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Old 03-04-2007, 11:57 PM   #76
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B]I think you'll find for the most part, women have been supportive of gay rights. Maybe there was a kinship there. Or maybe just an inherent understanding. But women also have the history of being the supporters too often left behind once a goal was reached and their usefulness ended. I'm a little tired of us being fucking fools. So I have a sensitivity there.


if this were true for everybody, wouldn't african-american churches take up the mantle of the gay marriage/rights/non-discrimination in employment?

no. if anything, many, many black churches -- and we can probably say, "black churches" in the political sense -- are still quite homophobic, Coretta Scott King aside.

and gay black men, and the women they sometimes marry, suffer the most from this homophobia.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:00 AM   #77
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Nothing's true for everybody. I take your point. I'll let somebody else answer to that. I don't know why. I can surmise, but that is all I would be doing.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:28 AM   #78
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Originally posted by Irvine511




if this were true for everybody, wouldn't african-american churches take up the mantle of the gay marriage/rights/non-discrimination in employment?

no. if anything, many, many black churches -- and we can probably say, "black churches" in the political sense -- are still quite homophobic, Coretta Scott King aside.

and gay black men, and the women they sometimes marry, suffer the most from this homophobia.
I'd guess there is a generally closer relationship between gender and sexuality than there is between race and sexuality.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:36 AM   #79
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I'd guess there is a generally closer relationship between gender and sexuality than there is between race and sexuality.


i take the point, but i think this underscores the point that the commonality of oppression does not good allies make.

take The Left. at least in the US -- and i would imagine, to a lesser extend, in Australia, since, to my knowledge, there hasn't been a credible economic Lefitst movement like you get in the most socialist nations of Euroe -- it's a patchwork of different marginalized groups who might share a common understanding of an oppressor, but not much else. just going to a protest rally here in DC you see a cornucopia of nearly competing different interest groups who sort of agree that something out there is "bad" -- in this case, W -- but have very little else to agree upon.

(yes, there are economic leftists in the US, but the core of the Left are different social groups, african-americans, gays, jews, etc.)
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:40 AM   #80
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Nothing's true for everybody. I take your point. I'll let somebody else answer to that. I don't know why. I can surmise, but that is all I would be doing.


btw, i wish it were true, and i wish that we'd see our common humanity through a shared history of suffering, but it doesn't seem to always play out that way, sadly.

i also think that one of the reasons why gay men have so many straight female allies is simply because gay men and straight females are culturally compatible, in a broad, stereotypical sense. many straight girls who spend at least a few years in an urban area wind up with at least one or two gay male friends, and the #1 factor that influences how one understands issues like marriage equality is actually knowing a gay person.

which is why this is all kind of funny coming from Ann Coulter. i bet you dollars to donuts she has a bunch of gay male friends -- she certainly looks, acts, and dresses like a stereotypical "fag hag," if not a downright pre-op transsexual, what with her bikini-esque black cocktail dresses, expensively colored hair, whiter-than-white teeth, and i'm sure fabulous NYC apartment.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:00 AM   #81
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yeah, point taken, irvine.

gee, all this accepting each other's points?? where is the usual fym ranting gone? this is too civil!
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:43 AM   #82
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This is even more offensive than what Coulter said at that convention.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/0...ms-of-katrina/

Newt Gingrich, (speaking at CPAC) blamed the residents of New Orleans' 9th Ward for a "failure of citizenship," by being "so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane."

And he called for a "deep investigation" into this "failure of citizenship."

Here's the full quote:

"How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane."
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:39 AM   #83
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i don't even know how to react to that.

did he say the same thing about the white people in St. Bernard Parish?
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:51 AM   #84
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Well he singled out Ninth Ward, so I doubt it..I guess we'd have to read the rest of the speech

That convention sounds like such an enlightened experience.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:53 AM   #85
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Newt Gingrich? Who the hell rattled his cage? Jeez, can Rush be far behind? We need all the "caricatures of conservatism" to pop off.

Ya Irvine, our (American) Left kind of sucks. We're anything but unified, and it's a pity. I'm sure the right loves that disorganization too. While the idea of uniting against a common oppressor sounds nice, historically it just hasn't happened. Seems pretty stupid to me, but it is what it is I suppose.

Personally I don't give a rat's ass what Ann Coulter has to say, other than to mock her when she makes herself look particularly stupid (like now). The Gingrich stuff is more bothersome, only because the man was a Congressman. The guy really has no clue. Of course, since his remarks weren't explicitly racist no one will notice - they were blantantly classist, but that's OK because we don't have class in America, right? Or we just have a middle class...riiiiiiight.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:18 AM   #86
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Ya Irvine, our (American) Left kind of sucks. We're anything but unified, and it's a pity. I'm sure the right loves that disorganization too. While the idea of uniting against a common oppressor sounds nice, historically it just hasn't happened. Seems pretty stupid to me, but it is what it is I suppose.


i almost think that there's not even agreement on what or who the "oppressor" is, it's just the sense of having been oppressed, and with very good reason (from racist housing codes to the not-as-of-yet Non-Discrimination in Employment act to $.73 for every dollar a man earns).

and it's sloppy thinking to blame the Straight White Christian Male, since he didn't choose to be Straight or White or Christian (usually) or Male, but i do think it's advantageous to point out how the Straight White Christian Male is advantaged in ways that others are not, white at the same time realizing that he, too, is also oppressed by sexism, or racism, or whatever.

and now i feel like i'm taking my undergraduate cultural studies courses again.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #87
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Ya Irvine, our (American) Left kind of sucks. We're anything but unified, and it's a pity. I'm sure the right loves that disorganization too. While the idea of uniting against a common oppressor sounds nice, historically it just hasn't happened. Seems pretty stupid to me, but it is what it is I suppose.
The problem is that you (Americans) don't have a political left to speak of. The Democrats are not a left-leaning party by anyone's standards except maybe those of people somewhere in the middle of Texas. And there is no viable third party. The Greens are not a left-leaning party, in any sense of the word, really. People assume they are because of their environmental positions but no Green party platform is leftist in essence.

You have good leftist organizations and grassroots movements and I think they are picking up steam more and more lately, but that hasn't really translated into the political sphere quite yet.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:56 PM   #88
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The problem is that you (Americans) don't have a political left to speak of. The Democrats are not a left-leaning party by anyone's standards except maybe those of people somewhere in the middle of Texas. And there is no viable third party. The Greens are not a left-leaning party, in any sense of the word, really. People assume they are because of their environmental positions but no Green party platform is leftist in essence.

You have good leftist organizations and grassroots movements and I think they are picking up steam more and more lately, but that hasn't really translated into the political sphere quite yet.


when you speak of being genuinlely Left, in comparison to the rest of the world, i think it's due to not having a true economic Leftist platform in the US. there is no desire for socialism in the US -- let alone communism, as you'll get in countries like France -- for a variety of complex reasons, not least of which is that everyone in the US thinks they can be rich, as well as the fact that the US hasn't had the same history of working class exploitation as you have had in Europe.

or, at least that history hasn't been as inherited as it is seems to have been in Europe, based on my experience. Amtrak employes don't schedule their strikes for August like they do in Paris. farmers don't park their tractors on the DC Beltway and block the traffic in order to shut down the city so they can demand more farm subsidies like they do in Brussels. thse all seem like populist Leftism at work. these things almost became comical to me as an American living in Europe, the expectation that strikes = better pay, that you're automatically exploited because you're working class, but that was due to culture more than anything else.

that said, i do think the American left does a good job at articulating racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. these things are well fleshed out and debated endlessly in the media, and results in a rather sophisticated understanding of DIY identity, whereas there's little to no actual debate on economics. everyone hates taxes, it's just how much do you actually hate taxes that becomes the debate.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:06 PM   #89
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These are all good points.

But then how do you explain a country like Canada - where we do have some socialist-leaning initiatives like universal health care and subsidized universities? We have had a much more similar history to the US in terms of worker exploitation and immigrants arriving here thinking they can get rich, yet we haven't rejected economic social policies in the same way.

And when it comes to articulating those other issues - your left (if you're referring to the Dems?) has been pathetic in my eyes as far as gay rights are concerned. Even our Conservatives in Canada, as a party are more progressive on the issue! Half of the Dems running for office don't want to talk about abortion or are pro-life. This isn't even a topic in our political discourse in Canada anymore. It's seen as settled, and that's it. Decriminalization of marijuana is another example. Having clean injection sites for drug addicts is another. And I think we'll see the issue of human euthanasia come up again here and I do believe within the next decade or so, our Supreme Court will overrule its previous decisions on the matter. So even on the non-economic issues, I think your political left (ie. Dems) are pretty lame.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:30 PM   #90
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But then how do you explain a country like Canada - where we do have some socialist-leaning initiatives like universal health care and subsidized universities? We have had a much more similar history to the US in terms of worker exploitation and immigrants arriving here thinking they can get rich, yet we haven't rejected economic social policies in the same way.



i'm not sure -- and i was wondering this as well. i suppose there are small differences in the US and Canada that might amount to larger differences when played out. i would say that the US spends much more on the military than Canada does, and, bluntly, this benefits the average Canadian much more as the government can afford to pay for things like subsidized universities and universal health care since Canada doesn't have to pay to defend it's coasts. but that only explains so much; it's the history of class warfare/struggle/proletariat vs. bourgeoise that simply hasn't played out as dramatically in the US as it has, certainly in Europe, and am i to assume in Canada as well?

i think one other difference is one of overall national mission. and i say this since i'm certainly no expert in all things Canada -- one of my best friend's mother is Canadian, have been several times and think all is lovely, drank a whole lot in Scotland with Canadians -- but an American who lived in Toronto for 15 years once told me that "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" is quite different from "Peace, Order, and Good Government." ultimately, in the US, whether right or wrong, taxes and government programs are seen as anathema to liberty. that's the mantra. that government is a necessary evil at best, and a shackle on the foot of human liberty at worst. i'm sure these attitudes have historical roots that one would need several dissertations to trace, but i do think there is a difference in overall philosophy that perhaps manifests itself in different attitudes towards universal health care.




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And when it comes to articulating those other issues - your left (if you're referring to the Dems?) has been pathetic in my eyes as far as gay rights are concerned. Even our Conservatives in Canada, as a party are more progressive on the issue! Half of the Dems running for office don't want to talk about abortion or are pro-life. This isn't even a topic in our political discourse in Canada anymore. It's seen as settled, and that's it. Decriminalization of marijuana is another example. Having clean injection sites for drug addicts is another. And I think we'll see the issue of human euthanasia come up again here and I do believe within the next decade or so, our Supreme Court will overrule its previous decisions on the matter. So even on the non-economic issues, I think your political left (ie. Dems) are pretty lame.

one word: Christianity.

seriously. not all Christians, not all forms of Christianity, but the political influence of the church on American life cannot be underestimated, and i'm sure it looks positively medieval to many on the outside. (and i will say that the success of religion in the US is due to the generally positive historical relationship the US has had with religion, certainly in comparison to Europe, but that's another book to be written).

i also think we have to look at populations. as i've said before, there are more Californians than Canadians. it's far easier to get 30m people to agree on something than it is for 300m, and 300m people from all corners of the globe living in wildly different areas (despite the surface of homogenization, where homogenization is actually a celebration of difference, because i might be from DC and 80s is from Texas but i bet we both like hamburgers) and enough space to surround yourself with people who think, look, talk, and believe just like you do. not that there aren't wide open spaces in Canada, but it doesn't seem to my casual observer's eye that there is as much of an urban/rural divide in Canada, or, the population of urban Canada dwarfs the population of rural Canada. not so in the US.

that said, i think the US is actually quite good at dealing with race and with successfully assimilating our immigrants. the gay thing ... eh, give it time. there are fewer more pro-gay places than a major north american city, it's just that Kansas has some catching up to do.

but this is all very interesting. thanks for the discussion.

and, ultimately, i think this is a question that you're far more positioned to answer than i: why is Canada one of the most progressive nations on earth?
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