Flashback Friday: Loving (2016)

Progress does not always come from legislation. It comes from human beings who stand up for themselves and what they believe in.

The 2016 film, Loving, is based on the true story of the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia.

In the 1960s, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) are young newlyweds. The problem is that Richard was White and Mildred was Black. In many parts of this country at the time, interracial marriage was illegal. After their arrest, they fought for their right to stay married and to be recognized as a married couple.

This movie is so good. It tugs at your heartstrings, makes you believe in love, and makes you grateful for the sacrifices Richard and Mildred made.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

It is a Sad Day in America: Roe V. Wade is No More

A few months ago, we celebrated the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. When I wrote that post, I still had hope that the right of anyone with a uterus had the right to decide their own fate. That hope died this morning.

By lunchtime, the federal government had washed its hands of the issue. It is now illegal to have an abortion in America. Each state can now decide if the procedure will be allowed and to what degree. In many states, this means that will be either completely against the law or limited to saving the life of the pregnant person.

American women are officially back in the dark ages, depending on where they live. Thankfully, both my home state of New York and New Jersey are among the handful of states that put the life of the pregnant person over politics. But not everyone is so lucky.

How many women will die from back-alley abortions or putting foreign objects in their bodies? How many females of any age will be forced to give birth to their rapist’s child or carry a dead fetus to term? How many women of color who are already living under hard conditions will have another proverbial plate spinning in the air?

The overturning of Roe is the beginning of a slippery slope. According to Judge Clarence Thomas (who I loathe with a passion), this decision opens the door to taking a second look at other rulings.

Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion released on Friday that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” its past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

In a similar vein, Loving v. Virginia could also be overturned. That means that his marriage to the equally loathsome Ginni Thomas could be viewed as illegal.

If they thought we would go quietly into the night, they have another thing coming.

Courtesy of Facebook

We can donate to pro-choice organizations (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc). We can march and let our voices be heard. We can vote in November and more importantly, vote blue. Though it is dark, the sun will rise again. We just need to fight for that sunrise.

P.S. Congress finally passed a gun control bill. It speaks volumes about this country that we confer more rights on a weapon than a living, breathing human being.

The Jeffersons Character Review: Tom and Helen Willis

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Jeffersons. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations. In 2021, it is not uncommon to see a mixed marriage in which one spouse has one skin color and the other spouse has another skin color. But it was not so long ago that it was illegal for an African-American and a Caucasian person to be married in the United States. The legal case of Loving v. Virginia is only 54 years old. On The Jeffersons, Tom and Helen Willis (Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker) were the first interracial married couple on television.

Tom is white and Helen is black. Their neighbor, George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) frequently mocks Tom for being white. Helen, who has become friends with George’s wife, Louise (Isabel Sanford), frequently has a smart comeback about George’s lack of height. After Tom and George become friends, the jokes switch to Tom’s weight. Tom and Helen have two children. Jenny, who looks like her mother, eventually marries George and Louise’s son, Lionel (Mike Evans/Damon Evans). Their son Allan (Andrew Harold Rubin/Jay Hammer), resembles his father and is frequently away from home.

Warning: the above video has the N word in it.

To sum it up: It is easy to love someone who is like you. It is harder to stay in love when your chosen partner/spouse is different and the people around you are not shy about pointing out those differences. But Tom and Helen make it work, proving that when you follow your heart and make a commitment, it is possible to stay together for what hopefully will be the rest of your lives.

Which is why they are memorable characters.

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