Online Opinion Outpost

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Mayweather-Pacquiao fight
Roxanne Jones, CNN

Despite his arrogance, his brash attitude — which was mostly not on display Saturday night — and most importantly his multiple arrests for allegedly battering women, including an assault on the mother of his three children that landed him in jail for two months in 2012, it was Mayweather I wanted to see take home the championship belt Saturday night. I make no apologies for being a fan.

As a survivor of domestic abuse myself when I was a young girl, I know firsthand how a man’s rage can nearly destroy your life. But I also have come to learn that forgiving, never forgetting, is the only way to get past your pain. I refuse to let my abuser steal my joy for life — or my love of boxing. Mayweather will have to deal with his own demons.

Owen Strachan, Washington Post

The point is, we give Mayweather a pass because we have no personal connection with his alleged victims. Like many victims of abuse, they seem far off, statistics, details in court cases. As long as we’re entertained, Mayweather is bobbing and weaving and the crowd is roaring, they seem out of sight, out of mind.

In reality, they’re not so easily forgotten. Every time we see him land a punch, every time Pacquaio staggers backward, every time blood spurts from a fresh wound, we should remember not long ago, that’s what the mothers of his children looked like, too.

Chipotle
Editorial Board, Chicago Tribune

What troubles us is that Chipotle has embraced the fearmongering of some food, environmental and health activists who have turned “GMO” into a dirty word. By declaring its goal to eliminate GMO food from its kitchens, Chipotle may be pleasing its health-conscious guacamole fans, but it is missing an opportunity to educate them on the nuances of food science.

Homemade products
Emily Matchar, New York Times

Our hunger for handmade has gone beyond aesthetics, uniqueness and quality. In progressive circles, buying handmade has come to connote moral virtue, signifying an interest in sustainability and a commitment to social justice. By making your own cleaning supplies, you’re eschewing environment-poisoning chemicals. By buying a handmade sweater, you’re fighting sweatshop labor. By chatting with the artisan who makes your soap, you’re striking a blow against our alienated “Bowling Alone” culture.

While buying homemade gifts is a lovely thing to do, thinking of it as a social good is problematic. Like locavorism and “eco consumerism,” it’s part of a troubling trend for neoliberal “all change begins with your personal choices” ideology. This ideology is attractive: Buy something nice, do something good. But it doesn’t work, at least not very well.

Baltimore
Scott Novak, Baltimore Sun

The point of all this is that suburban outsiders don’t really know the realities of what the poor in Baltimore go through each day, just as we don’t really live in Baltimore. This situation is certainly a race issue, but it is also a class issue. Most of us in the suburbs don’t know what it’s like to work two or three minimum-wage jobs to support our families. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to attend school in a deteriorating public education system. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to have a family member murdered by the police for no apparent reason. In short, most of us don’t know what it’s like to live in Baltimore below the poverty line, so we should stop pretending like we do.

No, none of this morally justifies the violence and the fires started in the city, nor should it be inferred that we in suburban America cannot learn about and sympathize with the struggles of the poor. But what it does suggest is this: if only suburban America had cared as much about the people in lower socioeconomic classes who actually live in Baltimore as they do about the fires that started there, perhaps there would be no fires in the first place.

Royal baby
Victoria Arbiter, CNN

Today Diana’s name is as divisive as the very institution of monarchy itself: while some have virtually sainted her, others have been vehemently critical, accusing her of being childish, unhinged and self-serving.

Contrary to popular belief the Queen was very fond of Diana, but should her name be bestowed as a first name upon the baby, it would be perceived as a slap in the face to the monarchy.

Trapping politicians
Richard Grenell, LA Times

Ramos started a trend. Within days, dutifully unoriginal political reporters followed suit by asking Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Jeb Bush the same question. For the most part, presidential hopefuls are answering the gotcha question ably, giving me hope that maybe, just maybe, Republicans are learning how to deal with political reporters interested in tripping them up.

Because that’s exactly the point of a hypothetical question like “would you attend a gay wedding?” — not to illuminate a position but to mock it; not to discover what Republicans really think about a given issue, but to reinforce the narrative that they’re angry, out-of-touch old men.

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