Just Another Death

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Theodore Thomas, 26, was shot multiple times in the chest outside the Unforgettable Lounge in South Jamaica at 3:45 on a Sunday morning.

There were no demonstrations outside the lounge. No member of the City Council came to work in a hoodie and declared, “I’m Theodore.”

Although he once preached in Queens on a regular basis, the Rev. Al Sharpton hasn’t made an appearance to protest this killing.

The sad reality is that because race was not involved — as far as we know — the tragic death of a young man with his whole life in front him was nearly ignored.

But Thomas’ story is also tragic. He had some difficulties and left South Jamaica to begin a new life with his girlfriend in the mountains of Pennsylvania. He had returned to visit his family on the weekend he was killed.

Thomas’ mother admits her son had his problems before he left home two years ago.

“He chose a better life. Before that he was selling drugs,” she said.

Although he hung out with gang members, he wasn’t part of any gang, she said.

What troubles us is the fact that killings in southeast Queens are no longer news. They have come to be expected.

That’s frightening. We long for the day when a killing here is so rare that it makes the evening news.

Yelling the Loudest

At a protest outside the office of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, demonstrators said they were angry about the congressman’s support for the federal mandate that all insurance plans cover the cost of birth control.

Engaging in the hyperbole that has clouded this debate since Day 1, Ray Mooney, of Flushing, said, “A line has been drawn in the sand. What we have seen is the U.S. government say to the Catholic Church, ‘We don’t care.’”

The protestors have done their best to portray the administration as an enemy of the First Amendment.

Not to be outdone, the other side has portrayed the protest as an assault on the rights of women.

Neither is true, nor is it true that the ban on contraception is a “deeply held Catholic belief.” In fact, most Catholic women don’t care what the priests and bishops say about contraception.

It is just as untrue to say that the handful of people standing outside Ackerman’s office don’t care about the health of women.

Posted 5:03 pm, April 4, 2012
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