Can We Please Stop Belittling Equality?

Representative Andre Carson (D-IN), a top lawmaker in the Congressional Black Caucus, said tea partiers on Capitol Hill  would like to see African-Americans hanging from trees and accuses the movement  of wishing for a return to the Jim Crow era. Just days before, Al Gore said that someday climate change doubters will be akin to racists from the 1960s. The battle for homosexual marriage has been dubbed “Gay Rights” and related to the 1960’s battle for equality by supporters whenever possible.

The point of this is not to comment on the validity of the Tea Party, climate change, or gay marriage, rather it’s to point out the ridiculousness of the racial commentary.

For a public representative to throw out a generalization as hateful as Andre Carson’s, falls somewhere between laughable and hurtful. To essentially say that some of his fellow congressman want to literally kill African Americans is so sick and absurd it destroys any credibility this man may have held! Unfortanetely he got some cheers.

Al Gore frames the debate over climate change as one that is similar to the much much more important debate over racial equality that took place in the 1960’s. Here we have a topic (climate change) that nobody in their right mind would argue is the moral equivalent to civil rights, but Al Gore literally said, “it’s the same where the moral compenent is concerned.” Comments like these totally belittle the civil rights battle led by Martin Luther King Jr.

Finally, advocates of gay marriage both subtly and explicitly relate their current political battle to civil rights. Right or wrong, the debate over gay marriage is really not similar to the debate over civil rights that occurred in MLK’s day. In the former, nobody in the country is allowed to marry someone of the same sex. That’s it. That’s the extent of the inequality, and while you could argue that’s wrong, the racial discrimination prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, without question, goes beyond comparison to gay marriage. People couldn’t eat in certain restaurants. People couldn’t get certain  jobs or live in certain neigborhoods or drink out of the wrong water fountain.

I certainly won’t say Obama is obligated to do anything, but given how often as he has said the language in Washington needs to be toned down, it would be great to hear him say something about the inappropriate racial commentary and frankly the belittling of equality that is going on in politics today.

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9 thoughts on “Can We Please Stop Belittling Equality?

  1. That’s a pretty absurd thing to say. There’s pulling the race card, and then there’s pulling the stupidity card. That’s what this guy did. In generalizing about a certain group of people wanting to see terrible things happen to another group, Carson himself is guilty of stereotyping and treating people unequally.

    I do agree with you that Gore’s comparison of global warming to civil rights from a MORAL standpoint is a little extreme. The issues of the civil rights era dealt with PEOPLE.

    However, I have to disagree with your commentary on the battle for homosexual marriage being dubbed “gay rights.” Yes, they are persecuted less than African-Americans were during the segregation era, but just the fact that they are being denied this one right is a manifestation of civil inequality. No one should be denied these rights based on race, gender, orientation, etc. This is very much a civil rights issue — maybe not to the extent of the issues of the 1950s and 1960s — but a civil rights issue nonetheless.

  2. I don’t view it as a right that a specific group of people are restricted from that everyone else enjoys. That’s what was happening in the 60s and what to me makes it beyond comparison to civil rights. Gay marriage is more relatable to legalization of drugs, or the ban on smoking in cars with young children that is being debated in SC. Do we legislate morality or let people live however they choose?

    The argument is that family is the basis of society and the greatness of our country and culture. If we continue to allow that sacred unit to disintegrate (50% divorce rate is horrible note for our culture) society will suffer as a result and our culture may forever change for the worse. That’s the argument that I’ve heard which most resonates with me. Forgetting politics for a second, the old testament/torah expresses no acceptance for homosexuality and so that adds a moral component against legalization while people’s faith should have led people to fight FOR civil rights (and MLK was a fellow Baptist). The Bible states: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galations 3:28… a obvious call for equality of between races and genders.

    Back to politics, this gay marriage argument relates to the debate over the legalization of drugs in that if drugs become widespead, society and our culture will likely suffer significantly. The debate over morality of drug usage exists there as well.

    Finally, the new SC law that bans people from smoking in the privacy of their car with young children in car seats (I support this bill) is another social issue where the government wants to get involved in peoples personal rights. Do people have the right to smoke in their car?

    • It is absurd to me that you think gay marriage is more related to the legalization of drugs than to civil rights. The bottom line is that a certain group of people are being denied a right just because they are a certain group of people. Legalization of drugs applies to EVERYONE. There is no discrimination there.

      How would gay marriage make the value of family disintegrate? How does the 50% divorce rate play into it? Are you suggesting that it’s more likely that homosexual marriages would end in divorce? What evidence do you have for that?

      Also, forget about what the old testament says. Religion is not universal. Not everyone believes in that stuff. It should in no way add a moral component to the issue of legalization. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE exists for a reason. Not everyone needs religion to define their morals. I also happen to think that the intolerance of homosexuality as portrayed in some religions is morally wrong. How about that?

      Lastly, what on earth makes you say that society and our culture will suffer significantly if gay marriage is legalized?

  3. Using drugs is behavioral. Marrying someone of the same sex is also behavioral. Smoking in the car is also behavioral. Being of African-American decent is not behavioral. That’s why I think it’s a different ballgame.

    All three of these are behaviors are ones that most people do not do. Most people don’t want to do drugs, marry someone of the same-sex, or smoke in the car with a young child (each action looked at individually). It’s hard to say any of these apply to everyone. I mean, don’t they specifically limit the rights of just recreation drug users, homosexuals, and smokers? To say that illegalization of drugs applies to everyone, but the ban on same sex marriage only applies to one group is incorrect.

    Nobody at all can legally do drugs. Only a select group of people want to, however nobody is allowed. The same can be said of both same-sex marriage and smoking in the car. They all apply to everyone, however only specific groups want to utilize those rights.

    An argument over the viability of gay marriage was not at the core of the blog, post, but I appreciate the comments.

    The religious portion of my response is for one simple reason and unfortunately it’s the only part you missed. All three of these questions ask the larger question, should the government legislate morality?

    52% of Americans believe “abortion is morally wrong in most cases.” Due to this belief there are some restrictions such as waiting periods on this action. I would say that smoking in a car with a very young child in a car seat is also a no-no and the government has a right to stop that. These questions are the ones that apply in these three common topics… In my humble opinion.

  4. I’m not sure how the religious portion of your response has anything to do with the government legislating morality. You even said when you brought it up that we’d be “forgetting politics for a second.”

    Calling homosexuality behavioral brings up the age-old nature vs. nurture question. I don’t consider it behavioral in the sense of drug use or smoking, because I don’t think homosexuals go through a process where they “decide” to be gay. I think they are just natural feelings that come about for them. And that, to me, should not warrant alternate treatment from heterosexual people. You look at this issue as same-sex marriage not being allowed, thus applying to everyone. That’s wrong to me. The issue is marriage alone, and it should not be denied to people on the basis of orientation.

    I know this wasn’t meant to be the core of your post but I felt like you played this off as if your thoughts were obviously correct, and I just don’t see it that way, so I wanted to spark some discussion. I agree with your other points; thus, discussion about them would not be nearly as riveting.

  5. The religous comments were merely to explain the historical tie to morality and why that’s what’s at the core of the issue. Some religions don’t believe in drinking alcohol. Surely that influenced the prohibition amendment. Like it or not, the constitution does not grant American “freedom from religion,” only freedom of religion.

  6. Pingback: Republican’s Duke It Out On Liberal MSNBC | Home Runs, Apple Pie, and Rock 'n Roll

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