Today is the 154th anniversary of the day that slavery ended in the state of Texas, the last part of the Confederacy where slavery had survived. On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger, the commander of the District of Texas for the Union Army, stood on the balcony of Ashton Villa on Galveston Island and read aloud “General Order No. 3” to the crowd that had gathered. The order began:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.
Much of the world seems to be celebrating Valentines Day today. Regular readers of this blog will know that I usually celebrate the anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre aka the Mob war in Chicago. I have also been known to wear all black and express my affection to my Spirit Animal, St. Grumpy Cat.
Today the Supreme Court decided to enshrine in law the idea that 1) if you are a rich, business owning, angry, ostensibly christian white man you are sexist special and 2) if you are a woman you’re not a real person. God forbid you be a person of color, non-Christian, and female, war has just been declared on you.
Coupled with the unanimous decision from last week that killed the 35-foot buffer zones around women’s clinics that provide abortion, among other services, I’m ashamed to be an American right now. Free speech, my ass.
I think it is safe to say that the march of human rights has made steady though inconsistent progress over the last 100+ years. In the last 48 hours some interesting stories have popped up that have reminded me not only of how far we’ve come but also of how far we have to go.
I have to admit that the Texas Anti-Woman Law and the Zimmerman verdict coming within hours of one another made me really unhappy with humanity for a while. Then there was the announcement that The View was hiring Jenny McCarthy to fill its patented Obnoxious Vapid Contentious Blond Host seat.
That about did me in. How does somebody like her get paid $$$ to sit on TV and spew that dangerous crap when Geoff and I are working constantly, are far smarter and funnier, and we’re barely making ends meet?