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‘Antigone’ in Ferguson

  A protest in Ferguson, Mo. Aug. 15 in the aftermath of the police-shooting death of Michael Brown.

A protest in Ferguson, Mo. Aug. 15 in the aftermath of the police-shooting death of Michael Brown.

Seeing the front-page photo in The New York Times of Michael Brown’s body lying in the street  – like so much road-kill – after he was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson filled me with revulsion and anguish.  

In a previous post, I wrote about the desecration of the dead from the Malaysian airline flight that was gunned down and the need to observe the proper rites for the them, not just for the departed but for ourselves as civilized human beings. I also wrote about “Antigone” – a tragedy by Sophocles that’s been reinterpreted by many, including playwright Jean Anouilh – which hinges on the moral consequences of failing to honor the dead.

So I was heartened to see this Aug. 27 letter to The Times’ editor by Jean P. Moore of Greenwich, Conn., who heard echoes of “Antigone” as well. 

Moore wrote in part: “The ‘police’ charged with guarding the body in Anouilh’s version are described as ‘eternally indifferent, for nothing that happens can matter to them.’”

As long as there are people like Moore, however, that indifference will not go unnoticed.

Still, it is not enough.