April 16, 2007

Shocked that prejudice persists

Our Prejudices, OurselvesAmerica is watching Don Imus’s self-immolation in a state of shock and awe. And I’m watching America with wry amusement.

Since I’m a second-class citizen—a gay man—my seats for the ballgame of American discourse are way back in the bleachers. I don’t have to wait long for a shock jock or stand-up comedian to slip up with hateful epithets aimed at me and mine. Hate speak against homosexuals is as commonplace as spam. It’s daily traffic for those who profess themselves to be regular Joes, men of God, public servants who live off my tax dollars, as well as any number of celebrities.

In fact, I get a good chuckle whenever someone refers to “the media” as an agent of “the gay agenda.” There are entire channels, like Spike TV, that couldn’t fill an hour of programming if required to remove their sexist and homophobic content. We’ve got a president and a large part of Congress willing to change the Constitution so they can deprive of us our rights because they feel we are not “normal.”

So I’m used to catching foul balls up here in the cheap seats. What I am really enjoying is watching the rest of you act as if you had no idea that prejudice was alive and well in your hearts and minds.


Anonymous said...

You're gay?

Anonymous said...

The old "velvet mafia" conspiracy theory, huh? Yeah I've heard that one too. I think maybe the problem is that the very foundation of this country was mortared together with racism, sexism, and prejudice. Since a society built on such flimsy footing can't be viable, when things start going awry (ie: the groups and people they have victimized for so long finally stand up and demand to be treated as human beings), they are dismissed. Either it's a conspiracy theory ("the liberal jew-run media," catholics, trade unions, freemasonry, velvet mafia and, dare I say, muslims even), or they just come right out and say what it is they really feel.

In my job (I won't call it my profession--legal assistant), I deal with and have to comply with a lot of federal and state statutes, like HIPPA. Usually, I am permitted to speak to a spouse, attorney or power of attorney. By outlawing same-sex marriage, you are in fact saying, by decree, that homosexuals are second class citizens. denied legal protection and priveledges, gay men and women are plain and simple deliberately marginalized. That's by decree. Not a gallup poll, by order of federal statute. I wish people would read about Nazi Germany more (while taking into account the last 6.5 years). This is how it begins: to make "undesirables" non-citizens, you must first chip away at their inherent rights as human beings.

Rob said...

No, I'm not gay. Any comment that's indented comes from the source document. It's a standard typographical approach to quoting people.

The author of this op-ed piece is Harvey Fierstein. As you'd know if you followed the link.

Good points, Greg.