Friday, November 7, 2008

Proposition 8 and the New Racism

The backlash on the left over the passage of California's Proposition 8 reveals just how nasty Democratic Party identity politics can get sometimes.

It turns out that gay rights activists, in looking for scapegoats for their denial of same-sex marriage at the polls, are attacking blacks for helping to put the intitative over the top.

Pam Spaulding's got the background, but this quote really captures things:

The backlash is upon us, and it's going to get uglier unless our organizations step forward and say something. The desire to scapegoat blacks for Prop 8's defeat has exposed the now not-so-latent racism in our movement.
Spaulding then goes on with a discussion about how she's "three-times" marginalized (apparently as a black woman who's lesbian).

But what she doesn't do is address the inherent pathologies of lefist identity politics itself. She sees herself pulled into the maelsrom of race, rights, and identity, but it's all a misunderstanding, and not an inherent perversion of the left's obsession with race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and on and on, until each side's not getting enough of the spoils, and no coalition can last amid the division.

The fact is, with 70 percent of California's blacks voting in favor of Prop 8, the black community was shedding identity politics to enter into a traditional bloc of voters interested in preserving a valued institution.

For all the cries of GOP racism at the Palin rallies, and so forth, the genuinely wicked attack politics we've seen this year has been on the Democratic-left. As Jammie Wearing Fool notes, "Raw, unexpurgated liberal hate on display. Just imagine if these weren't two protected classes. We'd never hear the end of it."


Anonymous said...

I'm not too thrilled with Obama in the White House but I respect the result of the election. They should also respect the will of the people. This shows how the left loves democracy only when it helps their causes; this is mob rule. -Raul

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Raul ... it's really mob rule!

repsac3 said...

Central to our system of government is the premise that there are laws that even the largest majorities are prohibited from enacting because such laws violate the constitutional rights of minorities.

In a constitutional republic, we don't vote on the inalienable rights of any group of citizens, no matter how small a group "they" are, or how large a majority "we" are.

To do otherwise really would be mob rule...

Anonymous said...

Actually, Reppy, until the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the 14th Amendment as guaranteeing sex-sex marriage as an "inalienable right," you're on thin ground. Perhaps a couple of Obama appointees will push the balance over, but in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), a bare 5-4 majority struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law to guarantee a right to privacy for gays. Sandra Day O'Connor's off the court (she was the 5th vote), so it's up to Obama.

And even the Supreme Court "follows the election returns," as they say, so I wouldn't doubt the will of that majority you so easily dismiss.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying that the court's opinion creates the right?

I would think that the right exists and the court recognizes its existence.

Or are you saying that marriage is not a right per se but a legal privilege and that its restriction to heterosexual couples is more similar to the age and birth requirements for holders of public offices?

Historically many civil rights have been recognized by the courts against the expressed will of the voters. What is unique about this instance?

repsac3 said...

I would think that the right exists and the court recognizes its existence.

That'd be my interpretation of the way it is...

marriage is not a right per se but a legal privilege

Marriage may actually be a privilege rather than a right, but access to that privilege should not be based on the gender to which one is attracted. Laws requiring the parties to be a certain age protect minors who lack the requisite maturity from being taken advantage of, but laws saying two men or two women cannot unite protect neither party, or anyone else, be they involved or just expressing opinions from the sidelines.

Rather, they are based on & reenforce a religious worldview that may well not be shared by either party to the potential union. Generally, we here in America refrain from making laws based on any particular religion's way of seeing the world.

It wasn't that long ago that neither our President-elect's or our fair host's parents could legally marry, and many of the same reasons were used to explain why not. In my view, the folks opposing interracial marriage were just as wrong, and for pretty much the same reasons. Access to wedded bliss ought not be based on race, sexuality, age (once over consent), religious preference, or any of the other "-ism's" there is'm.

Anonymous said...

This one issue is particularly galling to me, given the basic idea behind it: the limitation and denying of a basic civil right by means of government AND interference.

Donald has gone on record to state that gays are trying to establish a right that doesn't exist. I reject that argument utterly as it does exist in other countries and states. To say it doesn't is disingenuous. When a minority of the population would like to be granted the same rights that marriage affords, but is told by their churgh/government that they fell in love with someone of the wrong gender, that's wrong. Love is not something that is legislated.

Legally, there are things that marriage bestows that a typical civil union does not. That is the issue here. In a way, this disenfranchisement is not even considered separate but equal. At least blacks could marry other blacks (just not whites).

Now, the establishment of this right exists because there is a clear and ever present minority that would like to work towards this goal. There is not a clear and ever present minority that wishes to marry their dog, their sister or whatever stupid argument people throw out there.

On my own block, there are three gay couples, at least one that married prior to the passing of Prop. H8. Now where do they stand, as their right as a married couple was in fact established and legally binding?

People in Massachussets will tell you that existence of gay marriage has not in fact resulted in teaching gay unions in school, underage drag queens, heterosexual marriage put in danger, etc. All the arguments against are blatantly false, designed to instill fear, and usually using a hateful religious undertone.

There has not been put forth one single good argument in favor of Prop. 8. Not one.

Someone prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...


the limitation and denying of a basic civil right by means of government AND religious interference.

Anonymous said...

"...there is a clear and ever present minority that would like to work towards this goal..."

Tim: You really are drinking Kool-Aid. A majority of the states prohibits gay-marriage, and majorities swept away efforts at same-sex marriage in the states on Tuesday.

The fact that other countries allow gay marriage is irrelevant.

repsac3 said...

A majority of the states prohibits gay-marriage, and majorities swept away efforts at same-sex marriage in the states on Tuesday.

Rights are not subject to the wishes & whims of minorities & majorities here in the USA. If they were, blacks may still not be voting, and your parents would not've been legally married. (Just to name two things..)

We are a Constitutional Republic, and as such, there are times when the minority is protected by the tyranny of the majority by law.

There is no difference between the argument you're making now & the one folks made years ago about interracial marriage.
The majority didn't want it.
It was a sin.
The children would be harmed.
It would cheapen healthy white marriages.

As far as marriage vs civil union, the problem there is one of semantics. The state took a religious term & made it a legal one, leading to many of these problems.

The best thing that could happen as far as I'm concerned is to let the sacred be sacred, & let the secular be secular. Change the word "marriage" to "civil union" in every law, define civil union as a legal joining of two people by law, including--but not limited to--the sacred bonds of marriage, and let places of worship define marriage however God instructs them.

The church has no place defining the terms of secular law, & the state has no place defining a sacred rite.

More here.

(I'll hit the newer posting later...)