Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Danger of Painting With Only One Color … & More

A few days ago someone posted the following comment on a liberal blog I visit frequently: "This is just more evidence that cons hate everyone except the Great and Holy White Fetus, and even then only if it can be used to oppress its mother."

I responded with, "… conservatives are no more monolithical than liberals … are. There are a lot of libertarian cons who would quite agree with Fannie on this post." Later the same day, I was vindicated by Newsweek. They featured an article written by Theodore Olson, the conservative lawyer who argued Bush v. Gore in front of the Supreme Court. Olson is "attempting to persuade a federal court to invalidate California's Proposition 8." I love this quote from his article: "I do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of equality, and the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, until we stop invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." I wish him much luck, good fortune, and success.

A couple days later, and I see this at the HRC website. Turns out Colin Powell, Adm. Mike Mullen, and Secretary of War Gates have all come out in favor of repealing DADT. (I love using that phrase with these guys.) 'Bout time, guys!

I don't wish to put down the commenter, nor to say I'm better than anyone else. I'm just using her quote to showcase a common fault I see on both sides. For instance, a conservative blogger puts this in her profile: "I loathe liberals & all deluded nuts who voted for [President Obama]." The problem with painting with only one color is that you inevitably end up painting with the wrong color. And that's counter-productive.

I think what we're seeing may be a tectonic shift in politics – a tipping point, perhaps. It seems likely that the Perry v. Scharzenegger case will make it to the Supreme Court, and Olson sounds excited and optimistic about the outcome. Even with the Court heavily packed with radical conservatives, I tend to agree with him. I think every gay marriage case that has come up recently before state supreme courts – California, Maine, Iowa, Connecticut – has found for the gay couple, and it will only take one or two of these guys to choose the libertarian side of the cons to flip the Court in favor of gay marriage. The implication, emphasized in Olson's effortless evisceration of the conservative case against gay marriage, is that perhaps the judges, with the opportunity to hear the best of both sides of the argument, are more clear on the law, the Constitution, and the 14th Amendment than are the public, swayed instead by 30-second sound bites, fear, and tradition.

And think of this: If Perry makes it to SCOTUS, and the Court finds for the gay couples, the fight for marriage equality is over. Everywhere in the country. State anti-gay marriage laws from Alabama to Wyoming would be struck down, along with DOMA. Pretty cool, huh? Go, Ted!

So we see the complexities of color. The same man may be largely responsible for Bush's illegal usurpation of office and the establishment of marriage equality across the nation. His advocacy for Kristin Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo already do much to erase the damage he's done before, regardless of his success.

It's going to be interesting.


Fannie said...

As a fan of nuance, this was a great post. Painting with one color is a way of de-humanizing the "other" and should be rejected by all of us involved in political debates.

Seda said...

Thanks, Fannie. Unfortunately, I fall into that "painting with one color" mode all too easily. But hey, gives me something to work on. And I'm getting better. :-)

Black Diaspora said...

It's not that hard, Seda, to fall into that trap (painting with one color), when the other side is so monochromatic.

Excellent blog entry.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our