Art and writing play a critical role in how we perceive the questions of our time. The authors, poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, printmakers, filmmakers, actors, songwriters, musicians, choreographers, dancers, and other artists, performers, and writers may or may not present the best answers, but they weave together the collective thoughts, passions, fears and joys, the terrifying and beautiful dreams of our people and our world. When considering deeply the meaning of justice, it is important to look at culture contributions as well as policy, research, law, and life experiences. The messages of our creatives can be critical, can be visionary, can be redemptive. These messages can each perform a role in our transformation, our next stage in growth.
Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, January 9th. Her crime seems to me to echo the extreme brutality she endured throughout her own life. She experienced rape more times than can be counted, including gang rapes by her stepfather’s friends, sodomy, and being sold for sex with people such as the plumber and electrician by her mother when work was needed in their home. Her stepfather built a special room where she could be raped more often and more easily. She was smothered to silence her screaming, she suffered a concussion, was beaten with cords, and urinated on. Her mother put a gun to her head. She would also duct tape her daughter’s mouth shut as punishment, and Lisa was required to be naked and silent among her parent’s friends. As a young adult, she was forced into a marriage by her mother where she continued to… Continue reading