MD Lt. Gov. Rutherford Under Fire for Remarks about Hate Speech

Baltimore Sun, December 2, 2016:

Amid an uptick in hate speech following the divisive presidential election, Republican Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford said this week that he’d rather people “show their real colors than hide.”

Rutherford was tweeting in response to state Sen. Cheryl Kagan, a Montgomery County Democrat, who had tweeted that she was “shocked” by Rutherford’s lack of awareness about the root of recent anti-Semitic vandalism.

“You act as though hate is new,” Rutherford tweeted at the state senator. “It was always there. I’d rather people show their real colors than hide.”

The article goes on to discuss how Sen. Kagan characterized the Jewish community in and near her Montgomery County district as “mystified” by Lt. Gov. Rutherford’s remarks.

The divergence in perspective between the Lieutenant Governor, who is African-American, and Senator Cheryl Kagan, long a community pillar in greater Washington’s Jewish community both in office and out of office over the decades, should surprise no one.

It is quite common (though not universal) for African-Americans to prefer sunlight and openness regarding racism and for American Jews (and perhaps Jewish citizens of other nations) to find the same sunlight and openness more alarming.  More social commentators have noted this.  I will defer to others more learned than I as to the possible sociological and historical sources of this frequent divergence in response/coping strategy.

As for me, neither Jewish nor African-American and lacking actual chips on the table in dealing with either problem, I would hesitate to comment, other than to hope that our society improves such that racism and anti-Semitism are in the history books and not in the newspapers.  Doubt I will live that long.

Arrest in Murder of Reisterstown Property Manager Melinda Schaefer

Baltimore Sun, August 21, 2013:

Rashaan M. Williams, 27, of the Milford Mill area, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Melinda Schaefer, 29. Schaefer was stabbed in the head and upper body and she was found face down in a pool of blood by a janitor in the morning of June 14, police have said. Signs of a struggle in the Townes at Harvestview leasing office were apparent, police said, with Schaefer’s chair overturned and a desk pushed across the room.

A Rashaan M. Williams fitting the age of the murder defendant in this case has an open charge of driving while suspended in Baltimore County now with an October trial date. A person of the same name also has a marijuana stet from Howard County from 5 years ago, and a hit-and-run and driving while impaired PBJ from 2011 in Baltimore County.  I suspect strongly that they are the same person, but cannot confirm that fact.

The apartment complex is perhaps a 15 minute walk from this law office, less than a mile, just on the other side of Franklin Middle School down Main Street in Reisterstown.

Sun Article on Breastfeeding in Maryland

Dana Silver, M.D. in the Baltimore Sun, August 20, 2013:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and breast-feeding for at least a year or longer as long as mutually desired by mother and baby. The AAP also states: “The decision to breastfeed is … a basic and critical health decision regarding infant welfare.”

Despite the tremendous progress we have seen in Maryland and across the country, some still feel that breastfeeding in public is somehow “indecent.” Maryland law states: “A mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location in which the mother and child are authorized to be. A person may not restrict or limit the right of a mother to breastfeed her child.” All 50 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.

The code section to which Dr. Silver referred is section 20-801 of the Health-General article of the Code.

My general inclination towards legal micromanagement of commercial life is one of skepticism. But the compelling equities of feeding an infant, the health benefits to that child and the ability of nursing mothers to travel without having to pre-express, bottle, refrigerate and schlepp the nutrition for their infants trump the “weirded-out” feelings of an immature few who never got equally weirded out at the existence of much more revealing Ocean City (or Harborplace) beachwear. In my view, it’s the equivalent of allowing a “trespass” on private property for grounds of common-law necessity. Regardless of what I think, it’s the law in this State.