when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for July 2013

Jackson Women's Health Organization bldg

Follow our last abortion clinic on Twitter. It is an extremely successful social media push at @TheLastClinic.  If you don’t believe me, google The Last Clinic or Mississippi Women’s Health Organization Jackson MS and you will see posts from as far away as Alaska, and MAJOR media reports on this story.

And if you are really interested, try to log into an old but wonderful article from Newsweek, written by Anna Quindlen in 2007.  You may find it at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6830928/site/newsweek/print/1/displaymode/1098 or google Quindlen: Connecting Up the Dots.

 

This week the Clarion Ledger reported that Mississippi is among the toughest states when it comes to abortion laws.  So what else is new.

Well, the actions taken by Jackson Women’s Health Organization may just make some news.  Volunteers who support the clinic and escort women from their vehicles from the parking lot to the door of the facility began to tap into social media.  Slate, the online magazine, picked up on the clinic’s blog and suddenly there were national results.  For example, folks from different states are offering to spend their vacations escorting women from the parking lot to the door in order to ensure their safety and save/defend them from harassment. —

Way to go women from Mississippi!

When I said “meandering” I meant it.  When the US Supreme Court issued its DOMA opinion, I could not help but think of something that happened immediately after my junior year in high school.  I refer to the STONEWALL RIOTS.

On June 27, 1969, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village made itself an icon of LGBT history.  A haven for the gay community in NYC, the Stonewall Inn tried to keep a low profile — necessarily, as NYC law prohibited homosexuality in public at the time.  Of course, the police knew and there were routine raids at Stonewall, but on June 27, the patrons of Stonewall had experienced enough.  When New York’s Finest began their routine raid on June 27, patrons fought back.  They threw beer cans, bricks and virtually anything they could find at the police.  (To me it sounds just like a Southern juke-joint on a Saturday night.)  The police struck back.  Better prepared than the patrons, they beat and arrested the patrons, loading them up in patty-wagons for the trip to the station.  But patrons of Stonewall fought back, appearing for several consecutive evenings to wait for a raid and have another riotous night.  And they kept getting beat and arrested until NYC and the police superintendent decided “enough.”

The Stonewall Riots were the impetus for the LGBT movement.  On the first anniversary of the initial riot, gay pride marches were initiated in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and other cities with a large gay community.

James J. S. Holmes, the chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Equity says of Stonewall:  “The riots were a very visible and public display where the LGBT community finally made it clear it wasn’t going to accept any more repression and poor treatment….The beginning of today’s equality movement ties back to about the time of the riots.”

There are now at least six openly gay congressmen in the US Congress. And 10 states have passed laws recognizing gay marriages.

And then came the DOMA decision.  I know, I meandered from last month to 46 years ago, but it was worth the time travel, particularly for you youngsters who follow me and who have never heard of Stonewall.

Helen Thomas died last week.  I guess I am giving too much information about my age, but when I was an adolescent, Helen Thomas was sitting on the front row of every Presidential press conference I ever watched.  And she wasn’t just sitting there, either.  While others might have thought that Sam Donaldson asked the haunting questions of the period — the ones that made those behind the podium squirm — it was Helen Thomas who always asked substantive, reasonable questions that hit right at the jugular.

Helen Thomas wasn’t just a “woman” journalistic icon, she was a journalistic icon.  She was respected by her peers and sometimes feared by those she questioned. But she was always fair.  And if she got something wrong — which was rare — she admitted it, apologized, rectified and went on. That’s a wonderful bit of character — admission of mistakes and rectification of them.  It sure is absent in a lot of public figures today.


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