Earlier this week, as marchers gathered in St. Louis for another night of protests following the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley on murder charges, Margaret Atwood was in town accepting a literary award. The author of The Handmaid’s Tale and many other works of dystopian fiction said the following:

Countries do not become police states overnight. They get there by steps. One step after another is tolerated and accepted, and soon the bridge between police state and democracy will be crossed, and then that bridge will be burned, and then you can’t go back without an uprising or a war and even that may not work.

So, America, please don’t go there. Please honor your own pledge to the flag — liberty and justice for all. All means all. Justice doesn’t mean merely the administration of laws. The Nuremberg laws were laws. The fugitive slave act was a set of laws. But just and fair laws administered without discrimination. Please don’t settle for less. Live up to your own propaganda.

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