February 9, 2023

U.S. Rep. Raskin urges students to get included in critical challenges – Harvard Gazette

Talking at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin ’83, HLS ’87, Democrat of Maryland, fielded questions about his authorized and political education and his get the job done on the pick committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. He also built many psychological pitches to the pupils in the audience, urging them to get associated in crucial troubles of the day.

The dialogue, which was moderated by Lauren A. Perl ’25 and Tarina K. Ahuja ’24, kicked off with a problem about Raskin’s early influences. The 3rd-term lawmaker immediately cited his father’s activism towards the Vietnam War. Marcus Raskin, who served briefly in the Kennedy administration, co-authored “A Phone to Resist Illegitimate Authority” in 1967, and a calendar year later on was indicted for “conspiracy to support and abet draft evaders” as a single of a group of defendants, acknowledged as the Boston 5, that provided Benjamin Spock and the mentioned theologian William Sloane Coffin.

“I was 6 decades outdated, and we moved up to Boston for my dad’s trial,” Raskin recalled. “He was experiencing imprisonment for several yrs.”

Vietnam “was an undeclared war,” Raskin included. “Congress had under no circumstances voted for it. We were in violation of the Nuremberg conventions.” His father would be acquitted, and convictions in the case have been eventually overturned.

Turning the target to Raskin’s do the job with the Jan. 6 panel, the moderators requested about the progress and aims of the investigation.

“In democracy, therapeutic arrives from fact,” Raskin answered. Before in the day, talking to The Washington Article, Raskin experienced claimed that the final report would established forth “crimes that have not nevertheless been alleged.” Speaking at the IOP, he prevented specifics. “The Jan. 6 find committee has designed incredible progress towards defining precisely the character of the gatherings on Jan. 6 and the triggers driving them, as effectively as performing on the question of what we will need to do to repair and rebuild and renew so that we are fortified in opposition to long term coups and insurrections and the subversion of American democratic institutions. We’re making development, but we’re naturally in a incredibly polarized issue in the region.”

Warning in opposition to an “authoritarian cult of personality,” he went on to examine the job of social media in spreading misinformation and the great importance of general public schooling in combatting it.

That, for Raskin, introduced the discussion back to the value of young folks, and he connected the tale of Civil Legal rights activist Bob Moses, who served sign up voters in Mississippi commencing in 1960. “He would go from doorway to doorway,” he told the mainly university student viewers. “He explained, ‘We consider in one particular man or woman, one particular vote.’”

A distinct part design came up when Perl questioned Raskin which fictional character or historical figure he most associated to. “Thomas Paine,” he explained, noting that he and his spouse experienced named their late son Tommy just after the author of “Common Sense” (1776) and champion of American independence. Paine “fell in adore with the guarantee of The usa,” Raskin reported. “He explained, America’s going to be an asylum to humanity — a place of refuge for persons fleeing from political and spiritual and financial oppression.”

Later in the conversation, he answered a problem about immigration by returning to Paine. “We need to be an asylum to the environment,” he claimed. “I’ve been a large winner of extending non permanent protecting status to equally Afghan refugees and Ukrainian refugees in typical, but specially persons, for illustration, in the Afghan war who have been our interpreters and bodyguards.

“I don’t imagine individuals are the trouble,” Raskin included. “I assume men and women are the remedy.”

As the celebration wound down, Raskin responded to viewers concerns about wellbeing care by recalling his son’s battle with psychological well being difficulties, which ended in his death by suicide on New Year’s Eve 2020, at age 25. Universal well being care is, like voting legal rights, an significant combat, he stated, imploring students to get associated at equally the neighborhood and nationwide stage.

“My father always utilised to say, ‘When almost everything appears to be like hopeless, you are the hope,’” Raskin concluded. “You fellas are the hope.”