Monday, April 17, 2006

Eyes wide open and fist raised high...

This bitch had an allergy attack filled weekend! Shit, living in an area surrounded by pollen spewing trees and flowers is awful this time of year. Just when my ass thought nothing would ever lift my sour mood out of the emotional dumpster…my Spring Smartie-based goodness shipment arrived from Canada! Yeah! Oh, the joy of Smartie yumminess in a box. Thank you, Jeremy from Montreal….thank you!

Moving forward, while inhaling Nestle Smarties as if they were candy coated chocolate popcorn portions…hold up...mmmmm, Smartie based popcorn…oh, hell yeah…oh, um…sorry (wink)...moving forward.

A bitch was pleased to see so many comments to my Uppity post. Contrary to popular belief, this bitch doesn’t have to be agreed with. A bitch hasn’t changed my mind, but my ass was pleased to see that the post stimulated an interesting discussion.

On a totally different note...

A certain GayProf of Center of Gravitas fame posted recently (The Truck) about the false sense of security present in many members of minority groups. The post reminded this bitch of a joke regarding the oppression ‘train’ and how it historically picks up sexual minorities, racial minorities and religious minorities (not always in that order) as if on a bigot-based schedule.

This got a bitch thinking about shit and my ass has decided to explore some of that shit here today.

During the 2000 Presidential Election, this bitch witnessed the Republican Party reaching out to gays, affluent and/or religious blacks, certain women and Hispanics. At the time a bitch was disgusted to see so many folks leap on the Republican train without solid examples of a change in policy. It appeared that people were so grateful to be invited to the conservative table that they forgot to ask if they would be allowed to eat. The passage of time has shown that invitation to have some serious small print exceptions…and a ‘fuck you’ clause that must have stung like a motherfucker.

Now, a bitch should be clear that minority groups do not participate in group think. The media may treat us like homogenous groups, but there are multitudes of diversity within any group that ‘the other’ often fails to see or acknowledge.

Having said that, oppression doesn’t give a hot damn about group think or internal diversity.

Fast forward to the 2004 election…and the local, state and federal push to ban gay marriage that was a foundational stone of the Republican platform. What is amazing is that many gay Republicans were only interested in legal marriage being protected from the social conservative tidal wave…and that was the very thing, if not the first thing, Republicans put on the chopping block to shore up their base.

One must not forget that the anti-marriage equality push was also utilized to reach out to black voters. Black voters are historically Democratic voters, but the Republican Party found a successful wedge issue in gay marriage. A bitch could go on and on about my disappointment in the ease of that manipulative maneuver, but my ass shall save that for another post. Suffice it to say, the Republican Party was successful by pandering to the surface morality of conservative blacks and they were particularly successful in bringing many working class blacks under the tent by dangling their new ‘the gays are coming…run for your lives’ carrot. Past successes were limited to affluent blacks, so a bitch has always imagine the RNC dancing a jig after seeing so many new brown faces.

And then they began sorta-governing by slashing social programs and school funding…and slashing health care…then moving on to slash student loan programs and housing programs…followed by the on-going drama of Medicare reform, which they had the audacity to position as particularly beneficial to black people because black men die younger than the national average…only to wind up with their collective heads up their collective asses during Katrina. And those heads have yet to come out for a breath of air. Now, where did that love go?

Which brings this bitch to the women who moved under the Republican tent in 2000 and 2004. The official Republican ‘fuck you’ is still unfolding for many ‘W is for women’ women. It is clear that the Republican Party is involved in a full frontal attack on family planning…and one doesn’t have to be a self identifying feminist to know that women are on the front lines in that battle. Yet, many 'W is for women' women see themselves as separate from the women impacted by the current administration’s behavior.

The ability for people to wrap themselves in the faux cloak of security is amazing…and dangerous. By the time you see the train coming…well, you might as well close your eyes and step into it.

A bitch sees brilliance in the ability of the Republican Party to pander to what we would like to be and distract from what we are. Anti-gay becomes anti-those other gays that we don’t hang around with anyway…anti-brown becomes anti-those brown people who work against my bougie image campaign…anti-woman becomes anti- those ‘loose moral having need to get married and attend church more like I do’ women…and anti-Hispanic becomes anti-illegal and giving legal folks a bad name…and anti-worker’s rights becomes anti-Communist…oh, and we all know that anti-war became anti-American quick as a motherfucker…and so on and so forth and the Republican ‘pander to your internalized hatred of self’ train just keeps on churning on until…

Until…anti-them becomes anti-you and your dumb ass wakes up to reality.

Oh, the horror!

16 comments:

leomange said...

I feel you on the allergies, Bitch. Yesterday was a nightmare in Denver, but I think I got all my meds in line just in time to not need them (colder weather and some pollen supressing precipitation supposed to be coming into town tonight).

Onto the other shit. Man, those assholes didn't pander to me, but they still didn't get my vote. I was amazed at how they manipulated all the people they did. (But then, I'm anti-war and I voted for Kerry... hmph, perhaps a look in the mirror is in order).

Dominikimchee said...

Damn, a bitch is deep! No one even told me there ,was a train. I just lay awake at night hearing the whistle wondering what that shit is.

clarafiedwords said...

I've decided to mimic a friend of mine and register Republican. Both of us are way left of center, but it's the only way to have some control over who they put up in the primaries. I will not go thru another four years of this sh*t.

Andrew said...

ahhhh, Politics.

Danielle said...

Hey, bitch. Your writing style is so clever and cracks me up. Have a great day.

schlecht said...

Brilliant post! November 2006 is fast approaching. We'll see how many suckers there are this time around...

Anonymous said...

Bitch, I've been loving you and this site for some time now! Time to post because today you've touched on a subject that really vexes me. The GOP is way out in front on this strategy of peeling off people from certain "minority groups" (for lack of a better term) and pretending to care...and it works.

I live in Florida, and the day before the 2004 election the GOP ran ads on the "urban" format radio station attacking gays and gay marriage and insinuating that black people were about to be destroyed by gays...I knew this tactic was being used but to hear it was jarring--especially given the fact that we knew that the GOP's plan to disrupt the Florida election was to show up at the polls and make challenges to young black men....anything to force them to vote a USELESS provisional ballot. The next day I witnessed the GOP poll watchers pursue this strategy.

And you're right, the GOP has made a habit of this--courting women and latinos. The recent immigration stumble is the first misstep they've made in a while. Maybe it will wake up progressives and democrats to the reality that we need to include everyone...because paying someone attention apparently works. I hate the idea that it's mere lip service, but I've been in too many meetings full of straight white people talking about "how do we get more diverse, how do we get more black people" without one person suggesting we actually talk to people who don't look like us, understsand issues that have a big impact on their communities and make those issues our own.

Rove & Co are expert at attacking what Democrats or leftists perceive to be their strengths. They never expected the GOP to attack Kerry's war credentials becuase that was perceived to be one of his strengths. The never expected the GOP to talk about reforming social security. They never expected the GOP to court black voters....DUH. Have they learned nothing from the last 20 years?? That's what they do.

I understand why a few latinos or african americans or yes, even women, vote GOP. I don't like it, it is a wacky fucked up kind of logic, but people hate to be ignored. (Channeling Glenn Close to Mike Douglas..."I won't be ignored, Dan")...The Democrats take the black vote for granted. The question the democrats need to answer is "what do we have to offer" to gays, to latinos, to women...cause right now they're just throwing women under the bus. They just want african american voters to vote...then go away! They pretend latinos don't exist. They WISH gays didn't exist, so they wouldn't have to talk about homosexuality at all.

They aren't trying to shove gays into ovens like the extreme right-wing, but as a lesbian i can tell you than none of these people want to give me anything for MY VOTE. Nothing in return. Support for civil unions? Nope. Birth control and family planning options? Nope (gay women care about this stuff too). I could go on like this forever but you already got the point.

Thanks for another great topic.

--A

Tina said...

Your post reminded me of a poem from the World War 2 era... I've pasted it below:

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

GayProf said...

Hey, thanks for the shout-out, ABB.

It also leaves me astounded that many Catholics and some Jews imagine they share goals with the Evangelical Christians. The base of the GOP despises religious difference and they are deluded to think otherwise.

Eric said...

Classic Tactic, though.
Divide and Conquer. Pick a wedge issue and surround yourself with your allies.
Defeat that enemy, then target the new enemy. Surround yourself with the remaining allies.
And so on and so on and eventually, you have that one little group left and they will never be able to stop you.

Anonymous said...

Spare me the corn-ball crap from GayProf...I’m coming out of the closet..

Who is the enemy? Ironically our militaristic reactionary government of which I do not approve, is currently attacking an ideology in the middle east that wants to kill you and I for what they call our decadent social liberalism. I prefer to think our soldiers are fighting to defend us from this.

Our general contention with our right wing, is that they are stingy with opportunity, and ,are not socially liberal enough. We consider these oppression, while they simply look down their noses at us in disgust. This infuriates us to no end.

I’m sort of perplexed here because if you look closely at the former, they are doing our dirty work for us in the middle east! Albeit they seem to be screwing the job up pretty bad. In the later we wage a political battle within our country that seems to have as much underlying vehemence as the shooting war in the former.

There are many political minority groups here in the U.S.. Apart they are weak but together they can be strong. That is GayProf’s only valid argument. His political base is the weakest IMO and the “White Nazi Paranoia” thing is BS and serves only to drive people away. However we must agree to support each other politically to achieve our political goals. I’m a Trade Unionist. What I want, GayProf will have to concede to, or, I will not concede to his political demands. It’s a trade-off, not a give-away.

The question remains: Are all of our political demands compatible? If they are not, then we need to make them so. If they are, then our leadership MUST reflect this. Civil rights regarding racism is a given because it is the law. Gay rights have not been established yet. If GayProf wants them established then let him come to us with something more than his hat in his hand.

Just stirring up the pot ABB…

Special Anon...

Shark-fu said...

Now, now Special Anon...

Civil rights regarding race are not a given, Special Anon. Legal victories made shit better but they have not solved anything.

A bitch must also address your assumption that the gay and lesbian community is a weak minority group. Numbers do not equal power.

This bitch also cautions against dissmissing the connections GayProf made in his post.

Fascism happens in real time...in our present not just our distant past. History teaches us nothing if not the folly of dismissing a past atrocity due to a present day faith in our fellow humans.

In our lifetime people have committed all manner of horrid shit...it is ethnocentric and intellectually lazy to assume that Americans wont do what others have done.

Pot stirred, now remove from heat, cover and let cool...

Anonymous said...

You KNOW I have a right to be upset ABB...

Let GayProf proclaim his/her's or whatever's support for the union movment. Wouldn't be bad to hear the civil rights people's stand also. God knows they are tied together.

On paper you can have all the damn rights in the world but you can't enjoy them if your're as poor as a church house mouse working two or three slave labor jobs. Damnit how about basic healthcare, education, job training, and, workers min wage increase?!

If you want people to come out and support all our brother/sister and whatever's freedom movments...Then you've got to make yourself our brothers/ sisters or whatevers! You've got to wave our flag too.

We are the poor working white ABB. They are making us poorer the harder we try! There is a Shit-Load of Poor straight, white people that have been bespelled with conservative propaganda disquised as patriotic rhetoric. That spell is slipping and THEIR votes are exactly the votes YOU need.

Show us some luv and you KNOW it will come back because of what kind of folk you KNOW that we are.

Don't drive them/me away by calling them/me nazis and racists based on our/my color. The vast majority of white people do not harm anybody. Remember, only takes a few bad apples to make the whole barrel smell bad!

About right now, GayProf is smelling up the gay rights barrel pretty bad to me. The gay rights movment don't have enough votes to count for much and THEY need OURS! Period.

The black vote is big, but as you have seen not big enough! You need us and all we need is some political luv.

Special Anon on a rant...

Shark-fu said...

Special Anon...
Anytime a discussion of race, class and gender takes place someone pops up in the comment section taking shit personally.

For the record, a bitch does not need to be introduced to the notion of poor white people...this bitch has tons of white friends and most of them are poor.

My ass has spent my entire life learning about, studying and discussing the history of white people...do not presume to enlighten me on that subject.

A bitch fails to see how discussing oppression goes against showing you some luv...and a bitch is more than a wee bit put off by the assumption that a discussing of oppression is driving people away.

Your rant would be better served if directed towards to people who have oppressed...who have driven me away...who have failed to show me the love.

Or does this road only go one way? If so, a bitch has driven it before and my ass will have to pass on that shit...thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon, we agree that we need solidarity to rally behind a broad progressive platform. But what I don't get is what you want us gay people to do....beg for your support? Are you kidding me? Rights are nothing more than a trade off? We've gotta earn them? That's just wrong. Black people should not have had to fight for hundreds of years to get rights they should have had from day one. And neither should we.

And the fight on the racial front continues. Shark-Fu is right. I'm a laywer specializing in employment discrimination. People still hang nooses in the company bathroom and fire white women married to black men and all manner of bad shit. The right has judges and lawyers who despise these cases and my clients. The government undermines our efforts.

You're a trade unionist. So right now, is it ok with you if someone is fired because they are gay? Is it ok for coworkers to spray anti-gay slurs on somebody's car?

This is what white straight people always do--they tell the so-called minority to show up on their doorstep, it is never the other way around. I don't believe you are as pollyannish as you sound. Millions upon millions of people voted for constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. It wasn't about marriage, it was about making a point, putting those uppity fags in their place.

Do you really think all Gay Prof and I need to do is go door to door and talk about the minimumm wage and then say, "hey, we're gay, bet you want to support us now, right?"

As to "white nazi paranoia"--You want hard facts? The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate groups, and they're up 30 percent in the last few years, mostly due to an increase in Christian Identity Neo-Nazi types. (Search their map to see who is operating in your area, www.splcenter.org)

You want more hate? Read the LA Times article from last Sunday. The right-wingers are assembling an army of people, including lawyers, with lots of funds, to challenge all laws offering any protection to gay people. For example, they want to stop school anti-bullying and anti-harassment laws that include "sexual orientation"...on the grounds that the First Amendment protects the right to express one's religion by denouncing gays, wearing anti-gay propoganda that promotes a certain religion, etc. Unfortunately this isn't unrealistic, it's a coordinated attack.

The civil rights movement of the 60s accomplished a lot, and the overwhelming majority of whites were bitterly against it. African-Americans did it themselves, with solidarity of a few folks of other colors.

I'm not coming to you with hat in hand or anything else asking for your help in order to fight these people. We will fight it ourselves, with help from a few dedicated allies.

--A

GayProf said...

Great Hera! I became lazy about following the comments on this post and did not notice the upsetedness of Special Anon until a month later. Sorry – I will try harder.

In terms of his/her concerns, what can I say? Are your concerns race based? Would it make you feel better or worse about my position to know that I am of mixed ancestry (Latino/Anglo)? On my blog, I speak about both race and sexuality. Or are they class based? I can testify about experiences of grinding poverty as a child. Would that do it for you? I want fair labor practices and have posts on my little bloggy about that as well.

In the end, though, my issue with the “Truck” post was not about looking to cast blame or divide folk. Rather, it was a an attempt to call for everybody to question their own internal strength in the face of oppression. One can be a white, straight, elite man and still refuse to put people on the truck. Likewise, one can be a poor, black, gay drag queen and be driving that truck to the crematorium. History has shown both of these things to be possible. Often, though, our experiences predisposes one to a particular side.

Refusing to interrogate our positions, though, will always allow the trucks to come for whoever. Don’t be angry at me. Yes, we need more votes than what queer folk can muster on our own. If I do come with my hat in hand, are you so inclined to refuse it? I would not refuse you. I mean you no harm.