Family reunions are in full throttle for the months of July and August; some years into September when the weather is, hopefully, cooler.
This is particularly true in the southern part of the United States. This is also a time of the year that national organizations convene to either make changes, or lay the groundwork for future changes.
Fraternities and sororities gather to celebrate the past, acknowledge the present and give the outlook and present plans for the future.
There are so many gatherings that are permeated by the times in which we are living. A reunion is intended to be a gathering of a group that has been separated. Most of the time, the occasions bring happiness and joy with the opportunity to see relatives and friends residing all over the country.
Sometimes these gatherings are, unfortunately, a miniature universe of the divided nation in which we live. Families and friends are not exempt from having a wide range of opinions from politics to family history to where do we go from here?
Politics is the major family divider. As they move through adulthood, family members, like everyone else, become entrenched in their own points of view. Political views and expression of those views can ruin an otherwise mildly happy family gathering.
I laud the brave people who are willing to put in the time planning and doing the actual work to host and attend a family reunion.
The recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade can only cause enough division within families to cancel next year's reunion. The nation is extremely divided, with a reported 61% of Americans supporting a woman’s right to choose.
It is crystal clear that the remining 37% of Americans who are against a woman’s right to choose have had a victory day. All of the people on both sides have family somewhere. The members of the family all have a position on the issue that is not a family position, issued with all on board.
The matter of a woman’s right to choose is front and center in politics, religious institutions and businesses.
Reportedly, companies are developing communication strategies to protect and support a woman’s right to privacy in the doctor’s office and the ability to take advantage of health care services. People ae being advised to call corporate headquarters if they want to know where a business stands about Roe v. Wade, or a particular issue.
Companies are also being advised against unbridled social commentary, because people have long memories on a definitive stance and it can affect your bottom line.
I, for one, do not need to shop or enter a business where the owner’s point of view overshadows my right to be free of your point of view. My view of Wal-Mart changed when the Wall Street Journal reported that the store would no longer carry MyPillow Inc. products in its stores.
Wal-Mart even refused the lower price that Mike Lindell, the chief executive, offered. If you will recall, Lindell continues to make false allegations that the voting machine company, Dominion, “rigged the 2020 election.”
Dominion has sued Lindell and MyPillow for more than $1.3 million in damages since no court or election authority has found widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Lindell countersued, which a judge dismissed in May.
This is an example of a corporation taking a position without posting on social media and sending out sweeping statements of their definitive positions.
The Roe v. Wade decision underscores the impact that elections and those elected to office have on every American’s life. In some states, state officials and legislators will decide what a woman can and cannot do with her body in the privacy of her doctor’s office.
It makes it crystal clear why voting is the key to being able to live your best life. It starts with the presidency, where Supreme Court justices emanate from. It moves to Congress, where members of the Senate get to have a say on the prospective members of the judiciary.
A well-known politician once said, “All elections are local.” That might sound puzzling, but it is not. The people closest around you have to get to the polls. The greater the voting numbers are on a local level, the greater the impact on those whom we send to do business on behalf of the citizens in Washington D.C.
Remember that a million human beings have died in the United States from COVID-19 or COVID-related illnesses. Many of these deaths can be traced to individuals in Alabama and elsewhere pursuing their right to control their own bodies without governmental insistence upon a simple vaccination.
Elaine Harris Spearman, Esq., a Gadsden native, is an attorney and is the retired legal advisor to the comptroller of the City of St. Louis.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Right to choose front and center in US discourse