Some days (read: most days) all I can think about is my tiny little world and all my stupid little problems, but my narcissistic and solipsistic proclivities are often just what I need to drive me straight into the heart of social issues like LGBTQ equality and reproductive health/rights. Pity parties get boring quickly, and today is one of those days where some updates about the fight for social justice and equality are just what I needed to pick me up and pull me out of my own egoism. Charlie used to talk about "ego death" often, and I think if I could give him anything with the life he made possible, it would be the gift of my own ego death...which is probably a gift I'll spend my whole life learning how to give. Anyway, digressions...my point is, I just wanted to share some of the interesting news stories I've read this morning with whomever actually still reads this blog anymore, if anyone, or maybe I'm still just talking to myself...whatever.
First, the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to stop abortion protesters from harassing women in what could arguably be one of the most emotionally vulnerable moments of their lives. The Massachusetts law created a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics in which women and other people entering the clinic would be able to escape from the accusatory cries of anti-choice fanatics. I understand SCOTUS was trying to protect free speech, but I was under the impression "hate speech" was not protected under "free speech." Based on the history of violence at abortion clinics, especially in Massachusetts, I do not understand how SCOTUS honestly believed these protesters--excuse me, "petitioners"--simply "sought to have quiet conversations . . . about alternatives."
I find it ironic (read: insulting and disgusting) how SCOTUS can wax on about the unconstitutionality of "blanket bans" while simultaneously blanket banning a law that was made with the sole intent to protect women and doctors as they enter abortion clinics. Okay, maybe I can't get away with claiming some sort of solely pure intent for any type of legislation, but still, my point remains that SCOTUS proudly and unanimously struck down a law that protects women, reproductive health, and the freedom of choice. I am not so blind as to not see the point the majority opinion makes about the importance of protecting free speech, but without free choice, I do not see how free speech can truly exist. I lament the fact that the Constitution does not explicitly protect our right to be left alone or establish a right for freedom from harassment, but I suppose our entire government would be unconstitutional if that were the case.
I lived in Boston for five years, and I know I will not stand alone in saying Boston fanatics can be fucking psycho. Look at what happens when the Red Sox win--riots everywhere...people injured...property destroyed...and that's a celebration! Can we all take a second and consider how violent these same people have the capability of becoming when they are actually angry about something? It's all good and well to protect Constitutional rights. Of course that's important. Possibly the only pride I have as an American rests in upholding the Constitution, but I also do not think we can read the Constitution out of the context of reality. The Constitution does not exist in some sort of bubble, free from actual, human experience. (Interestingly enough, I have made the same argument about the Bible many times, but that's for another day.) I don't think I'm jumping to conclusions when I assume the Constitution was written to apply to American citizens in the real world, so instead of sitting around debating semantics, maybe it's time our judicial system stepped into reality and decided a law's constitutionality or lack thereof based on how it actually, as opposed to theoretically, affects people.
Okay, and I really thought my rant was finished until I just went to the bathroom and had another thought: I have been watching "The Newsroom" a lot lately, and in a recent episode I saw, someone accused the lead anchor of only calling himself a Republican in order to gain enough credibility to criticize the Republican party without sounding like just another bitter liberal. I thought that seemed like an incredibly frustrating possibility--someone parading around claiming to be of your political ideologies all the while criticizing everything about your political ideologies. And I guess, without making any clear accusations because how could I ever actually know, I'd like to point out the frustration I've experienced in the media's emphasis on the fact that even the "liberal" Supreme Court justices joined in this majority opinion. As much as we have seem to forgotten this, political labels do not exist independent of actions. I can call myself a conservative until I'm blue in the face, but if I'm fighting for same-sex marriage and reproductive freedom while calling myself a conservative, that word means nothing. Or, to quote Shakespeare, "that which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as [bigoted]."
Eek, I started this blog post with the intent to briefly comment on a bunch of different articles. Instead I ranted about one for far too long, so here are some links to other articles of current interest for your reading pleasure:
GOP Sen. Susan Collins supports same-sex marriage
One year later, Kaplan reflects on victory against DOMA
Four same-sex couples join Puerto Rico marriage lawsuit
Susan Rice reaffirms U.S. commitment to LGBT rights abroad (although a splinter v. plank in the eye metaphor comes to mind)
And in case you're still there, here's a song that has come to mind:
Meet Me In the Morning
2 years ago