August 2014 Archives

Two men died this week after long and eventful lives.  B.K.S. Iyengar, 95, helped introduce yoga to the Western world.  I photographed him conducting a seminar for Detroit area followers in the 90s.

Retired Detroit Cardinal Edmund Szoka, 86, led the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit in the 1980s, where I photographed him regularly in my work for the Michigan Catholic newspaper, including his elevation to a Cardinal in Rome.  After his tenure in Detroit he moved to the Vatican in 1990 and served Pope Paul II as head of economic affairs.


pope_0888_0166.jpgCardinal Szoka follows Pope Paul II as he greets parishioners in Rome

What a great country this is.  For me, anyway.  I'm a fairly typical middle aged white guy, and it's amazing how I'm given wholly unearned respect, even deference, by authority figures of all kinds. Doesn't matter how I look; unshaven, ragged pants, slouched.  People go out of their way to be pleasant with me. "Have a nice day sir".

 But take the guy right next to me.  A black man. What he gets is wholly unearned suspicion, incivility, even derision. And that disrespect heightens as the clothing coarsens. Neither one of us deserves what we get based on a first look. Neither one of us earned it. 

What a great country it will be when a man is treated with respect as the default position; every man, every time.  Young or old. Renowned or undistinguished. We've got our work cut out for us.

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