This week has been quite memorable in terms of the news. One minute we seem to be moving forward (electing-reelecting a President who happens to be black) backwards (Supreme Court striking down a major portion of The Voting Rights Act from 1965), forward (Supreme Court ruling on Defense of Marriage Act, allowing same sex adult couples to marry who they choose). I learned as well via my Twitter feed that the President had declined meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for over 700 days (read here); which definitely thought provoking. I’m still perplexed by his signing of the Monsanto Protection Act protecting from lawsuits or any judicial action (read here).
Add historic abortion rights filibuster in Texas by Wendy Davis lasting 11 hours, and subsequent vow by Governor Rick Perry for another session to see the bill through that would close the majority of planned parenthood and abortion clinics in the state – another potential blow for women’s rights, which are under attack. Then you have a Congress, approving the bill to double student loans (read here) – rather they approving to keep the loans low. This act of course will send children and families seeking higher learning in hopes of a better life – into debt. Currently, student loan debt has out-paced credit card debt in this country. The rich get richer, while the rest seem to get challenged more each day. Of course – these elected officials can write a full check for their children to attend universities of their choice. Once again, the poor and middle class are being pushed further into a cycle of debt, simply for wanting to go to college in the first place – when did college education become a privilege? Are everyday working class people and young people being penalized by striving for a better life? Then vilified when nor educated enough? Public schools are closing in urban areas at record numbers, more prisons are being built … “I IS who I Is”, Paula Deen..I never saw any tears just a contorted crying ‘face’ from the snippet I saw of her mea culpa interview. Own your behavior – grow, change and evolve. Create a better work environment – respectful, just and fair. Apples and oranges, however, I’m just as appalled by commercial use of the ‘n’ and other offensive language and behavior in rap music.
It’s going to take me a minute to give my thoughts on Rachael Jeantel in the Zimmerman case, however it did make me think of our responsibility as parents to make certain our children learn to speak clearly (and I can recall the ‘you sound like you have a mouth full of marbles – speak up”) with my own children when they were young; however I grew up with parents who were conscious of diction. Additionally, looking people in the eye and all of that. As a Mom, and not to place myself on a pedestal of parenting, but it is the most important role and job we have as parents; to be teachers and role models. However, I will say that simply because a person doesn’t fit the box of ‘polished’ doesn’t reflect a lack of character, truth – especially with many of today’s youth, many of whom don’t have teachers in life when being raised. Some can’t teach or pass along what they don’t know themselves. I felt for Rachel Jeantel from some of the moments I saw. Admittedly, I was agitated and wanted her to pull it together as well, however Jeantel was authentic – no filter. It also crossed my mind that as a society we don’t need to mock, rather uplift, mentor, reach out – whatever one can do. Watching how she was dissected it almost felt like now there were two black victims in this case. She was a teen girl (and still a teen) on the phone with a friend just before he was murdered as the last person to hear his voice. Being on that witness stand under those circumstances, being picked apart couldn’t have been easy – no matter whose side you’re on. I was agitated with the defense as well for the way in which she was cross examined from what I saw – though understanding they have a job to do as well. I wept when I heard the screams for “help.”