Monday, April 1, 2013

The "Worm" Does Some World-Shaking

Dennis Rodman, a basketball Hall-of-Famer, paid a visit to Kim Jong Un, leader of the North Korean people, and became the first American to meet and talk with this fledgling leader of a nuclear-armed nation. And while our leaders are busy maligning Un, and thinking of ways to punish his regime, Dennis was breaking bread with the man, and attending a basketball game. He and the 28 year-old Un seemed to genuinely get along.

This has shaken the sensibilities of many Americans, and they have responded with ridicule - calling Dennis "naive"; remarking that the picture of the two men sitting side-by-side is "bizarre." Fared Zakaria, host of CNN's GPS - Global Public Square, however, calls Rodman's meeting with Un "important."

Dennis Rodman has looked into the eyes of one of the most isolated (and feared) leaders on Earth, and smiled. He is seen talking with Un, laughing with Un, and hugging him. If Dennis, by that gesture, opened the smallest window into which we can see Un, then perhaps Un, at that same time, was using that opening to see out.

America derides Un's nuclear ambitions, as though those ambitions make him a bad person. If nukes make Un bad, then a thousand time more nukes must make us awful. Then, they point to Un's prison camps, where 200,000 Koreans languish, and mockingly add:  "I wonder how the families of those prisoners feel about Dennis calling Un 'a good man?'"

Isn't it amazing how we can commiserate with families of Korean prisoners, while ignoring the suffering of the families of our own? Americans languish in prison camps at a rate ten times that of the Koreans. We are the most imprisoned people on Earth. Many American families despair at the ravages brought on by the State's prison industry - with its interminable sentences that wreak havoc on children, grandchildren, and aging parents, alike. Instead of ridiculing Dennis for trying to foster a peace between distant peoples, we should be trying to reconcile our haste to imprison with our zeal for calling ourselves "The Land of the Free."

Last week, Dave Zivin, Sports Editor of The Nation magazine, appeared on ESPN's Outside the Lines. He spoke about Rodman's appearance on the Sunday talk show, This Week with George Stepanopoulos, stating: "I'm glad George asked Dennis about the Korean prison camps. He has set a standard for himself. Now, whenever a member of the president's administration comes on his show, he can ask them about the two million Americans held in America's prisons."

Dennis did not only open a window on Kim Jong Un, he lifted the shades on our "Christian" nation, and revealed a rampant hypocrisy. Perhaps Dennis was childlike in his naivete. But does not the Bible say, "And a child shall lead them."? Or don't we read the Bible anymore.

No comments: