It's one thing to surf the net and come across stories of the haplessly ignorant doing mind-bogglingly stupid things -- like accidentally shooting themselves in a Walmart or "locking" themselves in a closet (that wasn't locked) during a three day meth binge, then asking the police to let them out.
The HuffPost's own Crime section is littered with them, and makes for hours of fun reading for the whole family. Needless to say, these types of incidents are usually perpetrated by people whose combined I.Q. total in the single digits, and pass us by with nothing more than a simple LOL.
However, when you come across a situation in which the "haplessly ignorant" doing the "mind-bogglingly stupid" things turn out to be highly educated men and women who have risen to some of the highest positions in the land, and who hold the fate and futures of an entire group of people in their hands, that's no laughing matter.
At a time when the bigotry, bias and pure, old-fashioned hatred displayed in Selma, Alamaba almost half a century ago is being touted as a national -- and human -- tragedy for all to see on the big screen, leave it up to the highest officials of that same state to show us we're still no further along. To remind us, we haven't really made any progress at all. Rather, while one group of people's centuries-old struggle has been eased, slightly, yet another's is being trampled upon, full force -- using the same power and misinterpretation of law to prolong and exacerbate a situation that, on a national scale, has no chance of standing the test of time. Just ask George Wallace.
When all the "political angles" and "legal-speak" are tossed aside, the entire situation boils down to that of a school bully taking his foot off the throat of one of his victim's to step on another.
By directly ignoring a federal court's ruling prohibiting their state's judges from denying the rights of gay people to marry, the bullies who make up the Alabama Supreme Court have shown us, beyond the shadow of a doubt that, not only is discrimination alive and well at the highest levels of our state governments, it will risk disobeying actual laws in order to achieve its sectarian goals. Time really does stand still in the Deep South.
After all, what, exactly, is the difference between refusing black people the right to vote in 1965 and gay people the right to marry in 2015? Answer: Nothing.
Has history taught us nothing? Must we go through still more wasted years of heartache, struggle and strife, positioning ourselves on opposite sides of an issue, one in which the wrong side is so blatantly obvious, only to arrive where we know we'll be just a few years down the line?
There is nothing in our text books or law annals, nor has there ever been, that can justify doing wrong to another person simply because they're different from you. That's what those barbarians who call themselves the Islamic State are doing half a world away. Yet, bigots will be bigots, no matter what color mask they may wear.
Granted, in America, we may not burn you at the stake or castrate you for being homosexual -- but we'll see to it you'll live your lives as outcasts, hurting you and your partner financially and denying you the same rights and privileges our country claims it offers everyone, no matter the fine print.
For the men and women across this country who have been deemed worthy to sit in judgement of their fellow citizens, to so unabashedly be on the wrong side of history, this far down the line, shows that bigotry and hatred reside in the very fabric of the blanket of democracy, we, as a people, have spent the past two-plus centuries weaving. This "blanket," sewn with the very purpose of shielding us from this type of persecution, is in just as much danger of being unraveled now, by modern day hatred, as it was at any point during the past hundred years.
And, while the same-sex marriage debate is currently at the forefront of our collective conscience, we would be foolish to ignore the main issue here; that of the age-old belief, held by many around us -- as well as above us -- that those who are different do not deserve the same, basic treatment under the law.
Until that day comes, I'll keep blasting Sweet Homo Alabama out my car window.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place