Saturday, June 10, 2006

America Swishes Her Way Into A Pinata Shop

Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, distracting from the truth. Whatever you call it, it is guaranteed to prevent Americans from dealing with the problems at hand as the country slides further into debt, further away from a true Republic, further away from democracy and closer to a police state.
How Hispanics Became the New Gays - New York Times: "When young people hear repeatedly that gay couples aspiring to marital commitment are 'undermining the moral fabric of the country, that stuff doesn't wash off,' says Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Most concretely, the Washington ruckus trickles down into sweeping assaults on gay partners' employee benefits and parental rights at the state level, as exemplified by a broadly worded referendum on the Virginia ballot this fall outlawing any kind of civil union. Had Mr. Bush really believed that his words had no consequences, he would have spoken in broad daylight at the White House and without any defensive touchy-feely bromides about 'tolerance.'

Mr. Bush prides himself on being tolerant — and has hundreds of photos of himself posing with black schoolkids to prove it. But his latest marriage maneuver is yet another example of how his presidency has been an enabler of bigots, and not just those of the 'pro-family' breed.

The stars are in alignment for a new national orgy of rancor because Americans are angry. The government has failed to alleviate gas prices, the economic anxieties of globalization or turmoil in Iraq. Two-thirds of Americans believe their country is on the wrong track. The historical response to that plight is a witch hunt for scapegoats on whom we can project our rage and impotence. Gay people, though traditionally handy for that role, aren't the surefire scapegoats they once were; support for a constitutional marriage amendment, ABC News found, fell to 42 percent just before the Senate vote. Hence the rise of a juicier target: Hispanics. They are the new gays, the foremost political piñata in the election year of 2006.


The election year is still young, and we haven't seen the half of this vitriol yet. Some politicians, like Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, are equal-opportunity bigots: when he isn't calling for the Senate to declare English the national language and demanding that immigrants be quizzed on the Federalist Papers (could he pass?), he is defending marriage by proclaiming that in his family's "recorded history" there has never been "any kind of homosexual relationship." (Any bets on how long before someone unearths the Inhofes' unrecorded history?) Vernon Robinson, a Republican Congressional candidate challenging the Democratic incumbent Brad Miller in North Carolina, has run an ad warning that "if Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."

The practitioners of such scare politics know what they're up to. That's why they so often share the strange psychological tic of framing their arguments in civil-rights speak. The Minuteman Project, the vigilante brigade stoking fears of an immigration Armageddon, quotes Gandhi on its Web site; its founder, Jim Gilchrist, has referred to his group as "predominantly white Martin Luther Kings." On a Focus on the Family radio show, James Dobson and the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, positioned the campaign to deny gay civil rights as the moral equivalent of L.B.J.'s campaign to extend civil rights. James Sensenbrenner, the leading House Republican voice on immigration policy, likened those who employ illegal immigrants to "the 19th-century slave masters" that "we had to fight a civil war to get rid of." For that historical analogy to add up, you'd have to believe that Africans voluntarily sought to immigrate to America to be slaves. Whether Mr. Sensenbrenner is out to insult African-Americans or is merely a fool is a distinction without a difference in this volatile political climate. "
Interesting how hey trot out MLK when they need him to prove a point and still manage to miss everything the man stood for. I have a dream and it doesn't include discriminating against my neighbor because I don't like the color of their skin or that they don't speak my language as well as a natural born citizen. What I care about is when they can't and don't want to become a citizen of the country they have chosen to live in. Why did you want to come here if you didn't want to be a part of the one of the greatest countries?

Unlike some people on the right, I don't hate people because they aren't like me, but I do want them to appreciate what this country used to stand for and if they can help us get it back I'm all for it.

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