Sunday, May 1, 2011

post-Brown, post-Lawrence, post-hate?

I was going to blog about the ridiculousness that is known as Donald Trump and the inherent racism of the Birther phenomenon. But if you are reading this blog, chances are you understand this all, very well, and do not need me or Bob Schieffer to draw your attention to the subtle (or not so subtle) racism of the Birther movement and of Trump's latest attempts to question President Obama's credentials by wondering how he got into Harvard Law because he heard that he wasn't a "good student."

[By the way, if you want to see Seth Meyers at the recent White House Correspondent's Dinner, click here for the link--Meyers did a great job and had some great zingers, particularly about "The Donald."]

However, rather than giving more airspace to the obvious (Trump is a narcissistic opportunist) I thought I'd instead link to this article in The New York Times, "A Tipping Point for Gay Marriage?" that discusses what may be considered a watershed moment in gay rights activism--namely that we are living in a time when for a segment of the population--the "elites" as the NY Times piece calls them/us (I guess I am one of these elites--I am a liberal university professor who blogs)--espousing any attitude that is not at least tolerant of a queer lifestyle is unacceptable--which is why the prestigious Atlanta firm of King & Spaulding refused to defend the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA)--essentially, they are refusing to defend a law that would uphold marriage as defined as being between a man and a woman. They are refusing to uphold a law that discriminates against gay and lesbian couples.

The article talks about how there is a discrepancy between the "elites" and the masses--that people in legal professions or academia are more likely to see attitudes against gay marriage as discriminatory and prejudiced. And as Yale Law School professor William N. Eskridge says:

"We’re in the post-Brown era,” he said, “which for me is post-Lawrence. After Lawrence, there has been a social revolution in America."

I think that this analogy is telling. This blog is called Mixed Race America--but the idea of ending racial oppression is never only about ending racial oppression--because one is never simply reducible to a race--and because in the intersections of our many identities, sexuality and specifically the rights of queer people as being on a similar trajectory to those who fought for racial equality is instructive for us to remember. That equality against one oppression means equality against all oppressions.

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