Wise words from the Slacktivist:
... I think cause and effect flow in the other direction. I think, instead, that bigotry is a sufficient, but not a necessary, cause of stupidity. In other words, I think that bigotry is the precondition -- that it is a starting point from which one inevitably and inexorably goes on to become stupid.
... Racism, bigotry and xenophobia are immoral, of course, but they are also, just as fundamentally, untrue. They are unreal. They provide a theory and a framework for living in the world that cannot be reconciled with the reality of this world. The person who chooses to accept that unreal framework is thus constantly forced to choose between unreality and reality, between the theory and the facts. To hold onto the unreal framework, they must continuously reject reality. And every time they do that, they get a little bit dumber. ...
Prof BW shares some of her reality as someone who doesn't have the luxury of choosing sides between being gay and being a person of color:
This prop 8 thing, both the loss and the aftermath, has really pushed me and so many of my closest friends (hard core social justice advocates in CA) past the breaking point. Besides hearing about all of the homophobic and racist comments hurled at Friday night's rally, I just ended up in a similar conversation online. As I stared incredulous at the screen, my gf slipped her hand into mine and led me to the tv, where she had already put a warm cup of eggnog cocoa (eggnog + abuelita, my fav. what?!) and some fresh pumpkin bread. She pushed the play button on the DVD player, and one of my favorite movies started: Nina's Heavenly Delights
And as I snuggled into her and felt her long, muscular arms, wrap around me tight, safe, I thought: How can anybody say this is wrong? And how could anybody else blame us ... The only voice of reason is the gravelly pitch of her's against my ear, reminding me, we are still here.
The leaders of the Republican Party are going to stick with their plan of spreading hate and oppression because it's all they've got left. The public has hated their economic policies for a long time, and only supported them out of a xenophobic desire not to share scarce resources with Those People, whoever the scapegoat of the day happens to be.
It's been clear for a long time that to be divided against each other as women and men, as culturally and melanin differentiated, as gay and straight, as rural and urban, is to grant power to people who've decided that 47 million of us can't see a doctor or dentist when we're sick. It's to cede the fight to those who think it's fine if medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy, even though 3/4 of those bankrupted had health coverage at the beginning of their illness.
Health care is just one of the many problems that can't be solved for the majority of Americans if we will persist in fearing and hating people we don't even know on stupid and arbitrary grounds. Though it's an important one; what have you got if you haven't got your health?
If we want a chance at real change, it's time to struggle against our own voluntary stupidities so they don't cut us off from people who should be natural allies in the fight (via). If we want a serious conversation about how the nation's finite human and material resources are used, we need to get past unserious claims that there isn't enough human dignity to go around if we have to share it with everyone.
Justice, respect, mercy and love are only as scarce as we choose to make them.Update [2008-11-10 8:41:55 by Natasha Chart]:
I strongly recommend TerranceDC's must read essay on homophobia in the black community