Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Of Numb Nuts and Tea Baggers

I couldn't help but cringe, and then laugh, at this particular news article on the first day of Black History month.

It makes it so very clear exactly why it is we NEED to have a month that focuses on the actual history, and not the revisionist history of this aspect of the United States and of the world's history.

I cringed, because the New Jersey Governor did indeed make a mistake in comparing the fight for gay equality and racial equality.  Although, to be fair to the governor, there have been some terrible instances of similar violence by those who are the haters and the violent defenders of inequality in the status quo, in other words the reactionaries among conservatives. 

There have been beatings and killings of people because of race, and beatings and rapes and killings of people for being gay in human history, and specifically in the history of this country. 

I laughed, however, because there does seem to be a verbal fascination with testicles in the terms selected by the right.  "Numb nuts" in my understanding was a testicular reference, in modern slang, an impression confirmed by the quite vulgar but edgy urban dictionary.

And it was the right that first selected the term tea bagger as a self-description for the members of the tea party, because of their wearing of tea bags stapled to hats and other items of clothing.  Some, but by no means all of the tea partiers took exception to the term after the vulgar slang meaning of tea bagging became more widely known.  There are those among the more prudish right who refuse to abandon the term because to do so would somehow be to give ground to those vulgar people who embrace a wider vocabulary of sexual activity.

I applaud Christie for having the courage to be a moderate Republican, one who favors the New Jersey gun control laws, and believes we need to take steps to reduce illegal guns and to reduce the amount of gun violence that endangers law enforcement.   I applaud Christie for his position against Islamophobia on the right, particularly as regarded a judge in New Jersey who was muslim.  I give Christie huge credit for recognizing the validity of the science and the reality of climate change as a serious problem for the entire planet.  And I give Christie credit for being sane and reasonable on the topic of homosexuality as a sexual orientation with which one is born.

I credit Christie for at least supporting civil unions for same sex couples, but I'm afraid he IS supporting a position that is inherently unequal.  It is as unequal to deny people the right to marry based on their gender as it was to have miscegenation laws which forbade people marrying on the basis of gender.  It is as unequal to support a separate but equal legally binding contractual committed relationship status that is separate but equal to marriage as it was to have segregation by race.  Equal means equal and the same, not separate and mostly kinda sorta equivalent but not the same.

The movement for equality among human beings without discrimination for gender or orientation should move forward learning the lessons of history that came out of the movement for racial equality, the lesson that separate but similar is never equal.   Only equal provision under the law is equal.

But huge props to the Governor of New Jersey for recognizing that homosexuals are not criminals and sinners, unlike the far right wing nuts who have hijacked the Republican party, the conservatives who wish us to be a less free society, reminiscent of the reactionary oppression of fifty years or more ago.

That was no golden age of freedom, but it is the age that the most reactionary right idolizes.

From NBC New

Christie Apologizes for Civil Rights Remark

updated 2/1/2012 6:45:30 AM ET
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has apologized for a remark about civil rights but says he's not sorry for using a slang term to describe a lawmaker who compared him to segregationist Southern governors.
The Republican spoke Tuesday night during TownSquare Media's "Ask the Governor" program on radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM.
He apologized to anyone offended by his comment that people in the civil rights struggle would have been happier to have the matter settled by public vote rather than by dying in the streets.

He was comparing civil rights to the fight for gay marriage.
But he didn't back down from calling Democratic Assemblyman Reed Gusciora "numb nuts" after the lawmaker compared him to former Govs. George Wallace and Lester Maddox.
Christie says his late mother used the term.

1 comment:

  1. Again, you just couldn't post something without a reference to guns. But regarding gay marriage, for a while now, I've said that the government should give civil unions to everyone. A civil union would cover taxes, property, hospital visitation, and other such civil matters. It would then be up to each religion, denomination, and church to decide what marriage means within that organization. That's separation of church and state.