Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You Got Yours

There is an interesting phenomenon that happens with people who have endured hardships at the hands of others.  That is, once they get past the abuse, they feel as though no one else deserves what they feel they earned.

There are people that I rarely talk to because of this phenomenon.  I had a friend in high school that was constantly picked on, bullied, and abused.  She was the butt of jokes and the equivalent of a cur that everyone kicked to the curb.  All she wanted, at least I thought, was to be loved and respected like everyone else.  I was no beauty queen or social butterfly, myself, but I was largely immune to any foolishness from a bunch of hormone-addled teenagers, so they mostly gave up on trying to get under my skin.  I did my best to stand up for her, though.  She deserved to be treated like a human being just like me or anyone else, right?  Imagine my dismay when, after years of being under the radar she shows up again, only to spam me with emails telling me to not watch certain TV shows because there were gay people on them or to support drug testing on people in need of assistance (something I'm sure she needed in the past, and may have failed the test, herself).

She got hers and no one else deserves it.

I can't fathom the thought processes that are involved in this attitude.  I am sure I'm not the only one confounded by it.

Source unknown, but only really appropriate for this topic.
It appears that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM...hehehe) is using this phenomenon to defeat civil rights for gay people.

Recent news (though conspicuously absent from Faux central "news," but occasionally showing up in local Fox stations; is that NOM plans to drive a wedge between the black and Hispanic communities and gay rights.

Key messages by NOM

The "Christianity" message

The most obvious message is that gay people, particularly gay people getting married, will end Christianity in the US.  Or, at least, Christians will be called bigots.

Well, that's already true, unfortunately.  I have often called out my gay friends for using that broad brush (as I am a Christian, myself and I know many who don't deserve to be called bigots), and it's getting better.  That being said, being "Christian" isn't the same as BEING Christian.  So, if the shoe fits...

Creating and using fear

A second, fairly obvious message is that a path to gay rights will block a path to Hispanic rights.  Worse than that, NOM's recently released memos indicate that the path to Hispanic rights should be directed along "separate-but-equal" ideals in order to preserve the deeply Christian roots that tend to run in Hispanic communities.
"Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?" one NOM memo asked. "We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity ... a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation."
In other words, "don't let the Hispanics fully integrate; it might make them indifferent to our emotional manipulation."  Not only does it suggest that NOM will use any tool, including fear, to pull in supporters of their bigotry, but they'll literally engineer a reason for that fear.

You got yours

A less obvious and more reprehensible message, centering around NOM's "Not a Civil Right" campaign is that "your people have suffered under the yoke of oppression; it's your turn to hold the yoke."  This is very much directed toward the black community, and it is the most insidious.  It is very possibly playing on the very same emotion that the bullied kid feels when they arrive at school with a loaded gun.  We all know how that ends.

The upshot?

Fortunately, civil rights leaders and many, many businesses, faith-based organizations, and people in general, were too smart to fall for these tactics.  NOM was already preaching to the choir.  But now, perhaps, with the lid off of the whole scheme, perhaps some of the choir will feel a bit used and dirty.

Hopefully, the feeling of shame will set in before the vote in November, with an attempt to memorialize bigotry into our state's constitution.

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