It's about Abortion, Stupid
The difference isn't about race or economic status: it's about stagecraft, about symbol manipulation, about postmodernism--about evaluating human beings in terms of their exploitable potential as religious-political icons.
And What Do I Know has broken the code:
...But it's not ignorance of the facts; these people don't care that poor Terri has no functioning brain, that her cerebral cortex doesn't exist. In fact, that's exactly WHY they've chosen her for their right-to-life poster girl.[Emphasis added.]
In poor Terri, they've found the perfect fetus-surrogate.
Here's a fully-formed fetus-like adult, who smiles, blinks, perhaps sucks her thumb, with help. She even stars in her very own DVD! If they can get a judge somewhere, anywhere—a congress will do even better—to declare a person without a cerebral cortex has a right to live despite the attempts of her husband (read "mother") to intervene, then they've won an important battle....
The political agendas behind the Republicans' overreaching machinations to invade the Schiavo family are complex and multifold: it is about red meat for their religious extremist base; it is about trampling states' rights; it is about the public exercise of power, and in this case, thinly-veiled theocracy; it is about full-out assault on the separation of church and state; it is about fascism...the list goes on. Just make sure you add abortion to that list.