There's the news, and there's what we think of the news. I'm curious to get your take on the following. I've provided links too, in case you'd like to read the original stories in their entirety.
- A 28-year-old Pennsylvania man is in jail, and his 41-year-old brother-in-law is in the hospital, after they argued over Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the younger man, a Clinton supporter, stabbed the older man. There is no punchline. Except maybe that Stabby McStabber may not make it to the polls to vote for Clinton in Penn's upcoming primary.
- That first one leads me right back to Obama. The Associated Press ran an interesting story over the weekend about how black Americans - the story would suggest lots, even though I'm certain they only interviewed four or five - fear Obama's life is increasingly in danger the better he does in this presidential race. Some of the people in the story flashed back to Martin Luther King Jr. and how he was killed, and he wasn't even trying to run the country. For me, this story presents an interesting contrast. On the one hand it examines this man who has seemingly overcome the skin color millstone hanging around his neck and made himself attractive to people of multiple races and ethnicities. On the other hand it examines a place and time where people still fear his skin color could get him killed if he does too well. Which place and what time do we live in? Setting aside his politics, I think that fear might be rational. I mean there was a time I thought the only black person who could be president was Morgan Freeman, and even then he was usually cast as president in a movie when the earth was about to be destroyed in a day or two. Even comedians have always said that if we got a mixed presidential ticket - black pres. candidate and white VP candidate, or the other way around - some extremist from one race or the other would try to do harm to whomever the top dog was. I wonder.
- In my old stomping grounds in Milwaukee, Wis., a woman has filed a discrimination suit against a nursing home she used to work for - she quit; she wasn't fired, because she feels like she was hassled and menaced while working there for speaking Spanish on the phone to her mother, and with another co-worker. In case you don't follow the link, the woman's mother doesn't speak English. And she says she and the co-worker only spoke Spanish to one another in private, personal conversations while at work. She didn't speak Spanish to any of the patients or other staff, since apparently none of them spoke the language. Also, she spoke Spanish at work for more than six years. It was only more recently, when a new supervisor was hired, did the home present (or start enforcing) a "dominant language" policy: that you can speak whatever you want - even on the job - in a private setting and a personal conversation, but around patients you speak the language they're comfortable with and accustomed to. The home's management, after the arrival of the new supervisor, warned the woman in question about speaking Spanish around the patients, and even disciplined her. Their logic was it made some of the patients uncomfortable since they didn't know what was being said, and it took some of the patients' dignity away since they were in the dark. I don't know about this one. I've sat in restaurants where everyone around me spoke a different language. Did it make me uncomfortable? A little, I guess. I'm human. But it wasn't about me trying to mold people in my image. It was about a comfort zone, a lack of familiarity, especially when I was ordering and sometimes eating food whose description I already didn't understand. Living in an area like Miami, I hear all sorts of conversations going on around me that I don't understand. It doesn't bother me. It is what it is. I can't expect everyone to speak what I'm speaking, unless they're speaking to me. On the other hand, who knows? Maybe the nursing home really meant well and just intended to make their patients comfortable. It might not matter though, since an EEOC spokesman says the home's policy may already violate federal anti-discrimination law.
Labels: Barack Obama, discrimination, EEOC, headlines, Hillary Clinton, stabbing