Thursday, May 2, 2013

Last Call

For Bon, a giant rubber duck story.


Chucking An Airball On Jason Collins, Race, And Homophobia

There's a distinct reason Esquire's Charles Pierce is in my blogroll.  He is, on a daily basis, one of the truly excellent and most unabashedly liberal voices out there in any medium.  But his take on Jason Collins's coming out over at Grantland contains a rather nasty paragraph that's frankly far beneath him.

To be sure, he's already couched his decision somewhat in the iconic; he says he chose to wear no. 98 in Boston and Washington in honor of Matthew Shepard, the young man who was tied to a fence and beaten to death in Wyoming in 1998, a hate crime so horrific that national hate-crimes legislation bears his name. (Collins also caught President Barack Obama's reference to Stonewall in his second inaugural address in January, a citation that caused a lot of heads to spin.) His explanation for his decision to come out is rich with the historical "dual identity" forced on black Americans under Jim Crow, and the similar dynamic within which he lived as a gay man. Homophobia in the black community — indeed, even among the leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1960s — was some of the most virulent and stubborn of all, and there are still some who resent the equation of the gay rights movement with their struggle. In his announcement in Sports Illustrated, then, Collins gave every indication that he's fully aware of the historic and cultural dimensions of his decision, and of the sacrifices made elsewhere so that he would be free to make it now.

Adam Serwer rightly points out the glaring awfulness of that passage:

There was certainly homophobia in the civil rights movementbut in the 1950s and 60s, American society was homophobic, and Pierce offers no evidence that the civil rights movement was more homophobic than any other American institution during that period. Given that one of the architects of the civil rights movement's nonviolent strategy was Bayard Rustin, it was arguably less homophobic than much of society at the time. With a few notable exceptions, surviving leaders of the movement, from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), to Rev. James Lawson, to Jesse Jackson, to Julian Bond are all in favor of gay and lesbian rights.

There's also little evidence for the proposition that black homophobia is "the most virulent and stubborn of all." Black folks, who were disenfranchised for centuries, didn't put any of those old anti-sodomy laws on the books. The legal architecture of discrimination based on sexual orientation is one of the few things in America that dates back to colonial times that wasn't built by black people.

Serwer's point is extremely important.  I've written multiple times myself on the completely false notion that African-American voters were responsible for Prop 8 passing in 2008, to the point that it was being manufactured to try to specifically fracture the Obama coalition.  The fact that a writer of Pierce's caliber brings it up in passing is just further evidence of how pervasive this nonsense is.

And if you haven't noticed, our black President came out and said bluntly that full equality, not just tolerance, was the goal for LGBT Americans.  The jarring and visibly hypocritical message of intolerance by some black pastors and priests doesn't equate to "black folks are more homophobic" any more than it does among white pastors and priests, yes?

I'm not slagging on Pierce here, I'm not one tenth the writer he is and I've been wrong ten times as often.  But Adam Serwer is in the right, and the lesson here is that everyone needs to be more aware of this.

Haters Gonna Hate

Well, if this story is true, I hope this guy gets to cool his jets in prison for a very, very long time.

A 39-year-old Muslim cab driver who served in the Iraq war says that an executive from an aviation company accused him of being a jihadist and broke his jaw in what activists are calling a hate crime.

Mohamed A. Salim told The Washington Post that Emerald Aviation President Ed Dahlberg attacked him after he picked him up at Country Club of Fairfax in Northern Virginia at around 2 a.m. on Friday. Dahlberg had been drinking and was told that he would have to finish his open beer before getting into the cab.

Salim recorded audio of the encounter on his cell phone. 

Dahlberg's rant, as recorded on the phone, is pretty horrific.  It's just straight, raw, hate, bred by a decade plus of stupid, ignorant Islamophobia.

Dahlberg was charged with misdemeanor assault and police are determining if charges should be elevated to a felony hate crime. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday said that medical records and the 11-minute cell phone recording were being used as evidence in the case.

In a statement, Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, admitted that his client “became rather emotional as the discussion turned to jihad and 9/11, and especially heated on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America.”

But Salim is an Iraq War veteran.  Unreal.  Just unreal.  And yet the haters on the right will now ruin Salim's life anyway.  It doesn't matter that he served his country in the military.  Muslims are nothing but subhuman animals to these morons and this is what they want to happen.

Keep openly backing these clowns, GOP.


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