Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why I should stop watching the news

So many things have me shaking my head this week. Thoughts on a few of them:

Paula Deen should not have her life destroyed over something she said decades ago. When you look at the facts and circumstances of things, it looks like 1) Her admission of using the "n-word" years ago came in a deposition given in a harassment suit brought by a white ex-employee of one of her restaurants (the only reason I can think of for her to be asked this question is to go to showing a pattern of harassment and denigration of her employees, as the plaintiff is white), 2) She used the word in a private conversation with her husband, describing a robbery at the bank at which she worked, during which a gun was held to her head. As Paula said, "I didn't feel real favorable to him."

Are we incapable of extending grace? Since when has the standard for judging someone innocent of racism perfection? Are we not allowed to make stupid slips of the tongue, even under duress?

The SCOTUS handed down some disappointing opinions this week, which certainly seem more politically motivated than based in law. I may be a bit fuzzy on how things work, but it certainly seems to me that the Justice Department saying outright they would not defend DOMA was the beginning of the end for the Act. Isn't Justice tasked with making sure the laws of the land are upheld? Since when do they get to decide they don't like a given law, and therefore do not have to work to maintain it?

Over on Twitter, someone was praising the opinion, using the hashtag "#lovewins". I had to laugh - Love Wins is the title of Rob Bell's heretical book from a couple of years ago claiming that there is no hell, no punishment for sin, that God is love and love only. There's some irony for you.

It's weeks like this that make me glad to know my true citizenship isn't here, but in heaven.


melissa said...

Totally with ya, girlfriend. And just now I got on Facebook (which I dislike, but stay on for the kids) to catch up on the neighborhood groups around here and they always make me so angry. It's like I live around a buncha rednecks. Don't get me started. Such talk.

Anyway, the news is getting my goat just now and need to decompress before I turn off this laptop. Infuriating!!!

Francesca Watson said...

If Robert Byrd can remain a Senator for decades after recruiting more than 100 people into a KKK chapter, how is it possible that Mrs. Deen can have her career ruined over things she said in private conversation decades ago? I'm so sad for her - we've all said and done things we aren't proud of in our lives, and this hardly seems to rise to the level of career-ending.

I wasn't surprised by the DOMA decision - it's actually a "win" for states-right supporters, since what the justices said boils down to affirming the right of each state to make this decision for themselves without fear that the feds will override them. It was recognition of state sovereignty, which I support, even though I don't personally care for the consequence of that decision in this instance. I have a much harder time with the Prop 8 decision, which affirmed the State of California's "right" to override a successful referendum just because they didn't like the outcome. The government is accountable to the people, not the other way around, and this decision essentially says that voters have no standing to challenge their government when it oversteps its authority. That is far more troubling to me.