Saturday, January 4, 2014

Last Call For Rocky Mountain Lows

Earlier today I talked about Chris Hayes, privilege, and the massive disparity between the arrest rate of white and black marijuana smokers.  The awesome Goldie Taylor made the very compelling argument Friday on Twitter that Colorado's legalization setup is only going to make this worse:

Do read the entire Storify by Kashann Kilson, who captured all of Goldie's tweets on the subject.

Bottom line:  the state of Colorado now has not only every legal incentive to go after non-licensed pot dealers and the people who buy their product, but every financial incentive too.  Black market pot from your neighborhood dealer costs the state tax revenue dollars.  Expect prosecutions and raids to be up big time...and there's absolutely nothing to make me think these pot-based arrests won't be as wildly skewed towards minorities as they were before Colorado put this into place.  Look for the state to bring its full power down upon "your usual connection".

If anything, I agree wholeheartedly with Goldie Taylor that it will be far more race and class based.  The people who can afford pot at Colorado's licensed prices will buy.  Those who can't, well, things are going to get ugly.

Out And About In Washington DC

So, here's the question:  Is it okay to publicly out a Republican Congressman as gay when he does everything he can to be a hypocrite and anti-LGBT bigot, and sponsors and votes for legislation to that effect?

Apparently at least one CBS News journalist (in this case Itay Hod who is gay himself and is an anchor for CBS News's show on the LGBT-themed Logo network) thinks the answer is "oh hell yes, and about time too."

Early yesterday, Hod — who is also gay — posted a long note on Facebook wondering why no journalist has ever outed Schock, who he claims has been caught by a journalist in the shower with his male roommate by as well as in gay bars by TMZ. "Doesn't the media have an OBLIGATION to expose hypocrisy?" he asks:

here's a hypothetical: what if you know a certain GOP congressman, let's just say from Illinois, is gay... and you know this because one of your friends, a journalist for a reputable network, told you in no uncertain terms that he caught that GOP congressman and his male roommate in the shower... together. now they could have been good friends just trying to conserve water. but there's more. what if this congressman has also been caught by tmz cameras trolling gay bars. now what if you know that this very same guy, the darling of the gop, has also voted against repeal of don't ask don't tell, opposed the repeal of doma, is against gay marriage; and for the federal marriage amendment, which would add language to the us constitution banning gay marriage and would likely strike down every gay rights law and ordinance in the country? 
Are we still not allowed to out him?
Hod goes on to defend outing the "certain GOP congressman" before posting a link to "The 7 gayest Aaron Schock Instagram posts of 2013" juuuuust to make sure we're all on the same page.

So is what Hod did the right thing to do?  I'm a straight ally, so do I even have a valid opinion either way in this fight?  Any opinions out there?

Privilege Is A Hell Of A Drug

Last night MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes talked about Colorado's legalization of marijuana and NY Times columnist David Brooks admitting that he smoked pot as a teenager, but I will give Hayes all the credit in the world for his story of checking out the Republican National Convention in Philly in 2000 and realizing he still had a bag of weed in his glasses case, heading towards a search checkpoint for convention security.

Hayes's on-air admission, in part:

"I've re-run that incident countless times since, and while I have no earthly idea why the cop not only didn't arrest me but decided to give me my weed back, the best case seems to be that he looked at me like I could have been some Senator's son, and that arresting me was going to possibly cause a whole bunch of headaches that he did not need on a night when he was mostly there to make sure no one was bringing weapons or explosives into that building. 
"And I can tell you as sure as I am sitting here before you that if I was a black kid with cornrows instead of a white kid with glasses, my ass would have been in the back of the squad car faster than you could say 'George W. Bush'."

Thank you, Chris Hayes, for personally admitting that truth about our society, drugs like marijuana, and who actually gets arrested for them.

More people need to admit that America is not colorblind, and never will be.  Not in my lifetime, at least.
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