The participants in the Golden Globe awards were very self congratulatory. They had cause to be proud of themselves. For the first time Asian Americans in films that don’t require them to be Charlie Chan or Bruce Lee. Openly gay people mingled with everyone because the days when everyone assumed all gay people had AIDS and we’re dangerously contagious are waning. It is normal for people to want more and more of a good thing. When this natural tendency goes off the rails addictions result. But the natural desire for more goodness is crucial to human progress. I have come up with the term “Legal Status Diversity” to name the phenomenon of allowing known ex convicts to be a part of society. Why contemplate including people best left on the sidelines? Because the real truth is that the underbelly of society is all around us. We have an addiction epidemic. This means we also have an incarceration epidemic bc the U.S. criminalizes drug use.
Addiction epidemic= incarceration epidemic=
sex worker epidemic=theft epidemic. And so on.
I am virtually certain that everyone knows someone who is touched by the criminal justice system and/or by addiction. As the consequences of these addictions unfold it will be impossible to avoid “those” people–ex-cons, hookers, i.v. drug users, people with AIDS and Hep C. “Those” people will be “our” people And when it is discovered that our society is stagnating bc the population shut out of normal life is so large. Excluding ex cons from society by denying, for example, the right to vote or obtain professional licenses, is going to create a huge underclass who will have few choices to be self supporting other than a return to crime. Include us before our exclusion starts to matter to people who matter.
Maybe one day the stories from my blog will be made into a movie, starring Halle Berry as the lead. Perhaps I will be a presenter at the Golden Globes. Or a winner for best screen play. Now that’s Legal Status Diversity.