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Making Gates’ issue a racial one prevents us from moving beyond race

I have long believe that the primary goal of the gay movement should be promoting real and lasting social change, creating a society where we can live openly without suffering derision or marginalization because of our difference.  That is, people would see our sexuality as incidental to our essence.

“Oh, you’re gay?” someone would say when we come out, “Well, my best friend does Civil War reenactments, never much understood it, but, well, he enjoys it.”  The comparison may not be perfectly apposite, but is at least appropriate.  Being gay is just one aspect of who we are–and not the defining aspect.

And yet, just as some in America see our sexuality as our defining aspect, others see race.  Perhaps the greatest hope of those of use who did not support Barack Obama’s candidacy is that his election would help us move beyond defining each other by the color of our skin.  Race would become incidental.

But, the way the President–and many of his allies–have handled the Gates issue makes it clear that this Administration will not serve to help us transcend race, that is, unless his defenders dare to fault the professor’s boorish behavior and address his own anti-police prejudices.

This is only an issue about race because Professor Gates (and his followers in the MSM) have made it one.  Roger Simon calls it a “nostalgia for racism“:

The secret wish of these people, buried not far from the surface, is for things not to have changed. They have a nostalgia for an evil past when they could feel self-righteous and victimized. Self-defeating indeed. . . .  In those days [time of Civil Rights Movement] it was very easy to tell right from wrong and feel good about your actions. These days it’s a lot more complicated.

And what this race nostalgia has done is make it increasingly difficult to realize Dr. King’s dream.  Instead, we’ve become increasingly race-obsessed, with the woman who had called the cops to complain objecting to being called white as she has “olive-colored” skin, leading law professor Wiliam A.  Jacobson to lament: “Is this what we have come to? Measuring skin tone as an indicator of intent? So if Whalen were black, no racial profiling; if white, racial profiling; but olive colored people?

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40 Comments

  1. Brilliant GPW.
    When my younger brother was appalled because someone was mocking a NASCAR driver for possibly being gay….my brother’s defense was…”he is NOT, that’s a horrible thing to say”. I had to teach him how off base he was. I had a teaching moment with a family member. That until straight America could hear comments about football players or NASCAR drivers and say instead….”what, who cares if he’s gay or not, he’s still a great football player or driver. ” Then only then, will the country be in a better place.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 28, 2009 @ 5:35 pm - July 28, 2009

  2. There are loads of entrenced people and groups who depend on the race industry to perpetuate. Jackson and Sharpton and university special programs are just some of them. I’m not sure black studies would be necessary. American studies could include all of us.
    A great way to get an advantage in any debate is to start by playing the victim card. “Hey I was poor and Polish and I had a rough childhood, now what did you want to tell me about my grades?”

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 28, 2009 @ 5:40 pm - July 28, 2009

  3. I am a Christian man who has homosexual feelings. I’m glad people are recognizing that identifying as “gay” has more to do with wanting a group identity than sexual orientation. Not that I’m against group identities–I choose to identify as Christian, fully aware of the implications of that choice. I’m also aware I was not born Christian, that I didn’t always have Christian feelings, or that I was somehow in denial about my true self in the years I wasn’t a Christian.

    Having homosexual feelings and identifying as gay are two completely different things–the first, a simple fact which doesn’t exclude other facts (such as the odd heterosexual feeling), and the second, a toxic, shame-based, cult-like grasp for acceptance by someone with a weak identity. Which could also be said about fundamentalist Christianity.

    I don’t need “gay.”

    I think mature self-acceptance means acknowledging the ambiguity of existence. We’re not born with any particular orientation or identity which defines us, and even the identities we choose don’t say everything about who we are. I don’t need “gay” determining my existence. Maybe my love for men will never involve sex. Maybe I’ll find the best lifetime sexual partner for me is a woman. Maybe Jason Statham will come to Central Nebraska in search of his soul-mate. I choose to respond to these possible futures as a Christian man. My homosexual feelings are a factor, but not that which defines my responses.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 28, 2009 @ 5:52 pm - July 28, 2009

  4. Oh–P.S. Who’s the NASCAR driver? Is it Tony Stewart? I knew it!

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 28, 2009 @ 5:56 pm - July 28, 2009

  5. ewww no it wasn’t Tony Stewart. (he cheats btw)

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 28, 2009 @ 6:15 pm - July 28, 2009

  6. Just found your site (a convoluted path but esentially from The Magic Negro Watch blog). I hope you don’t mind but I have linked to you. Your writing is informative and refreshing and I’m really glad I found you. I’ve long thought that conservatives, true conservatives, and LGBT Americans should be natural allies. That we’re not is more than distressing but changing I think. My very conservative daughter wrote an anti Prop 8 post some time ago and really challenged my thinking and notions on freedom.
    Please keep up the great work. I’m working through your older posts and looking forward to future writings.

    Comment by The Six — July 28, 2009 @ 6:15 pm - July 28, 2009

  7. >gay movement should be promoting real and lasting social change
    > a society where we can live openly without suffering derision

    Yes! I’m on board.

    We suffer the same problem from the GLBT victimhood industry. Who gets on TV, the person begging for a hate crimes bill to stop this plague of violence brought upon us by “the man”, “the straight man”, “the religious institutional intolerance”. It follows the same path as Gates, Sharpton, Jackson, Cornell West.

    We even have folks who celebrate Stonewall in the context of a police riot. Oh yeah, somebody threw a beer bottle at a cop, but can we not move forward to a modern discussion and recognition of freedom, viewing Stonewall without the 60’s cultural overtones.

    People tune out on racial dialog, because it’s about blame and the conversation goes nowhere. America will tune us out as well if the predominant gay voice begins with placing collective blame on religious, rural, or red state America and a presumption of guilt on intolerance .

    Comment by Geena — July 28, 2009 @ 6:32 pm - July 28, 2009

  8. Jeff Gordon has had Gay rumors out there from day one. . heard them when he was some scrawny kid driving Midgets and Sprints on ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder.

    Libs love labels.
    Obama is our first (half) Black President to them First. To most of us opposition, he is just a very bad choice for the position.
    To the libs, The Label defines. to me , Your a like thinker on many issues who happens to be Gay. To libs You’re Gay, and they seemed shocked you don’t fit your label.
    It isn’t far from their mode of thinking to the “You’re just a Number” method of totalitarianism.

    Comment by JP — July 28, 2009 @ 7:49 pm - July 28, 2009

  9. To clarify–Stonewall was about sexual liberation, not gay rights. The goal of the Stonewall movement is to free everyone from traditional, patriarchal, oppressive sexual morals, such as lifelong sexual exclusivity. Stonewall/Pride is not orientation-exclusive in its desire to subvert mainstream society.

    I would say that homosexual rights, meaning the right to marry, adopt children, serve in the military, and minister in churches, began with the writings of Jonathan Rauch, Bruce Bawer, and Andrew Sullivan. I see those as starting a new movement, not connected with Stonewall.

    The “gay” identity is subversive and amoral. Having homosexual feelings and wanting the same legal options as heterosexuals is actually quite old-fashioned–who knew that homosexuals would be the ones getting married, having children, going to church, and supporting the troops? We are the new Donna Reeds.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 28, 2009 @ 7:51 pm - July 28, 2009

  10. “Being gay is just one aspect of who we are–and not the defining aspect.”

    Bingo! We have a winner!

    Comment by niall — July 28, 2009 @ 8:10 pm - July 28, 2009

  11. Professor Gates – an elitist snob who is a professor at Harvard: victim.
    President Obama – an elitist snob who is POTUS: victim.
    Sgt Crowley – a street cop: oppressor.

    Something about that doesn’t look right.

    I set of the alarm at my parents’ house one night and didn’t know the secret word when the alarm company called. The police arrived a short time later. The officers asked for ID, took a quick look around, and left. No problem.

    I was stopped one night because my left headlight was out. There had been a hit-and-run earlier and the suspect vehicle sustained damage on the left side. Again, a quick look at the car, my license and I was one my way.

    So how is it most people, when contacted by the police, have to good sense to be civil, present ID when asked (which is the law) and be on their way yet these two brainiacs can’t figure it out.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — July 28, 2009 @ 8:27 pm - July 28, 2009

  12. #11 – “So how is it most people, when contacted by the police, have to good sense to be civil, present ID when asked (which is the law) and be on their way yet these two brainiacs can’t figure it out.”

    Because, SCR, liberals think that they are above everyone else and that we are put on this planet to succumb to their wishes.

    Did you hear the 911 call and officer recordings? Gates was in Crowley’s face saying in effect “do you know who I am?” and insinuating that he was above reproach.

    Sorry to burst all elitist liberals’ bubbles, but you are not better than anyone else. So get over it.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — July 28, 2009 @ 8:37 pm - July 28, 2009

  13. Keep us all informed on how the beerfest at the White House goes. My sympathies are with officer Crowley. He should get an award for all he has gone through in defending the property of Professor Gates … because of the abuse of Professor Gates.

    Comment by Swampfox — July 28, 2009 @ 8:51 pm - July 28, 2009

  14. I’m a country boy. Well, an old country boy. Out here we don’t have teh gheys. Instead we have old bachelors and lifelong spinsters who happen to share housing. I am lucky enough that in my job as a Deputy Sheriff, I never was asked to peek through curtains at night to see where any of those people slept.
    I did, however, in my younger days, before I had the seniority to avoid it, have to go to a certain park where teh gheys tended to do certain things that children ought not see.
    Funny, we never went looking there when children were supposed to be at home.
    I’m a straigh Christian conservative. I also have enough trouble with my own sex life to not care about anyone else’ sex life. All I ask, no demand, is that folks, regardless of their persuasion, not scare the horses and keep it out of sight.
    In my over 62 years on this planet no one has ever asked my permission to be gay, or black or female or… So I guess my permission or blessing is unneeded. I don’t come here for the Gay, I come here for the Patriot.

    This Gates clown makes me glad that I never worked in the big cities. I can remember when he would have been dragged down the steps by the feet.

    Comment by Peter — July 28, 2009 @ 8:52 pm - July 28, 2009

  15. I don’t need “gay” determining my existence.

    Sorry if the sentiment makes me yawn a little… it’s not that I disagree with it, quite the contrary; it’s that I got there years ago. Old hat.

    I see [Andrew Sullivan among others] as starting a new movement, not connected with Stonewall.

    Look again. He’s a full-fledged member of the Gay Left, including the anti-religion Gay Sexual-Liberation Left, these days. He merely retains a tiny fig leaf of occasionally pretending not to be.

    I have long believe that the primary goal of the gay movement should be promoting real and lasting social change, creating a society where we can live openly without suffering derision or marginalization because of our difference.

    GPW: Sorta. Maybe. It depends. “Promoting social change” usually comes down to wanting and expecting others to change for your benefit. I do not want to take away anybody’s RIGHT to deride me (aka freedom of speech), or for that matter to “marginalize” me away from their personal daily life (aka freedom of association). They have no right to kill me or steal from me or exclude me from genuinely public accommodations, of course, and I would surely want to destroy any perception in their minds that they might: but they can deride me all they want. The way you’ve phrased it could be taken like, say, support for P.C. speech codes (controlling others’ thoughts and expressions) and that, I do not want.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 28, 2009 @ 9:18 pm - July 28, 2009

  16. Perhaps the greatest hope of those of use who did not support Barack Obama’s candidacy [ed: and of many who did!] is that his election would help us move beyond defining each other by the color of our skin. Race would become incidental. But, the way the President–and many of his allies–have handled the Gates issue makes it clear that this Administration will not serve to help us transcend race…

    That, I think, will be part of Obama’s undoing. (The 20% inflation rates coming in a couple more years, and the destruction of what is left of our nation’s health care system, will be the other parts.) Many white, middle-of-the-road-to-soft-liberal Obama supporters expected him to be Spike Lee’ ‘Magical Negro’, their special friend who makes America’s racial guilt (i.e., their own sense of racial guilt) go away. What if Obama fails to perform the magical, soothing functions they expect of him – as in the Gates controversy? What do they do then?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 28, 2009 @ 9:39 pm - July 28, 2009

  17. “Out here we don’t have teh gheys. Instead we have old bachelors and lifelong spinsters who happen to share housing.”

    Sounds like heaven–or the 19th century. Either way, my dream come true!

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 28, 2009 @ 10:40 pm - July 28, 2009

  18. “Oh, you’re gay?” someone would say when we come out, “Well, my best friend does Civil War reenactments, never much understood it, but, well, he enjoys it.”

    I’ve done both. Not only as 11th Texas Cav. but also as 13th US Inf. Talk about a minority. Been discriminated against in La. as well.

    Instead we have old bachelors and lifelong spinsters who happen to share housing.

    When I was working in EMS, a patient of mine was a writer and had given myself and my partner copies of her book Not the Marrying Kind. I never read it, but found out, not long ago, that that title was another old fashioned phrase for gays and lesbians. I ought to go find that book and see what it’s about.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 29, 2009 @ 12:14 am - July 29, 2009

  19. #14 Peter’s the best! Keepin it real. Thanks for being here!

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 29, 2009 @ 12:44 am - July 29, 2009

  20. At the thursday beer picnic at Obamas White House there should be apologies from Gates and Obama to one person. The policeman responding to a breakin. Simple. The rest is theatre.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 29, 2009 @ 12:46 am - July 29, 2009

  21. On the one hand, being a black male myself, I feel like the assumptions regarding race in the Gates case are being blown out of proportion. One of my pet peeves here in the South is the need people feel to include race as a description of another person in everyday conversation. I think this is because I grew up in an environment in which race was never an issue.

    At the same time, I believe critics should also look at Gates’ age, and look at the history of the relationship between the black community has with law enforcement in this country, and acknowledge that when creating a dialog.

    I think the Obama’s overall reaction/involvement is quite indicative of how many Americans feel about race. There’s the drive to show people that it shouldn’t matter, but there’re also challenges in the approach due to sensitivity on both sides. We can do it, though.

    Comment by James — July 29, 2009 @ 7:13 am - July 29, 2009

  22. Alas, the gay NASCAR rumors do not concern Kasey Kahne. Of course, since he comes from Enumclaw WA, it could be a lot worse.

    I think there is a little racism bred into all of our genes. Evolutionarily speaking, there was a survival advantage to being prejudiced toward members of one’s own tribe. The important thing is how we use the higher, rational mind to control whatever residual racism resides in us, consciously or subconsciously.

    Comment by V the K — July 29, 2009 @ 7:49 am - July 29, 2009

  23. At the same time, I believe critics should also look at Gates’ age, and look at the history of the relationship between the black community has with law enforcement in this country, and acknowledge that when creating a dialog.

    In other words, we should excuse Gates’ being a total dick to the cop (IF that is indeed what the situation was; I haven’t heard the tape recording yet) who was there in response to a call and trying to protect Gates’ own property for him, because of Gates’ age group and alleged life experiences?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 29, 2009 @ 11:04 am - July 29, 2009

  24. I don’t believe in evolution, I believe in Intelligent Design. So, I don’t think we have vestiges of traits which were evolutionarily advantageous. I believe we were created by God to be what we are. As Jesus said, some were born without the capacity for traditional marriage. Therefore, I think humans are designed to identify themselves first and foremost as children of God. That is a better foundation for identity than race or orientation.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 29, 2009 @ 11:23 am - July 29, 2009

  25. In other words, we should excuse Gates’ being a total dick to the cop (IF that is indeed what the situation was; I haven’t heard the tape recording yet) who was there in response to a call and trying to protect Gates’ own property for him, because of Gates’ age group and alleged life experiences?

    What makes this funny is that the same liberals pushing this meme are the ones who openly mock and namecall older people who are opposed to gay marriage as being bigoted and prejudiced and hope they die off — or, in other words, insisting that their life experiences and age are worthless and that they have no right to object.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 29, 2009 @ 12:23 pm - July 29, 2009

  26. I don’t know if James meant what I said in my paraphrase, so I asked it as a question. I hope he didn’t mean it that way. In my world, a person’s life experiences or victim status (whether imagined or all too real) never excuse terrible behavior.

    NDT, wrt your comment: It does seem that lefties in general will tell us to “listen” to someone’s “life experience” in a “process of dialog”, if doing so supports the leftie’s agenda… and will forget about it totally, if it doesn’t.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 29, 2009 @ 2:03 pm - July 29, 2009

  27. The left really hates old people, for some reason. This health care bill basically Logan’s Run with a slightly older age limit. I like old people. I want to be one. I think Obama showed pure contempt for McCain because of his age. Why is ageism better than racism?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — July 29, 2009 @ 2:21 pm - July 29, 2009

  28. #27 This is particularly odd since AARP is a liberal tool come election time.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 29, 2009 @ 4:44 pm - July 29, 2009

  29. AARP strongly supported HillaryCare, too. They’re just another business now and they realize that Obama and the Dems have more cash at their disposal and are more generous, too, than any silly ol’ Retired Person.

    When I turned 65, I joined in order to take advantage of their Medicare Supplement policy. Now I’m seriously considering canceling my membership, even if it means I have to start the search for another Medicare Supplement–or go without.

    Their “non-profit” status gives them an undeserved respectablility, much like the respect PBS receives, giving their Leftist slant added weight. Ugh. People who aren’t tuned in, politically, don’t have a clue.

    Comment by Polly — July 29, 2009 @ 6:24 pm - July 29, 2009

  30. #22 I only wish the gay rumors included Kasey Kahne.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 29, 2009 @ 7:48 pm - July 29, 2009

  31. I love how, now that we have most of the facts of the case, virtually no one is taking Gates’ side anymore. People who at first sided with Gates are now claiming that both men acted badly.

    No, both men did not act badly. Only one acted badly–Gates.

    http://www.scottspiegel.com/?p=774
    (“Just Make Sure It’s Not a Blue Moon Belgian White”)

    Comment by Scott Spiegel — July 29, 2009 @ 9:12 pm - July 29, 2009

  32. More on Andrew Sullivan: Per Ace, he Announces Yet Again [that] Trig is Not Sarah’s Son; May Flee to Another Country to Escape Orwellian US.

    Yup. Founder and leader of our conservative-tolerating, politically-moderate un-gay movement. (Not to me.)

    P.S. for the GayPatriot regulars: Anyone besides me notice that Sullivan is a lower-caser? Could he be the ghost author of all our lower-casers? “Hey, I’m only asking questions.”

    In other news, also courtesy of Ace (and because it seems to fit somehow, when talking about kooks like Sullivan): Robot attacks Swedish factory worker.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 29, 2009 @ 9:55 pm - July 29, 2009

  33. #27-29: Speaking of AARP, on Monday, Obama spoke at the organization’s town hall meeting on health care reform and said that “no one is talking about” cutting Medicare. Nevermind that Obama proposed $313 billion in cuts to Medicare just two weeks ago:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/29/video-obama-says-were-not-proposing-cuts-to-medicare/

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/13/news/economy/Obama_health_Care.reut/index.htm

    Liberals have always been dissemblers, deceivers, deniers, and snake-oil salesmen, but with Obama it has become positively surreal. Obama can literally go on the record, with full audio and video, and say one thing, and then say the exact opposite within days, without a peep from the MSM (or his supporters). He doesn’t even have enough respect for Americans to make the effort to lie convincingly–he just says whatever his audience wants to hear at any given moment. The little-letter sock puppets routinely post comments here calling Bush and his inner circle liars, but when challenged, they can’t identify a single one. With Obama, the damning evidence of his inability to tell the truth is in Hi-Def, yet it makes no difference to the media or his supporters.

    I don’t get it. Conservatives were/are constantly accused of blindly supporting every Bush policy, statement, and, gesture which is an absolute crock (conservatives were highly critical of his excessive spending and it was conservatives that defeated the shamnesty bill). But with Obama, it isn’t just broken or indefinitely-postponed campaign promises–it is huge, unequivocal lies and 180 degree reversals on matters of consequence documented in real time and objectively provable with evidence on video. At a minimum, it proves that for the Left, character is measured solely by one’s stand on “the issues.” I guess liberals consider the endeavor of enacting “universal healthcare” is so selfless, noble and altruistic, that it doesn’t matter what he has to do to accomplish it. His morality is measured by his objective and intentions–nothing else is relevant. And why wouldn’t Obama expect this treatment from other liberals having observed the way Williams Ayers flourished as a member of Chicago’s rich, liberal elite even with a terrorist background that he is PROUD OF.

    This is why political satire is dead in film and television and why An American Carol flopped–it’s not funny because there is no difference between the slap-stick and reality. The level of shameless deception and corruption practiced by Obama and his cronies leaves no room for humorous embellishment or exaggeration. They have become the caricature.

    Comment by Sean A — July 30, 2009 @ 12:27 am - July 30, 2009

  34. Good points, Sean A… if only too obvious.

    Can you imagine the MSM keeping silent if the Bush Justice Department had dropped a voter intimidation prosecution of the KKK? Yet, the Obama DoJ lets the Black Panthers off without even a slap on the wrist, and no one raises a peep about it.

    Comment by V the K — July 30, 2009 @ 7:40 am - July 30, 2009

  35. And yes, ILC, there seems to be a direct correlation between lunacy, idiocy, and the inability to capitalize. If I had to guess, I’d think Sullivan was most likely gillie.

    Comment by V the K — July 30, 2009 @ 7:42 am - July 30, 2009

  36. #20: Ha! If only.

    Comment by Scott Spiegel — July 30, 2009 @ 11:58 am - July 30, 2009

  37. V – Possible. But I always thought gillie was keogh was Ian, whom GPW says he’s met (and is not Andrew Sullivan). And I have always thought that arturo fernandez was Gryph. I start to think “Sullivan” when I see the one-off lowercasers, often a female name who never comes back, who pretends really really hard at being well-educated. We had one blow through last week, I think. I forget the thread.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2009 @ 3:07 pm - July 30, 2009

  38. I don’t believe in evolution, I believe in Intelligent Design. So, I don’t think we have vestiges of traits which were evolutionarily advantageous. I believe we were created by God to be what we are.

    Ashpenaz, I’m sure God created us to be what we are, but He used evolution as a means to get there. All evidence suggests that. Or perhaps God is playing a twisted, elaborate hoax to make us think evolution occurred when it didn’t. I’m not betting on the latter.

    As for Gates, count two lefties (my partner and I) who believe that Gates shouldn’t have acted like an arrogant blowhard prick and showed his frickin’ ID to the cop.

    Comment by Pat — July 31, 2009 @ 10:28 am - July 31, 2009

  39. I have heard that there are tapes. My suggestion is “release the tapes” and then let Mr. Educated Idiot defend his stupidity. It will definitely end all speculation about the incident.

    Comment by Duffy - Native Intelligence — August 1, 2009 @ 1:02 am - August 1, 2009

  40. God created Adam and Eve, and Tom,Dick and harry will never get married.

    After having said that we should treat everybody equally, just don’t take the Bible out off context to suit your sexual behavior. If you believe that God created you the way you are and you excepted that in you heart, then so be it, and move on with your lives, and stop trying to recruit us to your way of thinking…I still think the most beautiful creature on this here earth…is a woman!

    Comment by frank cantu (Vietnam Vet) — August 19, 2009 @ 1:43 pm - August 19, 2009

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