017. It seems many Americans remain unaware that these arrests and trial ever occurred. The second trial is loosely based around the tragedies that occurred at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally on August 11-12, 2017.
Our founder’s accomplishments and their decisions regarding the eventual phasing out of slavery need to be viewed upon and judged contextually, as they occurred back in the late 1700’s versus through a contemporary 21st century lens. While I couldn’t rewrite history, what I could do, was clearly elaborate a passionate, deliberative, contemporary sentencing by Judge Grace Porter, where she passionately condemns systemic racism, religious intolerance, and terrorism, ending with a resounding cry for patriotism and a reminder of the great freedoms we all enjoy as Americans.
Slavery was, is, and will always be our original sin. Our framers themselves referred to slavery as, “their odious bargain with sin.” The southern states were already threatening succession if any mention of abolishing slavery was included in either the Constitution or The Bill of Rights, so they incorporated Article 1, Section 9, into the Constitution which barred Congress from banning the importation of slaves before 1808, with all intentions that the next generation would carry through on the gradual phasing out of slavery, which meanwhile, would allow our nascent union to gain strength and start to realize a financial recovery from the aftermath of the revolutionary war. Unfortunately, this was a flawed assumption.
The only thing that would end slavery was violence. The Civil War was the devastating culmination of decades of systemic racism and prevailing white privilege that was pervasive of that era and was just a precursor to the following decades of hypocrisy and Jim Crow laws that erased the reality of equality, until the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s and there is still so much to be accomplished.
Liberty, the second title in the series, shines a spotlight on Second Amendment abuses/protections in a hypothetical trial of the President of the NRA, resulting from a mass shooting at a progun rally. Our founders fully recognized the necessity of our founding documents to be viewed as, “living documents,” stating that, “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” Sensible gun control legislation does not equate to denying citizens of their Second Amendment rights. Compromise can be reached to pass largely favored gun control measures to help ensure the safety of our people and to once more restore domestic tranquility to our country, inherently guaranteed by our Constitution and The Bill of Rights.
As Americans, we wouldn’t have our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, or the ability to peaceably gather and march in the streets without the contributions of our founders. We wouldn’t have had the foundation to survive and live in The Unites States of America, the oldest enduring republic in world history. We remain a country of great freedoms and for that, our founding fathers deserve some credit.
In this current time of political polarization, I believe that the message of both Justice and Liberty will resonate with readers and that they will be viewed as a thought provoking and sometimes humorous portrayals of the founding of our country, through the unique lens of our current legal system, offering a unique and timely reminder of what it means to be an American. Justice and Liberty convey a palpable sense of hope, that one strong and righteous mind can make the difference in changing our course of events, versus perpetuating the status quo.
Our “experiment” with democracy continues and its perpetuity is not a given! The Foreword section of Justice ends by stating, “Democracy wasn’t a yes or no question back in the days of our founding and it isn’t a yes or no answer today…. Democracy requires debate and disagreement and ultimately, compromise.”