Today marks the day that the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade by a 6 to 3 vote margin. Roe V. Wade has been accepted US law for over 50 years-Americans have come to rely on the protections provided by this law to make their own choices around reproduction and women’s health. I grew up in a generation of women that did not always enjoy the benefits of Roe v. Wade-that feared an unwanted pregnancy with no safe recourse to address it.
Women represent over half the US population. How dare anyone tell them what choices they should have? Whether a proponent of abortion or not, a woman in consultation with her doctor and family, should be the only one making the decision to carry a pregnancy or not. Her choice is the determining issue here.
The right to an abortion or not, is not the only divisive issue in our country today. Voting rights, gun safety, white supremacy, public funds to religious schools, the burning of books in schools and a curtailment on teaching accurate American history to our children, are among the many other issues that are dividing this country in half. Red states and Blue states are drawing their lines in the sand; and thus so will their citizens.
And finally, though the House and Senate have just passed gun safety legislation that only has a prayer of significantly preventing gun violence, one questions when more sweeping and effective legislation will even come to the table. Flying in the face of that new legislation is the Supreme Court ruling, led by the disgraceful Clarence Thomas, that weakens the restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon in cities and towns across America. What is going on here?
From 1910 into the 1970’s, 6 million African Americans fled the American south escaping the violence of Jim Crow policy and practice and seeking employment and other opportunity. Lynching’s of Black Americans were rampant; education was segregated for southern children, interracial marriage illegal, and the rights of African Americans to vote and participate equally in civic life were denied and seriously restricted. African Americans left American southern states-those we know of as the Red States today, migrating to industrial cities and towns in northern, mid-western and western states across the country. New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, California, and other states opened their doors to Black Americans who were once slaves, and those communities became their home.
There are so many states in our country that seem committed to taking our nation back to the days of old. Back to the days when Black and other people of color led fully unequal and oppressive lives. And around the abortion issue, states opposing abortion believe that they even have the right to impose on the states in which abortion has been legal and plans to remain so.
It is time for another Great Migration. For people who care about and value freedom, opportunity, fairness, and the rule of law, living in many of the states in this country is becoming untenable. Americans should “vote” with their feet and leave these places. Leave those states to the narrow-minded people in their leadership and the citizens who believe as they do; and move to those states where freedom and opportunity are the law and practice. Without a healthy business environment, laws that allow people to live freely and safely, and education systems committed to teaching our children so that they can live as global citizens; those places will flounder, wallow in mediocrity, and one day cease to be places where talented, educated, law abiding, forgiving, kind and tolerant people want to live. For those of you tired of feeling the foot of your state on the back of your neck, pack your bags!