Readers on Malice Toward All:
New Pride Not New
Gay Hate Not New
I just read your
Malice Toward All”, (UWFR, June 29)]. I agree substantially with
it. I don't see the hatred and bloodlust as a recent phenomenon, however.
Perhaps it has expanded, or become more public (especially in the mainstream
media), and/or perhaps I am just not in a good position to objectively
see these changes over the years. In any case, I definitely recall
hatred expressed by gay people (and their opponents) going back 25+
years. What I have taken note of over the years is a decrease in
hate-mongering among conservatives. I suppose it could be the result of
the psychology of the mob - first anti-gay words were tolerated, even
cheered, and the anti-gay hater were emboldened, then (now) the
anti-'homophobe' words are cheered and the gay haters are emboldened.
article, my mind kept wandering to situations across the globe (especially in
the Muslim lands), then you would remind me that you were talking about
Americans. I think the process at work is the same, though. These
gay haters, are the same as the jihadists, the same as the anti-abortion
extremists, the animal rights and environmental extremists, etc. It's a
selfish process whereby these people hold some personal idea so dear that
little else matters except the promotion of that idea...the end justifies the
means. I think people
(and countries) are at their best and humanity is exalted
when their personal ideas are subordinate to more transcendent concepts
like fairness, freedom, respect, responsibility, etc. I think one's
self interests are better served by trying to lift everyone up, than by
trying to lift just yourself up.
And, Not Just Gay
I witnessed some moderated
talk show on one of the CNN channels the other day discussing what's next for
the gay rights movement. It sounded like the backroom verbal
sparring you might expect at a meeting of extremists (minus the vulgarity,
not a debate fit for a general audience, even a CNN audience.
I don't think this would have happened even a couple years ago. Such
daring, and who, except the extremists (and their note-taking opposition),
would even care to watch it.
I think the process
is at work in other areas, too, like the regulatory bureaucrats that relish
every chance to exercise their powers (it's the rule that matters,
not the intent of the rule) or the government officials that fear
terrorists so much that they violate the freedoms of the innocent in order to
protect the innocent. So, apparently, some central Texas teenage video
gamer has been in jail for a couple months without charge or trial
because he made joking remarks which were perceived as 'imminent'
threats. On an online video game/Facebook forum, this guy was called
out-of-his-mind by someone he was chatting with. He responded that
yeah, he's so out-of-his-mind that that he's gonna' shoot up a school, “lol,
Continued column 2 >
< From column 1
Some stranger in Canada spotted the remarks and
called police in the guy's city and (despite two months having passed) the
police arrested him without evidence substantiating or corroborating
the threat, and has held him for the last two months...this in Texas, USA,
not Uganda. Disgusting!
Label the Act, Not the Person
did read your article, and my main reaction is that I have seen more
expressions of celebration than of hate. I do know about the
expressions of hate, but I've seen them all along, from certain people.
I've used terms like "breeders" myself (affectionately, I
like to think, but it IS an epithet). I don't think it's new or even
worse now. I'm reading the novel "A Single Man", in which
Isherwood's protagonist both explains and exemplifies the hatred that the
persecuted often feel for the persecutors. The post you gave as an
example doesn't seem worse than the thoughts expresses in the book (from
said, I think it is seldom useful to label someone a homophobe (Karl Rove,
Jerry Falwell, Alec Baldwin), or a racist (Paula Deen, Michele Obama), for
a couple of reasons. First, it means that you are likely to filter
every action by that person through the lens of this label. Second,
the accusation in the label is difficult for the accused to defend against,
and impossible for the accuser to prove. Assigning a motivation
behind an action, when you cannot possibly know that motivation, leaves the
action itself unaddressed. It's also an ad hominem attack.
the label to the particular action or behavior seems more productive.
A person can be shown how a particular behavior is harmful (racist,
homophobic, etc), and that person can choose to stop that behavior.
But if that person IS a homophobe, at what point does the person go from
being a homophobe to being a non-homophobe (if that's even possible)?
that last question we must say we think it is possible. Otherwise all discussion would be
pointless, and taught racism or sexism could never be un-taught, and
nothing would ever change.
Continued column 3 >
< From column 2
Readers on Traditional & Gay Marriage
Business, But Don’t make it My Business
read your article [“A
Gay Defense of a Traditional View of Marriage” (Ultrapolis Section,
re-posted June 28)]. Such a tough topic. And you take a position that is
contrary to what I imagine is near 99% of gays. I don't even know what I
believe with respect to this topic. I suppose I don't care as long as
businesses (of all types) and churches aren't obligated to "sell their
product" to gays if they don't want to (or to blacks, or to
whites, or to women, or to men, or to [Asians], [etc.]). I've always
believed (quite firmly) that the business owner should have the right to
sell to whomever he wants to, but in the U.S. today that appears not to be
the case. If I don't like midgets, or Cubans (I'm Cuban), or any
other group I should be able to not provide service to them (since it is MY
business). Then of course market forces will act upon me (or not) due to my
decision to sell or not to sell to whomever I want. Of course the
government has interfered in the market to such a degree that a "free
market" (contrary to popular belief) does not exist.
Other than that, I don't care who marries who. I suppose that it's none of
Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review
Copy Editor: Michael
Our forecast record cannot be beat.
One can follow the herd chasing the latest hyperbolic, melodramatic,
and soon-forgotten micro-trend on Facebook and Twitter, or one can be
wisely and judiciously in front of it with UWFR.
Comments may be
directed to firstname.lastname@example.org,
or if you receive the newsletter email, also via a reply to the email
address from which you receive it. OR CLICK BELOW