|YaK:: WebLog #535 Topic : 2004-09-03 06.45.46 burddell : the west wing and separate but equal||[Changes] [Calendar] [Search] [Index] [PhotoTags]|
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A few years ago, my mom suggested I watch the West Wing. She raved about the show, but this was the same woman who loved Babylon 5 so much that she would print out the web pages on the subject and put them into binders. I finally got around to getting the first season from Netflix, and started watching them this week.
I must say that I am incredibly impressed. Very well written, great acting, etc.
My mom called me to talk about something else, and I mentioned it to her. She was glad I finally acted on her advice. I decided to take the positiveness of the conversation to ask her about the recent civil rights issues with regard to gay marriage and how she thought it compared to the civil rights issues when she was young.
She told me about her sister dating a black guy, and her father being unable to deal with it. Logically, he knew discrimination was wrong because all people are created equal in god's eyes (he was a minister), but he was just raised differently. He chose to not be at the house when Marty's black boyfriend would be around.
My mom (and dad) have both taken a similar approach to my being gay. They simply don't want to hear about it. They don't want to meet my partner. My mom makes all kinds of excuses as to why she can't come visit us. We bought a house a year and a half ago, and they haven't shown the slightest initiative to seeing us. Geoff's parents (who are emigrate from Taiwan) came down two or three times, helped us fix up the house a bit, etc. Point being, the fact my mom talked at all on the subject is an improvement.
The thing that gets Geoff mad about the whole thing are the parallels to segregation in 1950's America. Separate but equal did not work, was proven to not work, and it will not work now. The Massachusetts Supreme Court appears to agree. They ruled that Civil Unions will not work, because it resigns a section of citizens to second class status.
What we have now is that states are divided on this issue, and one state may not recognize another state's marriage. Sound familiar? Just 40 years ago, it was ILLEGAL for a black person to marry a white person in some states. The black person would get THROWN IN JAIL. Presumably, if it was a black man and a white woman, the black man would get some special treatment.
Now, I don't think gay people will get locked up in some states. Unless, of course, their right to privacy is violated and they are arrested under laws that state the way(s) two consenting adults can not (or can) have sex with eachother (as in the Texas case a few years ago). Many states still have sodomy laws on the books, some even have similar laws for oral sex. Hm. Maybe I do think gay people will get locked up in some states. They might even get beaten to death, put across a barbed wire fence, and left for dead by an unofficial welcoming committee. They might not even be properly protected by the local law enforcement, or not be properly defected by the local district attorney.
Is this not totally fucked? Are we not repeating history? Have we, as a country fought so hard to get past the barbarism of racial inequality that we perpetrated that we have FORGOTTEN? Is the guilt buried so deeply that it only expresses itself when we are judgemental of other countries?
It seems that America needs to reflect a bit, look unblinkingly at its' past, and re-evaluate the current civil rights issues. It looks like we've forgotten something along the way to self righteousness.
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