Wow, was yesterday ever a great day to be sitting at your laptop, working on determining the next step in your career, while watching news on TV. And I should know because that's exactly what I did!
The day started off with the Paula Deen apology/explanation on the "Today" show. Whether she uttered the N-word 30 years ago doesn't really matter to me. What does bring me cause for concern is commentary about "plantation weddings" and "dressing them up in suits" or whatever other ignorant comments she made. Regardless, I'm not a patron of her products, nor do I care about her commercial success or failure, so, Paula honey, you are on your own there.
Getting approximately 1/10 the notice of Paula Deen (or any other story of the day, for that matter) was the news from South Africa that Nelson Mandela is dying. But since South Africa is several hours ahead of us, this story was getting coverage in the morning programs. Only one of the greatest political and social figures of the 20th Century,possibly of history, is getting ready to leave us. No big whoops here in the States.
Especially because we got bigger fish to fry. George Zimmerman's on trial for shooting Trayvon Martin, so let's go with that, all day. As the months have gone by after the Martin shooting, it has become clear to me that this is a more complex situation than what a lot of us first believed. There is still a racial side to this, but it also has to be balanced with the concept of local vigilantism (having a chill run up my spine remembering a proposed neighborhood watch program in Oakland Mills about 10 years ago) and the life of people who live in the lower socioeconomic levels of society. A life full of fear, suspicion, disrespect, and anger. A life that I think affected the choices of both George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin that night.
And on the note of socioeconomic status and poor choices, Wednesday also brought us the arrest and arraignment of New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested and charged with murder and various handgun offenses surrounding the murder of the man who was dating his fiance's sister. This man deserves his day, but wow-- the evidence right now doesn't look good.
So when all the news looks like it's one of those days where you just want to shake your head and your fist, we get a story of hope. And the Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality yesterday provided that. Yes, there are many hurdles to be cleared before the right of all loving couples to marry is the law from sea to shining sea. But these rulings provided tangible progress to indicate that this thing may one day be possible. Probably not in five years, as attorney David Boies suggested yesterday, but within my lifetime? Very possibly. and that's something I never thought possible five years ago.
It was certainly a very busy day yesterday. Historic in any way? Not sure; time will certainly tell. The Supreme Court rulings could very well present a benchmark. But certainly a day of significance and where our media culture was at their worst (Deen, Martin/Zimmerman), best (Supreme Court, Hernandez) and unsatisfying (Mandela).
Let's see what today brings.