A brief round up of the amazingly stupid and awful…
Mississippi governor Phil Bryant recently proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage Month , adding an official flourish to a longstanding tradition in his state and several others. April, he wrote in the proclamation, is “the month in which the Confederate States began and ended a four-year struggle”.
Bryant’s proclamation does not mention the central cause of the struggle – slavery – but instead announces the month as a chance to “gain insight from our mistakes and successes” and to “earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us”. It also sets aside 25 April as “Confederate Memorial Day”.
The Polish prime minister, Beata Szydło, said she backs moves towards a total ban on abortion, in a sign the nationalist government may be set to turn its attention to the nuclear family.
A campaign against abortion is due to be launched this Sunday in the country’s Roman Catholic churches. Priests have been asked to read out a letter from the bishops’ conference calling for Poland’s existing, limited abortion rights to be scrapped.
Poland already strictly limits access to abortion. A 1993 law grants it up to the 25th week from conception, but only on the condition that the woman’s life is in danger, the pregnancy is the result of criminally proven rape or incest, or the foetus is “seriously malformed”.
The bishops’ letter, signed on Wednesday, calls the current law a compromise, adding: “The life of every person is protected by the fifth of the Ten Commandments: thou shalt not kill. Therefore the position of Catholics in this regard is clear and unchanging.’’
Chanting “keep your hands off the uterus” and “my body, my business,” the protesters waved wire coat-hangers, a crude pregnancy termination tool widely seen as a grim symbol of underground abortions.
“Even Iran’s abortion laws are more liberal than this proposal. That’s why we must protest,” said Marta Nowak, one of the protesters at the rally, which was organised via social media by the leftwing Together party.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is currently deciding whether Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison is a pornographer.
Last month, both houses of the Virginia Legislature passed a bill requiring schools to warn parents if teachers are planning to read books with explicit content. The bill was prompted by a concerned parent, Laura Murphy, who learned that one of her sons was reading Morrison’s novel “Beloved,” which includes graphic depictions of rape and infanticide. Murphy and sympathetic lawmakers cited similarly explicit material in books such as “The Bluest Eye,” also by Morrison, “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison and “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.
The landlord at a Mississippi RV park admitted over the weekend that he evicted a couple because they were interracial.
Gene Baker told The Clarion-Ledger that he asked Erica Flores Dunahoo and her African-American husband, Stanley Hoskins, to leave his RV park in Tupelo because “the neighbors were giving me such a problem.”
Baker later said that he had no problem with interracial couples, and that his church allowed mixed couples to attend. Dunahoo noted, however, that he told her that she and her husband could attend the church, but they would not be allowed to become members.
When asked if he would be willing to let another interracial couple stay in his RV park, Baker replied: “I’m closing it down, and that solves the problem.”