Archive for March 11, 2012
In honor of International Women’s Day, we would like to highlight a very special woman who has been marching with us for the last few days.
In fact, we were blessed with the presence of a National Civil Rights treasure, Ms. Amelia Boynton Robinson.
At 101 years young, she spoke eloquently to all the marchers today, in front of Selma’s Southside High school. This was the midpoint of the day’s march but a true highlight for all of us.
Mother Robinson, as she is affectionately known as, is one of the Courageous Eight who inspired and ignited the Selma to Montgomery Marches that started in 1965.
“All the marchers today” is a reference to this:
Hundreds of people from across the country marched toward the state capital Thursday, chanting in English and Spanish to make the case that the battle against Alabama’s immigration law is an extension of the civil rights fight they commemorated.
Gloria Mills of Detroit said civil rights gains in the 1950s and ’60s were “hardfought,” but Alabama’s House Bill 56 and voter identification laws being implemented across the nation are chipping away at those rights. While not an immigrant herself, Mills stood in solidarity with those who came to the country illegally and are now under fire in Alabama.
Which harkens back to this:
On March 7, 1963, civil rights activists were brutally beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, during the infamous “Bloody Sunday” march, for advocating for the right to vote. This week, forty-seven years later, today’s civil rights leaders retraced the march from Selma to Montgomery, protesting what NAACP President Ben Jealous calls “the greatest attack on voting rights since segregation.”
Since the 2010 election, Republicans have waged an unprecedented war on voting, with the unspoken but unmistakable goal of preventing millions of mostly Democratic voters, including students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly, from casting ballots in 2012. More than a dozen states, from Texas to Wisconsin and Florida, have passed laws designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process, whether by requiring birth certificates to register to vote, restricting voter registration drives, curtailing early voting, requiring government-issued IDs to cast a ballot, or disenfranchising ex-felons.
Bravo to Amelia Boynton Robinson who, at 101 still has the gumption and the will to march for voting rights but oh my God I can only imagine what she’s thinking. Are we doing this again? Really? I thought that issue was settled and behind us. But no. Thanks to the Republicans, 60 years on, here we are, fighting for voting rights, again.
Last Thursday I posted about legislation wending its way through the Arizona legislature known as the “Let Women Die” law. It would permit a doctor who opposes abortion to withhold information about the condition of a patient’s fetus if they feared the patient would choose to abort if they knew how diseased and/or deformed the fetus was.
I think a better name for the legislation is let’s legalize letting “Doctors Lie to Women” or let’s legalize medical practice, because that’s essentially what it would do.
Reader beth, who commented on the post (see the link above), brought up a good point: “Where the hell has the American Medical Association been on all this?” Ah, yeah!
Well, the AMA is still MIA but finally a doctor has weighed in. Meet Dr. Megan Evans:
Imagine carrying a baby to term. You’ve waited nine long months for this moment. You’ve planned for her arrival, you’ve had the baby shower, and you’ve gone to all your prenatal appointments. All along you are told that you are progressing normally and your baby is healthy. Your delivery day comes and, at delivery, your doctor tells you your baby has a devastating abnormality. A cardiac defect or a severe structural abnormality or chromosomal abnormality… something that was likely already detected early in your pregnancy.
You then discover your doctor withheld this information from you for fear you would seek an abortion. What a nightmare.
Unfortunately, the Arizona legislation is working to make this nightmare a reality.
I respect my patients, I trust them to make the best decision for themselves and their families, and I trust my colleagues to do the same. I, as a physician, have no right to make medical decisions for my patients based purely on what I think is best or based on my religious beliefs.
Thank you Dr. Evans. I can only imagine the hate mail you’re getting tonight. Now I’m waiting for the AMA as a whole to start making some major noise — to start SCREAMING — about this unspeakable oppression.
Apropos of the post below, this is my Tweet of the Day:
A few weeks ago American soldiers made the unthinkably stupid mistake of burning a pile of Qurans in Afghanistan.
Today we hear about an American soldier who allegedly had a “breakdown” and entered Afghan “homes in the middle of the night and opened fire on his victims in a killing spree. A relative of the deceased added that he then ‘poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them’.” Sixteen innocent civilians, including nine children and three women, were murdered in their sleep.
Understandably, the Afghan people are furious.
I heard a “military analyst” on MSNBC this morning say that we are spending a billion dollars a week in Afghanistan. A billion dollars. Yet these two incidents alone have rendered the money and effort we’ve expended in that 10-year-old war meaningless. Not to mention the death and destruction suffered by everyone involved.
My thoughts go out to the people of Japan on the anniversary of the horrible earthquake and tsunami there on March 11, 2011.