What a week: America shows a progressive side

The World
Updated on
People show tickets on the way into the Supreme Court, gay rights

What has gotten into America?

The past week has seen a series of progressive decisions and rulings; some expected, some not. Friday's ruling on single-sex marriage was just the icing on the, um, cake. "We've made our Union a little more perfect,'' President Barack Obama said after the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling.

View post on X

First, Alabama took down the Confederate flag and major stores stopped selling what has been seen historically as a symbol of hate. A nation has moved seismically — and swiftly — to just say no to 150 years of unseemly racial supremacy.

Speaking of swiftly, this illustration puts three things together:

View post on X

Why Taylor Swift? She wrote a letter to Apple asking why artists would have to forego Apple royalties just because Apple wanted to deliver free music to subscribers; Apple backed down in a series of tweets by Eddy Cue, who runs the iTunes Store.

View post on X

View post on X

View post on X

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, that has been the source of debates for years. In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia used the term "SCOTUScare," prompting commentators to make all sorts of sour grapes comparisons. Scalia also found himself on the losing side of the gay marriage ruling on Friday, using hippies to make his point that love is not an inherent right.

View post on X

Within hours, states where gay marriages had been outlawed began issuing licenses. 

View post on X

Thousands showed up at the White House on Friday night to celebrate as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue went all rainbow

View post on X

What else happened this week? On Thursday, California lawmakers said no to anti-vaxxers, approving one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation. A Pennsylvania court dealt a rare blow to the National Rifle Association, rejecting a 2014 law that places obstacles to tougher gun laws. The NRA has been uncharacteristically muted since Dylann Roof, an unemployed self-styled white supremacist, took a legally purchased .45-caliber Glock and killed nine African Americans at a Bible study in a Charleston, S.C. church on June 17. At a eulogy for one Charleston victim late Friday, Obama warned that America dare not slip back into complacently. He also talked about the hope that America's heart is softening and opening beyond hate. "That’s what I’ve felt this week — an open heart," Obama said. "That, more than any particular policy or analysis, is what’s called upon right now." (Text and video of the speech is here.)

So, are we seeing a blustery shift in the winds in America? 

On Thursday, the TV network Univision pulled the plug on Donald Trump's Miss USA competition after the businessman and Republican Party presidential candidate insulted Mexico in his campaign announcement speech. (Trump, by the way, is one of six 2016 presidential candidates who is the son of an immigrant.)

View post on X

In its statement, Univision said: "We see first-hand the work ethic, love of family, strong religious values and important role Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country."

Trump threatened a lawsuit for breach of contract. But many Latino activists, including Felix Sanchez of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts urged NBC Universal, which broadcasts the beauty pageant in English, to follow suit.

Sanchez made a clear point: The casual racism of Trump and his ilk is coming to an end. Swiftly.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.