It’s easy to follow the outrage or the decision in a certain way, without digging into the facts. Maybe it’s a social media trend, a need for strong public declarations one way or the other. There has become an inherent need to take sides and it’s very clear on the political aisle.
During the Puerto Rican Day parade, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito donned a shirt that said “Free Oscar Lopez Rivera now.”
Just a few days prior to her public appearance in the shirt, the City Council passed a resolution urging President Barack Obama to grant clemency to Lopez, a convicted terrorist from the 1970s.
It seems like one of those throwaway resolutions, very quietly passed by a significant majority. Like one to name a day after a life-long community volunteer or to endorse a health awareness month. This one had an impact though.
The resolution, which was astoundingly approved by 41 of the 51 members of the City Council calls for the release of López Rivera, but fails to mention much about his background and the reason for his arrest.
Lopez Rivera was arrested after he conspired to transport explosives as one of the leaders of a Puerto Rican paramilitary organization. The organization was deemed responsible for the deaths of six individuals.
It seems like a resolution without discussion, without adding the nuanced historical context. Right or wrong, whether one agrees with a need for violence for political gain, it just seems like this was pushed through.
It’s a highlight of that inane need to take a strong stance on all things political. To wear your politics on your sleeve and be the loudest voice in the room. It’s bred online, with Facebook status updates and posts on Twitter. Now it’s moved to the City Council, where in following along behind the speaker, it seems like a safe easy throwaway resolution was passed. But that’s not the case, this is a lot more nuanced than that.