David Dante Troutt
Monday, Jan 20, 2014
The impatience that characterizes discussions of race and racism in our so-called color-blind society has its roots in the momentous legislative changes of the 1960s. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965, and 1968 reached into nearly every aspect of daily life—from segregated facilities to voting to housing—and represented a long overdue re-installation of the equality principle in our social compact. The question was what it would take—and from whom—to get to equality.
Was racial equality something that could be had without sacrifice? If not, then who would be forced to participate and who would be exempt? As implementation of the laws engendered a far-reaching bureaucracy of agencies, rules, and programs for everything from affirmative action hiring goals to federal contracting formula, the commitment was quickly tested. For a great many who already opposed the changes, patience was quickly exhausted. As welfare rolls rapidly increased, crime surged, and the real and perceived burdens of busing took their toll, many voters pointed to the apparent failure of a growing federal government to fix the problems it was essentially paid to cure. Among Democratic voters this made for unsteady alliances and vulnerable anxieties. People don’t live in policy and statistics as much as they do through anecdote and personal burdens. A riot here, a horrific crime there, a job loss or perhaps the fiery oratory of a public personality could tip a liberal-leaning person’s thinking toward more conservative conclusions—or at least fuel her impatience. Impatience would ossify into anger, turning everything into monetary costs, and making these costs the basis for political opposition to a liberal state. As it happened, this process moves the date of our supposed final triumph over racism from the mid-1960s to at least the mid-1980s. In the end, impatience won.
What I call impatience, others have characterized as a simmering voter ambivalence—even antagonism, in the case of working-class whites—to civil rights remedies, one that was susceptible to the peculiar backlash politics that elected both Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush president. Language was central to this strategy, and the language that stuck was colorblindness. As Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary Edsall wrote in “Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics,” “In facing an electorate with sharply divided commitments on race—theoretically in favor of egalitarian principle but hostile to many forms of implementation—the use of a race-free political language proved crucial to building a broad-based, center-right coalition.” Ronald Reagan managed to communicate a message that embodied all the racial resentments around poverty programs, affirmative action, minority set-asides, busing, crime, and the Supreme Court without mentioning race, something his conservative forebears—Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, and Richard Nixon—could not quite do. The linchpin was “costs” and “values.” Whenever “racism” was raised, it became an issue of “reverse racism” against whites. The effect was the conversion of millions of once fiscally liberal, middle-class suburban Democrats to the Republican Party. Issues identified with race—the “costs of liberalism”—fractured the very base of the Democratic Party. In the 1980 presidential election, for example, 22 percent of Democrats voted Republican.
By 1984, when Ronald Reagan and George Bush beat Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro in the presidential election, many white Democratic voters had come to read their own party’s messages through what Edsall calls a “racial filter.” In their minds, higher taxes were directly attributable to policies of a growing federal government; they were footing the bill for minority preference programs. If the public argument was cast as wasteful spending on people of weak values, the private discussions were explicitly racial. For instance, Edsall quotes polling studies of “Reagan Democrats” in Macomb County—the union friendly Detroit suburbs that won the battle to prevent cross-district school desegregation plans in 1973—that presents poignant evidence of voter anger: “These white Democratic defectors express a profound distaste for blacks, a sentiment that pervades almost everything they think about government and politics. . . . Blacks constitute the explanation for their [white defectors’] vulnerability and for almost everything that has gone wrong in their lives; not being black is what constitutes being middle class; not living with blacks is what makes a neighborhood a decent place to live. These sentiments have important implications for Democrats, as virtually all progressive symbols and themes have been redefined in racial and pejorative terms.”
Continue reading at: http://www.salon.com/2014/01/20/the_racism_that_still_plagues_america/
By David Ferguson
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
National Review columnist Mona Charen published a column Tuesday in which she passionately defended anti-LGBT bigotry.
The arch conservative author and pundit wondered why there are no laws protecting straight people from therapists who will turn them gay. She rained scorn and condemnation on a transgender man who wanted to have a child and then flatly labeled any parent’s decision to acknowledge their transgender child’s identity as “child abuse.”
In the column, titled “Our Crazed Sexuality Standards,” Charen assumes the mantle of aggrieved moral scold, lamenting the proliferation of LGBT support groups at colleges and universities. She can think of so many other things that people should call themselves before they identify as LGBT.
“There are limitless identities that students could be encouraged to cultivate as they mature,” she wrote. “A handful that leap immediately to mind: American, humorist, musician, athlete, debater, nature-lover.”
“Instead,” she said, “our universities fall all over themselves to encourage unusual sexual identities, from homosexuality and lesbianism to transgender, bisexual, transsexual, and other.”
“It’s all done in the name of ‘inclusion’ and non-discrimination, but, let’s face it, there’s an element of fashion in it,” she tutted. “Non-traditional sexual behavior is ‘in.’”
Charen expressed a kind of guarded support for the discredited practice of “reparative therapy,” in which Christian counselors attempt to change the sexual orientation and expression of LGBT people, a practice that has been outlawed in California and other U.S. states.
Recently, Dr. Keith Ablow of the Fox News Medical A-Team dismissed any biological origins of gender dysphoria, stating:
I don’t believe we have definitive data (although many psychiatrists with very impressive credentials, who seem to mean well, assert that we do) that any male or female soul has ever in the history of the world been born into the wrong anatomic gender.
Let me put that more clearly: I am not convinced by any science I can find that people with definitively male DNA and definitively male anatomy can actually be locked in a cruel joke of nature because they are actually female.
One might ask, “So what sort of evidence is there that being transgender has some sort of biological origin, that indeed someone can be wired to be one gender, and physically another?”
Short answer: Lots. Here are 15 studies showing a biological origin of gender dysphoria.
1. “There is also evidence, albeit clinical, for a role of testosterone in the sexual differentiation of the human brain, in particular in inducing male gender role behavior and heterosexual orientation.” – Julie Baker, Focus on Sexuality Research, 2014
2. “…We conclude that there is sufficient evidence that EDCs modify behavioral sexual dimorphism in children, presumably by interacting with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis.” Winneke et al, Environmental health perspectives, 2013
3. “Gender-dependent differentiation of the brain has been detected at every level of organization–morphological, neurochemical, and functional–and has been shown to be primarily controlled by sex differences in gonadal steroid hormone levels during perinatal development.” Chung and Wilson, European Journal of Physiology, 2013