Lydie Raschka’s article on her experience of helping serve dinner to homeless and hungry people at Thanksgiving raises issues that I think about a lot these days. Raschka reflects on her “thinly disguised slumming” and acknowledges that most of the white volunteers serving the black and Hispanic guests would go home and eat gourmet Thanksgiving meals.
It’s an issue for many of us in this wealthy and comfortable nation, with its underclass of the poor, hungry, unemployed and homeless: What exactly is the faithful response, individually and institutionally?
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).