Ok, now these so-called culture wars are just getting ridiculous! Our lawmakers & at least some of our citizens are SO POLARIZED IT’S EXHAUSTING. At least…
Oh, man. This week was ALL ABOUT racism, sexism, & sexualpreferenceism — and their opposite. But first! Two quotes I’ve pulled from articles published this week that get at the heart of what I’ve been feeling, and maybe you too:
Americans tend to imagine that the racial history of their nation is a steady line sloping upward; in truth, it looks more like an EKG. In that context, it’s unsurprising that a decision hobbling the Voting Rights Act could come in such close proximity to the first Presidential election in which the percentage of eligible voters who went to the polls was higher among blacks than among whites. Peaks in racial progress tend to come in concert with valleys of backlash.
He [Justice Kennedy, in his ruling] is talking about us, our relationships and our children as if we were human beings made in the same image of God with inalienable dignity.
It will one day – perhaps even today – seem banal. And it is. But to get to that banality required a revolution.
So on the one hand, we have these outrageous extremes (e.g. thousands supporting #StandWithWendy in Texas & around the world, fighting for a woman’s unfettered right to make her own choices about her own damn body, thousands working to undermine Wendy’s work because they stand with… life?). And on the other hand, in the midst of celebrating the progress or lamenting the backlash… there’s this creeping feeling of normalness. Because finally getting treated like a citizen with rights despite being black, or gay, or female, god forbid, is amazing but it’s also… ya know, yeah. Duh. We’re all human beings & we live in a country that’s supposed to provide us equal protection ‘cuz of that alone.
But before we can properly finish marveling at the banality we’re swept up in the drama again ‘cuz suddenly: But! But! I know what’s best for you because I’m an old white straight man! And dignity’s under attack once more. Peaks in progress come in concert with valleys of backlash, and every time an old tradition smashes into pieces, those kneeling on the floor desperate to put the pieces back together again vow they will, even sturdier than before.
And they’re kinda scary.
1. Race. Yeaaaaah… that Paula Deen lady. Apparently butter isn’t the only things coursing through her veins, amiright?! But this open letter to her that went viral & this Atlantic article are among the fascinating pieces to point out that she’s sort of beside the point — but she did help to force the point. More frontburner conversations on race emerged when Trayvon Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel, took the stand in his trial this week & inspired both mockery and pride across the web. Easy pot shots at her un-media-trained demeanor (from within the black community & without) gave way to fantastic commentary on what she stands for. (<– an awesome article called “What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jeantel”) And of course, rounding out the trifecta of bigtime race-related stories this week, the aforementioned Supreme Court’s “death knell” for the Voting Rights Act:
2. Gaydom. Here’s Cracked’s “30 second Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You.” Here’s how it affected Jesus:
3. And finally: Women. Who have bodies! I’m goin’ all meme all the time here. Because of this…
Oh, and one other point, if we’re talking reproduction — the wisdom on how late you can wait to have a baby, if that’s the sort of thing you’re freaking out about, just got a huge overhaul!
PHEW. Big week. Now, whether you’re baby-making this weekend or not, go produce some happiness, y’all!
Quote of the Week: