During a week when we are supposed to be celebrating our independence, we are sadly watching rights getting stripped away. How did the concepts of equality and the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness get erased like a teacher’s mistakes on the blackboard?
All of a sudden, thanks to a Supreme Court weighed down heavily by a right-wing politicized group of MAGA appointees, the rights of LGBTQ people to do business the same as everyone else has been stripped.
The rights of minorities to have their histories viewed as a consideration for college entry … vanished. And a broken system that unfairly trumps up debt rates for college students is left in place, an infinite burden to so many trying to get ahead.
Our rights are being eroded more quickly than anyone but a sci-fi writer could have anticipated.
To look at both sides for a second: why should a website designer have the right to turn down a website for a gay marriage, because after all, the designer doesn’t believe in marriage for anyone but a man and women? The Supreme Court weighed in on this in 1967 when it overturned laws forbidding Blacks from marrying whites. Why are we moving backwards, particularly when Judge Clarence Thomas’ marriage would have been illegal before that, yet he supported taking others’ rights away?
Why should we care that privileged students are getting loans paid off? Because they aren’t privileged. They are going to all kinds of schools for trades and to better themselves. You know, pursuit of happiness.
And why should minorities have extra rights in being considered for college? Because they aren’t extra rights. First, they provide diversity in education that benefits everyone. Second, the court didn’t strike down the rights of legacy students to be admitted. So if your non-minority parent went to a school, you are highly likely to be admitted to the same school, based on your heritage.
Affirmative action simply levels the playing field at a time when the numbers of Black and Latinx students at the best schools is lower than it was in 1980, according to a New York Times study.
These three decisions at the end of the Supreme Court’s term are a dark vail over the July 4 holiday. What can we do to preserve our supposedly inalienable rights?
If you’ve been considering adding a furry pet to your household, now is the time: the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is full of cats and kittens and is offering discounted adoption fees. From July 4 through July 8, cat adoptions fees are $76. Fees include spay/neuter, microchip (including registration), vaccinations, routine treatment for fleas and a free pet wellness exam. Veterans may adopt kittens/cats or puppies/dogs at no charge. Learn more at your local shelter in Santa Cruz or Watsonville.
July Is Parks and Recreation Month and to celebrate, the Santa Cruz’s Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring free activities for the community at our parks. Cheer on the young life guards during the Big Swim event at the wharf; watch an archery demo at the DeLaveaga park, join in a free swing dance class and more. For a full list of the events and more information, visit:www.CityOfSantaCruz.Com/JulyIs