This week, Texas lawmakers passed a law that will force all but five of the state’s abortion clinics to close, severely restricting women’s reproductive freedom and ability to exercise their constitutional rights. Despite the protests of thousands of women nationwide and a heroic filibuster by Wendy Davis, the Texas legislature is going through with this unnecessary law and will undo years of progress in the fight for gender equality.
Also, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Although it seems that the jury made the right decision legally (the prosecution was not able to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt), the country does not believe that justice has been served. No matter how you feel about this verdict, the case raises some serious questions about racial equality and the fairness of Florida law. Would Zimmerman have reacted differently if Trayvon were white? Would the jury have been so sympathetic towards Zimmerman is he were black? How can we be sure that our racial biases are not affecting our justice system?
If you’re like me, you’re probably frustrated that in 2013 we are still battling the same issues that our grandparents dealt with. Despite the enormous progress that has been made, our lives are still in many ways determined by our race and gender. Women are still fighting for their right to reproductive autonomy and a young black boy in a hoodie is still mistaken for a criminal. When will racial and gender inequality FINALLY be problems of the past? Despite these frustrating developments, I found two great videos this week that helped restore my hope for the future. Today’s world may still be divided by race and gender, but I believe that the next generation will have a different outlook.