What will they think in the future when they read about occurences like this? A woman arrested for defrauding a Connecticut school district out of an education. Homeless and lying about her address* she was charged with theft in the godforsaken sum of 15,686 dollars**, even though her only valuable items are a Plymouth Voyager worth about 2,000 dollars and her child.
There are useful conversations to be had about the McKinney-Vento Act, about shifty definitions of residence and ownership, about the criminalization of poverty. Those conversations aren’t likely to happen here, though, because I’m distracted by Bema’s first question: what will people in the future think of this nonsense?
They won’t. History doesn’t keep track of the Tonya McDowells.
Jesus asked us to remember him when we break bread and drink wine. Otherwise, who would remember some poor man who was crucified for claiming to be Caesar? History doesn’t keep track of people crushed under the wheels of progress. History isn’t the story of people whose children were taken away; it’s the story of people who don’t have to tell you that they did the taking.
What will we do in remembrance of Tonya McDowell? If a “Tonya McDowell” meme makes it far enough along in progressive circles, there will be a candlelight vigil outside the courthouse. A year after she’s convicted, there will be a hot topic profile piece reminding readers of the injustice done in Norwalk so that the readers of that piece can feel superior for having remembered who she is. Five years later, Bob Herbert will write about her, and he’ll have to explain the case in great detail because almost his entire readership will have forgotten.