Friday, November 7, 2008

Election Coverage: Full Disclosure of H8, or California Goddam

Despite the false headlines in The New York Times Wednesday morning, Obama has not moved America beyond race politics. Very little has changed as far as the electorate goes. Otherwise, the International Herald Tribune would not have had to carry the following story this morning: US gun shops attribute rising sales to election.

And there would not have been a noose hanging at Baylor University in Waco, a shit-hole of a town about two hours south of here known for several lynchings back when it was socially acceptable--and sanctioned (nay, sanctified!) by religion to lynch.

But even the Southern Baptists came up with an apology for their complicity in the torture and murder of African Americans all those (not-so-long-ago) years ago.

In my county, only 37% voted Democrat this last election! I feel more like a minority here than I did in Japan as a white man.

I am truly thrilled with the Obama win, but even though I went to bed late that night feeling somewhat proud of my country, I still felt a significant amount of unease. Two things still overshadow his victory for me: (1) that he won only 6% more of the popular vote than the McCain/Palin ticket. It should have been a fucking landslide after the past eight years of this corrupt, immoral administration and against that Dynamic Dunce Duo. And (2) the fact that every anti-gay legislation on every ballot in every state passed. Does this mean the same people voting for Obama are the same ones voting against same-sex marriage and gay adoption?

So we Americans--at least a slim majority of those who went to the polls--have ultimately just elected yet another politician to serve in a political office--another man, another heterosexual in the confines of a legalized, state- and church-sanctioned marriage with kids to parade out in front of the press corps. How mundane and conventional. Traditional even.

Big fucking deal. The Obama girls get their puppy while every child with same-sex parents has her or his family erased. Voided. Canceled out. Swept aside. Annulled. By law and by a majority of voters.

Since when did inherent rights become something we allow the electorate to vote on? Since when did democracy stop including protection of minorities against the majority?

Just 41 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, annulling the legislation still enforced in at least sixteen states. One would think--and by this "one," I mean it in its fully vexed and most unjust use--that one who is a product of "race defilement" would be able to show a little bit more sensitivity on the issue of marriage that goes against so-called social mores.

The only hope we as human beings and as Americans have now is in a similar ruling on anti-gay legislation. Maybe one day, in the future to come, legislation based on hate and fear can be eradicated as simply as gay marriages and the right to adopt were Tuesday evening.

My country makes me sick. To paraphrase Nina Simone: "Florida Goddam! Arizona Goddam! Arkansas Goddam! California Goddam!" And I mean every word of it....

2 comments:

  1. America is always gonna need a dog to kick around, and right now you happen to be "it."

    The only good thing to come out of all this bs is that it has drawn attention to the backward-ass ignorance still running rampant in our wonderful nation.

    It might not seem like it now, but this is good. There's dialogue going on. People are finally starting to open their eyes. It'll take some time, sure, but at least they're not completely blind anymore.

    If nothing else, kicking the dog forces the kicker to acknowledge it. After that, it's all up to you.

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  2. I suppose we can look at dialogue as a silver lining, although I'm not sure I can actually see it as "dialogue."

    The rhetoric of the past few days has included multiple comments along the lines of, "I never thought I would see this in my lifetime." Electing Senator Obama is a huge step forward for the United States, but pssing Proposition 8 and the other "anti-gay rights" legislation in other states is a huge step backward. It leaves me to wonder if I will ever see full equality in my lifetime--and, sadly, not only wonder, but doubt that I ever will.

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