"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Do you sometimes get the feeling that our government is schizophrenic?

The decisions of SCOTUS, as we lazy folk like to abbreviate the highest court in the land, have baffled me a bit this week. Earlier this week, I was somewhat aghast that they labor under the foolish delusion that the states that needed help with setting up fair voting registration and gerrymandering law for all their citizens had learned their lessons in "nearly fifty years." And yet, the US still doesn't allow Japan to have a military force. If they are attacked, the US has to fight their battle. It's been 70 years and we still don't trust them to be able to wield an army without trying to take over the world. Ask the people of color who get followed until some cracker finds a violation they can be charged with if they think the deep south is ready to fairly administer voting rights to them. Hell, I knew somebody I worked with in Milwaukee who got pulled over on the way to work (6 AM). The cop passed him going the opposite direction, did a u-ey and pulled him over for a broken tail light. Hoping to see something juicier in the process, I'm sure, and making my co-worker late for work. He was devastated and felt very embarrassed. I told him he wasn't the one who should feel embarrassed. Driving while black is what this experience is called in Milwaukee, and other places I'm sure. The Trevon Martin case is an extreme example of this bias: privileged groups threatened by the mere presence of a minority. But of course, all the people in charge of voter registration are enlightened folks and would never suppress a vote.

So this was my thought process as we careened toward the DOMA decision: Surely this court will never overturn DOMA. And this morning I was so blasted happy to see chains beginning to fall away. Naturally, there are drawbacks because states that don't extend equal rights to LGBTQ citizens do not have to acknowledge a couple's marriage in a state that does. There are legal conundrums this will cause, but it is surely going in the right direction for mankind's quest to treat all with dignity and respect. I am happy to be able to say the SCOTUS surprised me with its decision. Given what's at stake, I'm glad these two decisions came down as they did. The citizens in places that have not been historically kind to those of color still have the ability to file complaints for voting irregularities. The very essence of eliminating law that screams "you are less than" to all LGBTQ citizens helps restore my faith in humanity. The vulnerable LGBTQ youth no longer have to endure people rationalizing their bigotry and hatred with DOMA. The haters will still be around but they no longer have federal law to hang their hat on. Carry on, Supremes!

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