"America is a nation of laws."

They've all said it: Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Obama. And it sure sounds good!


But what does that mean?

As MSNBC's Chris Hayes points out, lots of countries have laws. That doesn't necessarily mean that you or I (or our presidents!) would describe them as free, democratic, just, or even fair.

There's the "rule of law."

And then there's equal justice under the law.

Meaning that all people can expect the rules to be applied to them in the same way as their fellow citizens. The same way ... regardless of their skin color or ethnicity, gender, how much money they have, who they're related to, what religion they practice, who they vote for — or who they criticize.

Does America have both?

When the people who crashed the economy walk free but millions serve jail time for low-level offenses, it starts to feel like maybe we don't. When black Americans and white Americans have vastly different experiences of being victimized instead of protected by police, it seems like maybe the law isn't being applied equally.

In this passionate, short segment, Chris Hayes explains why he's beginning to doubt that America can still claim one of its most admired, cherished, and beautiful ideals: that we're one nation, with equal justice for all.

Maybe only for the powerful.

via The Ohio Department of Health

UPDATE: Back in April, Ohio was leading the way of conservative leaning U.S. states in its response to the coronavirus. Part of that effort manifested in this simply brilliant PSA that showed how social distancing saves lives. The imagery of ping pong balls and mouse traps captured the "dilemma" perfectly: Would you want into a deadly trap when you could easily sidestep it? Of course not. So, why would you put your life and the lives of others at risk by something as callous as failing to respect basic social distancing guidelines?

Unfortunately, the number of new Covid-19 cases has been spiking across the country. In order to help give the public a reminder of just how deadly this disease is, and frankly, how easy it is for most people to practice social distancing, the PSA has been once again making the rounds. It's sad that we're all having to share this message again. But if it saves lives, the work must be done.

The original story begins below:

When it comes to shaping public opinion hard-hitting visual examples can be a lot more persuasive than words and statistics. The Ohio Department of Health created a visually dazzling public service announcement using ping-pong balls and mousetraps to explain how social distancing works.

This PSA is just another example of how Ohio is getting things right during the pandemic. As of April 9, the state has about 5,100 infections, fewer than a third of the cases in similarly sized Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.


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