Uncivil Rest

Guess I’ll unwind with this before I get to work on some sites d’web.

Hypocrites are so last season

So I’ve been hearing a lot of discussion and debate about gay marriage.  A few states legalizing or recognizing.  Carrie Prejean (as predicted) making the rounds on Christian and political right wing shows.

A fascinating and chaotic discussion on WPFW’s “Dialogue” show.  All three hosts having an almost reasonable and noisy discussion, but agreeing.  All of the callers I heard (black men by the sound of it) expressing anti-gay marriage sentiment.  It was fascinating how all of the callers were unwittingly illustrating the hosts point about homophobia.

About Harry Jackson and Marion Barry.  Marion Barry saying we have to oppose gay marriage because it’s immoral.  I will point out as pure observation that this is the same man who was busted smoking crack in a hotel room whilst having an affair.  Caught on video, too.  Something about a blow job during a prison visitation.  Four wives so far and multiple infidelities.  Seemingly perennial tax evasion issues.

Okay.

Young black men gunning each other down in the streets.  HIV/AIDS in DC is astronomically out of control, particularly in the black community if I understand correctly.  Of course, the black folk blame it on gays.  Anyway, crushing poverty, unemployment, gangs, over 50% fatherless households, troubled and sometimes failing school system, homeless people everywhere.  And what gets the black ministers in DC in a tizzy?  A council vote on whether or not to recognize gay marriage.

I mean, I know guys who say that homosexuality is a sin, an abomination, and yet they watch lesbian porn.  Or to be fair, they’re drawn in by it.  The internet is a dangerous, dangerous place as far as porn temptation goes.  And the flesh is weak.  But back to the mental thread, they’re not proud of it and they recognize the disconnect and hypocrisy but … there it is.

Let’s be real here, though.  Just because you do something wrong doesn’t mean you give up your condemnation of behaviors and mindsets that you don’t agree with.  I mean, if you cheat on your taxes or use a more convenient zip code for your car insurance you don’t suddenly say, “Well, these drug dealers are really polluting our neighborhood.  Two shootings this week.  But who am I to complain or call the cops?  I declared a non-existent deduction.”

None of us works that way.

And of course, there are a lot of people who oppose gay marriage who aren’t religious, too, so let’s not pigeonhole or set up a straw man to knock down.

It’s getting a bit stale, though, the blatant hypocrisy.  It’s old news.  And it’s not my main point.  My main point is how uncivil the liberal, left or gay marriage proponents have become.

Is Keith Olbermann’s Countdown becoming the monster it hunts?

Keith Olbermann had Michael Musto(?) on the other week.  I don’t know who Michael Musto is. But he was a guest and Keith O. tossed a few slow pitches to Musto.  The diatribe was trite and ugly.  They were ragging on Prejean and were basically calling her an idiotic, silicone boobed bigot.  Insulting her for getting breast implants.  Calling her stupid.  It was ugly and childish.  I didn’t see Perez Hilton’s video but he, from what I hear, called Prejean a dumb bitch.  All this anger.  All this vitriol.

(Regardless of all of the rhetoric on both sides I think that in a few years gay marriage will be legal.  That’s just the way it’s going.  The upcoming generations are much more open minded about it so that’s the way it’ll go.)

Demonization

How come anyone we disagree with is demonized?  Is labeled a hateful bigot?

I’m a black dude.  I know people who, last time I checked, were against interracial relationships.  Why?  I dunno.  That’s just what they believe.  I’m sure in their day an interracial relationship was the gateway to many problems and much persecution and misery.  Some of their fears and prejudices and mistrust were born out, probably.  They aren’t hateful people.  They’re kind, warm and generous.  You could call them bigoted, I guess.  Maybe even ignorant, and I mean that in the sense that they literally don’t know or have any exposure to black families.  Or Asian families or Jewish or whatever.  Different cultures coming together will have some tensions.  That’s just how it goes.

But I would never go off on a tear calling them dumbass, hick, ignorant crackers who need to shut the hell up and go back to their beer can strewn lawns and read their David Duke biographies.  Y’know?

For some reason, the Left feels totally justified to act like douchebags because the Left feels morally superior on this issue and righteously or secularly indignant.  Irony of ironies.

The “Civil” in Civil Rights

Here’s something I thought about on the train on the way home today.  Some folks consider gay marriage a civil rights issue.  So I was thinking about the Civil Rights Movement of the mid 20th century.  I think of the Black national figures, leaders, marchers, protesters, media figures, etc.  They were respectful.  Not cowardly or submissive, but respectful.  Why?  Because they wanted respect.

There was no immature acting out.  No Cleavon Little-esque instigation.  No in-your-face-F-you orgy of stereotypes.

They had dignity.  They did their best to be upright, forthright and tolerant of even the most hateful racists. Ultimately, they commanded respect through their behavior and their actions.  On their terms.

And yes, there were angry, militant Black organizations.  Of course there were.  But while they were inciting racial rage (and often providing assistance to the Black community) they were also stoking fear and mistrust.  When the riots of the late 60’s broke out, Black figureheads called for calm.  Militants called for revolution and lashing out.  And whose communities were torn and burned down?  Ours.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m tired of all of this crass bickering.  It bothers me to see Keith Olbermann play straight man to petty, mean spirited, juvenile name calling.  I know I’m a little old fashioned sometimes, but what kind of man/men attack a woman’s character based on a diplomatically stated opinion.  They weren’t even attacking her position or argument, substantive or not.  They were doing the ad hominem thing because of her beliefs, which aren’t going to slow down the gay marriage train one bit.

Eh.  Anyway.  I know passions run high.  It’s just kind of sad to realize that … I don’t know.  We’ve got no gentility.  Is that a word?  Gentile-ness?  We ain’t got no home trainin’.  That’s what I’m trying to say.  No wonder we can’t get anything accomplished as a society.

We look at each other and think, “What an idiot.”

On a personal note

My grandparents and parents experienced some awful racism and segregation.  Soul crushing, demoralizing, life shortening racism.  As of 1984 I have had no living grandfathers.  Okay.  They, as (grand)parents do, passed on a wariness of white people.  They taught me that I would have to perform better than my white counterparts in order to be perceived as equal.  They taught me to stand on my own and to make smart choices because if I were to get in trouble, I wouldn’t receive the same light hand as my white counterparts.  They taught me to stand up for myself and to demand fairness.

But they NEVER taught me to be fearful, hateful or disrespectful.

They had every reason to.  But they knew that it would serve no purpose and that it would come with consequences.  So I’m going to say it again.

They NEVER taught me to be fearful, hateful or disrespectful.

And on a lighter note…

I’m so lame.  I’m proud of myself because I jogged a 13 minute mile today.  Okay, it’s not the fact that it took me 13 minutes.  I know that’s not much of an accomplishment and is, in fact, pitifully slow.  What I’m excited about is the fact that I was able to jog for 13 minutes straight.  Not jog/walk but jog.  Its’ a beginning.  The beginning of getting back to where I used to be and hopefully better.  And If I’m lucky and careful I won’t hurt myself in the process.

We’ll see how the mountain biking goes on Thu. or Fri.  The return to Schaefer Farm.

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