A personal polemic

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by amhersthungboi, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. amhersthungboi

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    As anyone can see from my bio, I am a gay American (although my percentages my shift from time to time, ultimately, I am gay).

    In 2001 I was a victim of a hate crime that was the target of media attention, and underwent 10 months of counseling subsequent to that event which will, always, live on in me. Unfortunately, my university (where it occurred) turned a blind eye as "boys will be boys".

    And, yet, I love that university.

    In 2002 I was dismissed from a job because I began dating a male co-worker. Multiple male/female co-worked tandems existed, and no clause in my contract, or any document, said I could not date a co-worked.

    I love that employer.

    My nation says my relationship is not worthy of notice. My Australian parter (of 2 years) and I will not be able to move to the United States together based simply on our relationship. Indeed, I will remain in Australia, probably indefinitely, because there is no clean way for us to migrate, without it being open to endless review.

    I love my country.

    I have been called faggot, and ass-bandit, and countless other names. I have been harassed and pushed and punched, and made to feel less than human by my fellow Americans.

    And, yet, still I love my country.

    The history of gays in relation to straights is an abominable one, full of hate and anger. Gays have been hurt, mangled, executed, and made to feel "less than" for hundreds of years in a multitude of countries. Many nations deny our right to exist, while some American states deny us the right to marry or the right to adopt. Indeed, being "come on to" by a gay man was a defense in case regarding Matthew Shepherd's execution, and my own sexuality was used as defense against the hate crime committed against me.

    I do not hate straight people. Nor do I hate those who preach that I daily commit a sin when I wake up next to, and kiss, my partner. For those that hate me, I have nothing but pity.


    I do not hate straight people. I do not damn them, nor wish them any harm. I do not believe that horrible things that befall homophobes are their "chickens coming home to roost", nor do I believe that they should be damned to hell.

    If any of my friends ever suggested that straight people are "less than", or that I should not vote for a candidate for any office because they are straight, or if any of my friends suggested that straights should be "damned", I would try to talk to them to change their position ... or, save that, if they were truly irreconcilable, I would question the friendship itself.

    I would never bring a child to a Pride rally where anti-straight remarks were made. I would never call a heterophobe a trusted spiritual advisor, nor continue a 20 year relationship with someone who espoused those views. To do so, in my own mind, would only be countering hate with hate, and that gets us no where.

    It may be true that one presidential candidate has never been called a "nigger". Nor as the other been called a "bitch". Neither has been called a fag (though, unfortunately, calling another man a fag is far more accepted in our cultural lexicon than nigger, though both are terms of hate and a tragic cultural history). NEITHER candidate has ever been called a fag with any veracity to the term, nor has either candidate, in their own lives, has had their romantic relationships invalidated by a state. I have. In that sense, I can say NEITHER candidate represents my own history, my own oppression, my own needs, or my own vantage point. And, yet, I manage to transcend that divide.

    I would be entitled to launch into a complex history, and relate how the history of homophobia in the world, over the past 2000 years, has shaped a viewpoint whereby some gays may be entitled to hate straight people due to the countless centuries of hate and oppression they have faced. And, yet, I would be wrong. Citing a motive for hate does not excuse the hate; nor does it excuse those who choose to surround themselves with hate. If we are to move in a "post-sexuality" world, then EVERYONE who espouses hate toward another sexuality must be counseled to change their world view. Or, save that, then I must move on to find others who will work with me in a struggle for equality for all, rather than re-hashing the hate of the past.

    THIS is why I find Obama's argument regarding Wright so un-convincing. I am sure I will get smashed for writing this, called countless names, and the target of multiple insults. Fine. However, Obama cannot claim a monopoly of hate. Millions of Americans face hate every day -- based on sexuality, race (there are other racial minorities with tragic histories), gender, class, religion, and so much more. However, very few of us CHOOSE to, on a weekly basis, engage with those who espouse hate toward the dominant group, expose our children to that hate, while, at the same time, condemned yet offering historical apology for that hate.

    Despite my advantages, I have been the target of hate in the United States, so much so that I may never be able to go home. Still, God Bless America -- I am proud of my nation, for all its faults, and never once wish it harm, nor could turn a callous eye toward the harms it has faced.

    Let the ripping into me begin.
     
  2. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    First of all, you're extremely cute. Okay, got that out of the way.

    I'm not sure I understand the logical transition into Obamaland, but you are absolutely right that civil rights do not exist in a little glass that some people get to drink from and others do not. And just as there is not a finite quantity of civil rights, there is also not a monopoly on which minority has been most aggrieved by the withholding of those rights. Accordingly, we cannot assume that everyone who has felt the sting of prejudice will react in the same rational, and I would argue loving, manner you describe.

    I appreciate your personal experience and political observations. It was a great well reasoned post. You're a smart guy and a hottie too.
     
  3. maestro071

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    Wow, this was so nicely told!
     
  4. lttlgrllst

    lttlgrllst New Member

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    Wow, you are a better person than me. I think I would be a bit more bitter about things. We need more people in the world like you.
     
  5. HazelGod

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    :crucified: :rolleyes:



    This one remark says everything about you.

    Perhaps if you were a little less intent upon nailing yourself to the crucifix of victimhood, you might have understood that Obama was telling us, honestly, that nobody can claim such a monopoly...that every group has legitimate complaints with the status quo, and that its up to us to transcend the historical use of these complaints as cudgels for division.

    That some have deliberately chosen to bite the hand extended to them openly in the spirit of inclusive reconciliation is mind boggling. That you choose to disregard the genuine opportunity to rise above these divisions and prefer instead to wallow in the effluvia of this cesspool is similarly puzzling. That you choose to identify with a candidate who embodies the worst of our pettiness and divsiveness is a wonder in itself...but your repeated attempts to drag everyone else down into the same sewer with you speaks to a much deeper-seated pathology.

    I'm not sure exactly what sort of deus ex machina you're expecting, but do enjoy the view from up there while you wait. :rolleyes:


    Hardly. If anything, we need a shift away from this mentality of victimhood. It serves no purpose but to highlight and reinforce our various iniquities while offering no path toward resolving them.
     
  6. Dave NoCal

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    It's my understanding that the church Obama attends has been very progressive on gay issues, including supporting having gay clergy. He favors repeal of DOMA while Clinton does not.
    Dave
     
  7. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    what strength! bravo!
     
  8. JustAsking

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    amhersthungboi,
    I loved everything you said up until the Obama part. Not because I am an Obama supporter (though I am), but because you actually missed his the point of his speech. In his racism speech, he brought together as many disparate oppressed groups as he could and recognized their separate and sometimes mutual reasons for being angry with each other out of the frustration of oppression. I can't remember if he mentioned the gay community, though. Someone might help me out on this one.

    Anyway, I do love your addition to the "Obama called black/Hillary called bitch" thing, where you said that none of them have endured state intrusion to their love life. That is a powerful way of stating that, and I will remember it.
     
  9. Phil Ayesho

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    All the personal affinities and personal tragedies aside...
    I prefer Obama for purely practical reasons.


    No matter what you think of Hillary... you can not deny that she already has a LOT of enemies in Congress, and around the country.


    A lot of people, even among democrats, really have a severe dislike of this woman.

    If Hillary is the nominee... the democrats stand a good chance of losing, simply because of the fact of very effective Republican smear campaign aimed at anything and everything Clinton.

    She would, unfortunately, Drag Bill back into the White house. ( although I though Bill was a very good president... he certainly upset a lot of folks, too...and has become a part of the Republican mythology that far too many people buy into..

    So... IF Hillary gets nominated, we have maybe a 40% chance of having another Republican president... one who backs most of the Bush agenda, and will prevent any real progress in this country thru a divisive relationship with a democratic Congress.
    Because the democratic majority in Congress will not be enough to override a presidential veto, the result will be... nothing good getting done.

    If Hillary wins, we will have a re-awakening of the republican character assassination machine... and we can count on 4 years of republican fillibustering to prevent any Democratic agenda from moving forward... Without their majority and without the presidency, their hatred and dislike of Hillary will become the PRIMARY message in all media.


    Result... some good things will get done... but democratic dislike of Hillary, and a divisive republican minority, will severely cripple Washington, and Make Hatred of Hillary the central focus of US policy dialog.


    On the other hand... If Obama wins nomination...

    He has not enough history in congress to have made many enemies... His half Muslim background will take the teeth out of the Wahabist propaganda about a christian crusade. And the republican right will be far too leery of being made to look racist by putting up a lot of opposition to his initiatives.

    Seeing the intelligence with which he picked his campaign staff, I feel sure he will pick a cabinet staff as adroitly.

    All in all, I see Obama as the only candidate that will actually be able to get anything useful underway.

    I could care less about personalities.

    If you really want some important work to actually get done... Obama is the most likely to be able to negotiate with Congress....


    Either of The other two will just mean more strife, divisive drama, and political mayhem...

    Besides... IF Obama can so effortlessly and straightforwardly handle the explosive issue of race in America...
    How much more effortlessly will he handle far less contentious issues.
     
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