An item for the echo chamber
According to news reports, U.S. Representative and wannabe presidential candidate Tom Tancredo wants to get rid of Congressional Black and Hispanic caucuses. He calls them racist because they supposedly focus on race.
Here we go; an item for Sean Hannity, John Gibson, and Bill O'Reilly to beat to death without courtesy of looking deeper at the issue.
Actually Tancredo's ignorance underscores an untalked about problem about race in this country. It used to be that some took the frame of mind of "so and so is from that race therefore he is inferior." Now people seem to be saying "so and so is from that race, but I can overlook it if he doesn't throw it in my face."
Seems to me that ignoring someone's cultural background is just as bad as discriminating against them because of it.
I am sure that sooner or later, the echo chamber of Fox News will focus on Tancredo's comments, conveniently ignoring the fact that story of the white legislator who turned down for membership in the Congressional Black Caucus (the story that started the entire mess) is not true. And I am sure that the guests they call to debate the point of view against Tancredo's comments will be "lukewarm liberals."
Or better yet, if these guests make even a substantial point against Tancredo's point of view, I am sure that O'Reilly, Hannity, Gibson, or whoever will conveniently interrupt them or try to lure them on some ideological tangent having nothing to do with Tancredo's comment.
So allow me to put my two cents in this situation.
If the controversy surrounding the government’s response time to the victims of Hurricane Katrina taught us anything, it’s that the idea that a color-blind society is a lie.
The color-blind society is a myth that ranks right up there with the idea that Columbus discovered America. Furthermore, it has been my experience that when someone talks about a "color-blind society," it is usually code words for "I wish those people would just shut up and take the role we want to give them."
No matter how many times people can talk about Martin Luther King Jr. and bastardize his "I Have A Dream" speech, power in this country is defined by access. I see that in every facet of American society, from politics to even the gay rights movement.
And those of us not in the majority tend to have to be creative (and at times downright rude) to get that access. Having those Congressional caucuses allows minority groups to focus on how we can better serve this government and how it can better serve us.
So I really don't take stock in Mr. Tancredo's complaints.
I am too busy trying to get what every American has a right to: what is mine.
So we don't forget what this is all about
A good friend of mine, Joe Brummer, wrote something today that I felt is worth repeating. I hope he will forgive me for adding a little bit more to it.
Just like Joe, my argument is not against America's Christian community. When I make references to the anti-gay industry, I am not referring to people of faith.
If someone believes according to their religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin, then that is alright with me. I have friends who believe this, but yet they know of my orientation and show me no disrespect.
Nor do they feel the need to place ridiculous parameters on me in fear that just because I am gay, I am going to launch into an itemized list of my sexual happenings. They know me better than that and they have the presence of mind to know that being honest about my orientation is not the same thing as talking about sexual intercourse.
But there are a bunch of groups in this country who exploit the beliefs and egos of people of faith for political power. Using a standpoint that homosexuality is a sin, they rely on distortions of legitimate scientific work and junk science to influence public policy as it pertains to the gay community.
For that reason, they (i.e. Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Traditional Values Coalition, American Family Association, etc) are the anti-gay industry.
Not only do they distort Christianity, but the common theme for these folks when they are caught in their lies is to claim that those who refute them are trying to "silence Christians."
One does not have to be a rocket scientist to know the difference between silencing someone and refuting someone's lies. No one should be given a free pass to influence public opinion and policy unchallenged. Especially if they:
refer to the studies of a discredited researcher as truth,
misuse the work of the legitimate researchers and physicians and ignore them when they complain, or
sell copies of a tape featuring a man who claimed to have been "freed from the bondage of homosexuality" when he was having sex in hotel rooms with gay men at the time he made the claim.
I personally don't want to shut up the anti-gay industry. By all means, keep talking. It makes the job of those trying to expose you easier.