Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Failure of Elected Officials

Why is it that elected officials are allegedly ignorant? See two separate examples below:

Nashville parks have recently installed cameras because: The homosexual sex is one of the reasons Metro Council Member Michael Craddock said he fought to have the cameras installed in the first place. Craddock said, “It has taken me a year... get these cameras installed where they can use them to deter sexual deviants in the park.” (

New Hampshire passes a law legalizing civil unions for homosexuals. The response of one senator: "Let's just call it what it really is, no sugarcoating," said Republican Sen. Robert Letourneau. "This creates same-sex marriage. There is no right to marriage in either the New Hampshire Constitution or the federal Constitution." He goes on to say, "We don't let blind people drive or felons vote, all for good and obvious reasons," he said. ( – news – AP)

My response: Give me a break! I mean, really, people, grow up, get a life, and get a hobby!

First, Nashville Metro Council Member Michael Craddock – to the best of my knowledge, homosexuality is no longer listed as a deviant behavior, so, his statement is false. Homosexuality is genetics. It is not a choice. It is not something people ‘try’. It is how they were born, just like Mr. Craddock was born heterosexual. He had no choice no his sexuality, just as I had no choice on my sexuality. It’s all in the genes!

Second, Senator Robert Letourneau – Are you on drugs? I mean, really, “we don’t let blind people drive or felons vote, all for good and obvious reasons.” I understand why we don’t let blind people drive and felons vote, the reasons both good and obvious, but what does that have to do with civil unions? Can a person make a more illogical statement?

Is there anything more to say on this subject? I don’t think so. The logic, the intelligence, or lack thereof, of elected officials making important decisions for our communities, is frightening. I understand that some people choose to believe that homosexuality is a choice. It makes their hatred, their discrimination, their oppression, easier to swallow. It helps them sleep at night by calling someone a deviant, or making lame (blind people don’t drive for obvious reasons) statements, that somehow (at least in their minds) make homosexuals somehow less than human.

In the end, perhaps humanity exists in greater measures in homosexuals, in women, in people of color, who have to deal with discrimination and oppression on a daily basis by allegedly intelligent people.

I truly feel sorry for Mr. Craddock and Senator Letourneau. I feel sorry for all the people affected by their alleged ignorance. I feel sorry for the voters who put them in office, thinking they were allegedly intelligent individuals capable of making logical and justified decisions. I feel sorry for the world that is not a better place because of the power these two men hold in their hand, expressing their personal views over the greater views of the public they were elected to serve. For, in the end, they were elected to their respective positions to serve the people, and not themselves. They have failed in that duty.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don Imus - Double Standard

By now, the world knows what Don Imus called the Rutger's Women's Basketball team. His words are inexcusable. The media frenzy and retribution over those words, to me at least, is inexcusable.

Why? Simply put: double standard.

It is perfectly okay for rap artists, hip-hop artists, filmmakers of colors, to use such language in their music and films. It is considered cultural in those contexts. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition are protesting Imus, but I have yet to see them protesting the artists who perpetrate such language for the almighty buck. Why aren't Jesse and friends picketing the record labels and movie production companies? Why aren't the news personalities so strongly deriding Don Imus, doing the same thing? If it is wrong for a white person to make such comments, based on the cultural phenomenon of rap music and certain films, then why is it all right for others to make such comments?

Simply put: It is not. Or rather, it should not be. Plan and simple: double standard.

I do not agree in any way with what Don Imus said. I think it is wrong. It is ignorance at its worst. There is no defense for his actions, not even the rampant use of similar language by hip hop and rap artists. If he has no defense, then the hip hop and rap artists, the movie directors, etc., should not have a defense either. If the punishment for Don Imus is to get fired (which is happening, so it seems), then the same punishment should apply to rap and hip hop artists, et al.

Now, before the rage and indignation begins, before the name calling, and the protests by the Rainbow Coalition, please do remember I am a gay male who has heard more than my share of derogatory comments - faggot, queer, fairy, and so many other lovely terms. I am not defending Don Imus. I am simply protesting a double standard.

Society cannot change on its own. Society cannot (rather, should not) exist with the multitude of double standards. No one - black, white, or any other color - should be able to use the terms Don Imus used to describe the Rutgers Women's Basketball team. No one - gay or straight - should be allowed to use the term faggot, queer, fairy, or any of the other more colorful terms that exist to deride gay people. No one - men or women - should be able to use the term bitch to describe a woman. The fact is, within the Races, the Sexual Orientations, the Genders, there is a tendency to take the words, the derogatory terms, and empower them, limit the negative connotation, and create a positive connotation. My friends and I sometimes refer to each other as faggot, queer, fairy, nellie, etc. We take the negative and make it positive. It is wrong. Women do the same thing with the word 'bitch'. It is wrong. It is a double standard. We - society, one unit, not separate - must move forward as a group and stop. It is that simple. If one person is punished for using derogatory language, then all people using the same language - no matter the Race, Orientation, Gender - should receive equal punishment.