Justice, Choices and Other Bleak Things in America

In one of my favorite movies, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, just after playboy, Darnell, played by Martin Lawrence, discovered that a crazy ex-lover had stolen the tires off his truck right in front of the police station, he shouted, “Where’s the justice?! Where’s the justice?!” That’s long been one of my top quotables always resulting in a laugh or two when I or friends come across unfortunate, but hilarious circumstances.

Today, I’m asking the same question, but it’s no laughing matter. It’s beyond serious and deserves speculation, discussion and action: Really, here and now in 2012, where’s the justice?!

By now, you’ve got to know that our country is in an uproar. In just one week, I’ve read stories about a few things that have knocked me off my feet. In no particular order, they must be addressed:

Trayvon Martin and the Hoodie Effect

I could give you a run down, but that’s what the Internet is for. Just know this, an unarmed 17 year-old black man was gunned down by a self-proclaimed vigilante because he looked “suspicious.” The killer, Zimmerman, has not yet been arrested for killing someone who was armed with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Did he shoot in self-defense? Would Trayvon have really harmed him? Up until today, those were the major questions swirling around the media airwaves. I log on to Twitter to find that Geraldo “I Got Knocked the Eff Out” Rivera says that black and Latino parents should teach their children not to wear hoodies, which was worn by Trayvon at his time of death. The hoodie killed him just as much as Zimmerman.

Wait. So an article of clothing meant to cover your head  (it was raining)  is the issue moreso than his race? Oh okay. Silly me. I don’t know how it feels to be a black man, but I know that they’re often told don’t “look the part” to prevent being pulled over by police, i.e., don’t play loud music in your car, don’t purchase a certain type of car, don’t sag your pants, etc. I understand that. Black men are already targets regardless of upbringing, social, economic status, education, etc. Why give them another reason to harass you? Wearing a hoodie has become part of  The Don’ts Handbook for Black Men now?

If that’s the case, should Caucasian men be allowed to wear black as to appear as a Goth or wear long trenchcoats, as they may shoot up a middle school or shopping mall? Plenty of skaters and your  fashion plate cool kids wear hoodies, too. Are they suspicious, as well? No?

Let’s be honest here, the bottom line isn’t a hoodie or anything you can take off of your body. It’s what’s there that cannot be removed: color. I pray that the Martin family sees justice for their son.

Take Birth Control, Lose Your Job

Arizona is showing out. Again. Earlier in the week, I came across this story on Slate. An excerpt reads:

The Obama administration recently issued a mandate requiring all employers to cover prescription birth control under company health plans. Arizona legislators recently introduced abill that would allow some employers to opt out. That’s not terribly exciting. An employee can just pay for birth control out of her own pocket. But here’s the troubling part: If her employer is seriously opposed to birth control, and wants to discriminate against her for taking it—even though she’s paying for it herself—a provision in the Arizona bill would allow that.

The lines between work and what one does after work. As an employer, in an ideal world, you’d like your employees to have the same morals, ideals as you. You like chicken, instead of fish, so I should, too. I am strongly opposed to smoking, I should be, too. Wake up, people. Aside from an extreme, such as murdering and/or abusing children, as an employer, your only concern should be my productivity and contribution to the bottom line. Me popping BC pills that I pay for out of my own pocket at 5 p.m. daily is none of your business. It’s my choice. Point, blank, period.

For starters, not every woman takes birth control for contraception. They regulate menstrual cycles and regulate menstrual pain, along with other things men have no clue about. Secondly, if taking them to prevent pregnancy is the issue, would you rather I become pregnant, take medical leave, leaving you with one less, possibly highly productive employee for a month plus, six to eight weeks for maternity leave? Does that make any sense? No. That makes for discrimination.

You have a right to know what medications I take as it could negatively affect your business and/or staff, similar to knowing if I have any criminal offenses on my record? Will that question be added to employment applications now? It’s ridiculous. Do better Arizona.

You Want My What?

Employers are asking for Facebook passwords these days, huh? Nah. I’m good. You have my social security number, my address and Google, plus an extensive background check. What the hell else do you need?

Again, the work/home lines are blurred. First, it was cool when you knew employers would search social media sites to see if you would be a good fit or a misrepresentation of their company. Everyone simply changed their privacy settings to ‘Friends Only.’ But to ask for an account password is infuriating. This quote from a story via the Business Insider says it best:

“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”

Is it really that big of a deal, or does that tell us that we’re sharing too much of lives on social media sites? If we’re not posting expletives, raunchy music videos and pictures of us getting wasted at bars, shouldn’t we feel free to hand our passwords over? NO. It is a big deal. Where’s the stopping point? Accounts have passwords for a reason, right?

Any employer that requests my Facebook password or any other password won’t have to worry about me being a candidate any longer. If I had one, I suppose they’d ask for my first-born next.


2 thoughts on “Justice, Choices and Other Bleak Things in America

  1. This was awesome Alisha. I too have recently felt the sting of the insurance company’s policy bs! Was not told that bc was no longer covered since Jan until I needed new 3 month supply last Monday. So sitting in the Walgreens drive thru (w/ the side-eye) I had to pay $64.73 for what used to be $25.00 or $30.00. BULL.com

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