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Thoughts that Fester: Felicity Huffman

Every so often, I write about thoughts that fester in me, the gray area of justice, or right and wrong, or how to evaluate something. Here is what I thought about when I woke in the middle of the night last night after seeing a post about the anniversary of the demise of Felicity Huffman. -cm

It was four years ago that Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine for paying for her daughter’s SAT answers to be changed to raise her score.

I still think about it.

Part of the divide in this country is the belief by the average American that the accountability for entitled behavior by the privileged rich doesn’t at all correspond to the accountability they have to contend with when they break the law. That money renders people immune to punishment.

I believe this righteous reaction, surrounding so many things in this country, is a cornerstone of the growing anger between the haves and the have-nots.

Back to Huffman.

Did Huffman truly understand and accept responsibility for what she did? If so, she wouldn’t she have mentioned those students who deserved the place her daughter was awarded through her bribery. Huffman’s actions, if undiscovered, would have taken away the path to a better life from someone who deserved it and worked hard to earn it. In my opinion, her letter, is an extension of the idea that her lame reason for doing what she did is “understandable.”

On the other hand, if I seek to understand rather than be understood, to give her a year in prison for what is not really a danger to anyone would be about giving a message to the rich, rather than just a sentence to her for her actions. Is it fair to make her the poster child?

Then I think about the woman of color in Ohio. Remember Kelley Williams-Bolar? She was was convicted of using the wrong residence to get her daughters into a better school district in Ohio than underperforming Akron. She was sentenced to 3 years & ordered to pay $30,000 to the school district. Yep three years.

That’s when I am filled with anger about the system and its inequality.

Back to Felicity.

Felicity Huffman is a famous human. Let’s try to remember that her career is over. And wherever she goes for the rest of her life, because of her celebrity, everyone will be reminded of her lack of moral fiber and her belief that the ends justify the means, which they don’t. Is that a life sentence? Should I hope it is?

So, as with many things, it’s more complicated than a simple “She got away with murder” or “The government has wasted way too many resources on this.”


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