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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