Saturday, July 18, 2009

This will inevitably piss someone off

But I don't care. It needs to be said.

There was a controversial article published here:

For those of you not in the know, there is a HUGE debate sparked by Prop 8's passing between the gay community and the African-American community. A generalization of the argument (and I recognize it is a generalization so don't yell at me for generalizing, please) is that gays do not have a right to compare their civil rights struggle with that of blacks, because racism and homophobia are different kinds of hate, because one can hide one's sexuality but not their race. Therefore, the hate African Americans receive is greater and more forceful than the hate received by gay people; therefore, gay people not only cannot compare their civil rights struggles but also cannot complain that they have not yet received their total rights (i.e. legal equality in the form of gay marriage, military equality in the removal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, etc) because while gay people have waited 40 years for their freedom, African-Americans have been waiting several hundred years for theirs.

And after reading both, I agree with the critique more than the article. Some money quotes from the critique:

"For one thing, the argument is so self-defeating. You generally don't end up with an intelligent discussion. What you end up with are folks who compare abuses like they are marks of honors. Getting your head busted open for being black or gay is not a trophy and should never be seen as such."

"Are we so damned wrapped up in talking about how we have been oppressed that we forget that all oppression must be stopped?"

The last quote sums it up for me. Why are we even arguing whose oppression and discrimination is more important and more valid? Hate is hate and should not be tolerated, whether it lasted for 40 years or 4,000 years. I'm getting sick and tired of any minority, whether sexual, racial, cultural, or spiritual/religious, claiming they have more of a "right" to bitch about "non-rights." It's the perverse reversal of bigotry. "My genetics receive more discrimination than your genetics, therefore, I am superior to you."

I'm sorry, but prejudice is prejudice no matter WHOM IS DOING THE HATING. I believe a white person hating a black person simply because they are black is JUST AS WRONG as a black person hating a white person because they're white. Likewise, I also believe that a gay person hating a straight person is the same sin as a straight person hating a gay person.

Hate is hate, period, and it is never, under any circumstances, justified. I don't care how long your ancestors were oppressed. Your bigotry is not absolved because of your history.

And speaking of history, if we study it, we'll find that damn near EVERYONE has had some atrocity done to them. Just off the top of my head: Hitler and the Jews, the Romans and the Christians, Europe/America and Africans, Africans and Africans (hello apartheid), Europeans and Native Americans, Britain and India, Protestants and Catholics, the British and the Irish, the Irish in New York City, Japanese Americans circa 1945, China and Tibet, the Spaniards and the Aztecs, the ethnic cleansing of the Yugoslavia breakup, Jews and Palestineans, Iraqis and Iranians, the people of North Korea, the high school football team versus the effete theatre geek, and let's not forget WOMEN for over 2,000 years and counting in some parts of the world.

Now...are we done playing the Victim-Thon? And can we use our anger that we've been spewing at each other to fight oppression in ALL forms? To fight racism, sexism, and homophobia. Because this "you have no right to complain" is counterproductive and just allows oppression to exist WITHIN minorities as well as outside of them. That, my friends, achieves nothing. And I'm tired of achieving nothing, how about you?

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