Ferguson burns while Mississippi flames

It’s been a year (or two) of contradictions.

Last year, around the time the Supreme Court opened the door to nationwide gay marriages in its historic decision in US v. Windsor, the court also gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

And this year, while Ferguson, Missouri is aflame over the lack of an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Michael Brown, gay marriage bans have just been struck down in Arkansas (remember Arkansas?) and Mississippi (Mississippi!).

I’ve written before about the seeming contradiction between the pro-gay juggernaut of the past several years and the overall progressive inability to move its agenda forward.

In specific, I wrote about the women’s movement, and noted, among other things, that gays are awfully good at PR. Whether we’re getting in your face, or donning a suit and tie to suck up to ma and pa middle-America, our movement has been quite savvy about what face to show when. And in particular, gays had a strong independent phalanx of media (and politics) savvy activists:

The cover of the Arkansas Times.

The cover of the Arkansas Times.

On gay rights, the most innovative, and some of the most influential, work in the past few years came from non-standard players.  You had the gay Netroots, Get Equal, Dan Choi and a number of ticked off current and former servicemembers, which included upstart groups like OutServe and Servicemembers United, and some mainstream groups like SLDN.  And all of them were effective because they were willing to exert more pressure than is polite on the administration, and Congress.

I also pointed to the fact that gays have a more-easily demarcated injustice that they face, and can exploit in a PR-sense. Women, less so.

Dinnertime at St Pancras Workhouse, London.

Dinnertime at St Pancras Workhouse, London.

Do women face the same demonization [as gays]?  Maybe, but I don’t think the public perceives it the same.  I think today’s gay rights movement is more akin to the fight for women’s suffrage – a clear discriminatory harm that made it easier to rally against, and eventually easier to poke holes in, than the current battles facing women.  I’m not saying suffrage was easy – I’m saying that as an organizer, a political operative, the battle lines were clearer, and the issue easier to sell, in my view, than the problems women face today.

Women’s advocates, in many ways, are fighting a war of nuance.  Where gays want to get married, women don’t want the right to choose, which varies by trimester, cut back any further by a seemingly-endless series of small, but significant, legislative advances by anti-choice forces that slowly but surely whittle away at the right to choose.  The gay battle lines, and message, are much clearer, and thus an easier sell, I think.

Also, people perceive women as having already won. Gays, not so much.

From a man’s perspective, you see women getting the same jobs as man as never before.  Women are corporate CEOs, doctors and pilots and lawyers and astronauts (something noteworthy if you’re in your 40s or older and lived through a time when women simply didn’t hold those jobs), and they even become Speaker of the House, and might even become President in 2016.  And, for all appearance, Roe v Wade is still the law of the land, so it’s understandable that some might scratch their heads and ask, what are pro-choicers complaining about?  They’re complaining because in the 40 years since Roe the religious right and the Republican party have so whittled away at Roe as to make it meaningless, according to some lead women’s advocates.  And, even though women now hold many of the same jobs as men, they don’t always get the same pay.  But that takes some complicated explaining, and it contradicts what the public might consider an obvious “truth,” that Roe hasn’t been overturned, so how can it be in danger, or nearly already gone, and women “have the same jobs as men,” so what’s the problem?

Now, how does this all apply to Ferguson? I addressed that too:

[I]n many ways, African-Americans face the same problem as women.  It’s easy for people to say “slavery ended 150 years ago, and the Civil Rights Act passed 50 years ago, so the African-American struggle is over,” without realizing that, for example, some schools in the south still hold segregated proms.  People see African-American CEOs, doctors, lawyers, astronauts, and might think “they’ve won, employment discrimination over,” without understanding that, in some ways, it may never be over, at least not for a very long time.  But the devil is in the details much more so than it is with gay rights because we’re still fighting for some of the rights that African-Americans got (at least on paper) fifty years ago.  It makes our  (gay) cause, I think, easier to explain.  It also means that once we get many of our basic civil rights, gays may have the same difficulty fine-tuning those rights once people already think we have them.

African-Americans won the right to marry in 1967. Gays are still fighting for that right today today. (Ironically — well, tellingly — in nearly the exact same battlefield.)


One could argue that gays aren’t on some kind of unique roll at all. We’re simply finally winning the same successes that women and blacks won over 40 years ago. And the challenge will be to avoid the inevitable and piecemeal rollback that those other movements have suffered for decades.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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45 Responses to “Ferguson burns while Mississippi flames”

  1. Jason Boyd says:

    I think gay rights victories will likely have more staying power because there are LGBT people in every family. As more and more people come out, their families will want to defend them. Look at the increase in the numbers of young people dropping out of organized religions, largely because of the bigotry and hatred that many religions direct against gays and other minorities.

    The changes are slow, but they are happening.

  2. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Most certainly.

  3. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    If Terry Dean was a leader, I think I would have heard of him. I read the article you linked to. One difference is Larry Craig was convicted and Terry Dean has not been convicted.

    Here’s a point of information, gay people consider pedophilia a sick perversion just like straight people.. We also realize that most pedophiles are members of the heterosexual community. You already knew that, didn’t you? Actually many mental health professionals consider pedophiles as not being either gay or straight. I don’t know if I agree with that, but they are in a better position to know such things.

  4. wmforr says:

    Uh, I think you mean Larry Craig.

    Now Daniel Craig wouldn’t need the restroom. One wink from him in the lobby and he could choose from hundreds of men, I’m sure.

  5. UncleBucky says:

    I love to see Fundies and Thumpers “shoot themselves in the foot” !!!

  6. UncleBucky says:

    There are many such maps that show the consistent resistance to progress in the Deep South. It’s a real pity. It’s worse, it’s a shame.

  7. Bill_Perdue says:

    “Many feminists women claim a need for an ERA to end discrimination.” You’re dead wrong and those women are right, a constitutional amendment would be a step forward, by putting emphasis on the question of discrimination and ending ambiguity. It won’t happen for the same reasons Democrats and their partners in crime, the Republicans, scuttled ENDA whenever it had a chance of being enacted. They want to preserve a society based on divide and rule.

    Many federal laws are not enforced. It they were hundreds of priests and bishops would have been convicted under RICO statutes for organizing the rape of children.

    It’s unlikely that Democrats or Republicans will ever pass robust laws that dealt with bigotry, racism and misogyny. They, along with mega cults and the rich pursue the
    strategy of divide and conquer. The fight for a robust ENDA, for a robust ERA
    or for robust Civil Rights Amendment that organizes and unites ourselves, women, people of color and working people can be an important tool in transitioning from a society dominated by bigots, the rich and their servants in the twin parties of the right – Democrats and Republicans – into a decent, socialist society.

  8. Denver Catboy says:

    Don’t disagree with any of this. Too bad ‘F***ing People’ are the problem, and will fight tooth and nail to avoid any sort of change, even if it improves the world as a whole.

  9. StealthVoter says:

    I am aware of Mr. Aravosis’ defense of the child rapist but that is hardly the same as his attacks on Larry Craig and David Vitter.

  10. StealthVoter says:

    Many feminists claim a need for an ERA to end discrimination. But I am unaware of any form of discrimination that the ERA would ban that is not already illegal under Federal law.

  11. Denver Catboy says:

    Heck. You don’t need a standardized pay scale.

    Just remove the whole ‘Salary as Secret’ thing, and that’ll go a long way to addressing these sort of problems.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    Although it’s true that some remain deluded many more Americans are catching on, especialy those underemployed, underpaid, unemployed and in poverty.

    “Americans’ view of the economy is increasingly dour — though a majority expect things to turn around next year, a new poll shows. Just 38% of Americans believe the economy is in good shape, a CNN/ORC International poll of 1,018 adults, conducted Oct. 24-26, found. That’s down from 42% in September — and it could hurt Democrats’ chances of holding onto the Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

    Wednesday’s survey found that 62% rated economic conditions as “somewhat poor” or “very poor”. http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/29/politics/cnn-poll-economy/

    The poll on jobs is from http://www.gallup.com/poll/179483/americans-perceptions-job-market-hold-steady.aspx and the poll on the need for third parties. http://www.gallup.com/poll/179483/americans-perceptions-job-market-hold-steady.aspx

    The poll on the popularity of the need for third parties from Sept 2013 shows 60% favoring third parties and the one from this Nov 2014 shows that figure increasing to 71% with large numbers of Democrats and Republicans opposed to independent political action. That’s bad news for them and very good news for the left.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    The most intractable and most injurious forms of bigotry are racist and directed against people of color. That fact underscores the growth of the nationwide protest movement over the murder of
    Brown and others. “The 14 Teens Killed by Cops Since Michael Brown Michael Brown’s death on August 9 was a nationwide wake-up call to the death-by-cop of young minority men at the hands of law enforcement. According to data stretching from 1999 to 2011, African Americans have comprised 26 percent of all police-shooting victims. Overall, young African Americans are killed by cops 4.5 times more often than people of other races and ages.”http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/25/the-14-teens-killed-by-cops-since-michael-brown.html

    The degree of violence and the number of murders of people of color are even higher than the numbers of LGBT people murdered and differ in another way – most of violence against us, which kills 20-25 in an average year, is done by thugs egged on by political and religious bigots. Most of the direct violence against people of color is done by cops, and the low wages and poor housing and education associated with racism are forms of violence.

    The civil rights laws of the 1970’s did little to end racism and discrimination against women will continue until something like the ERA is passed. Those battles are ongoing and will be in a society run by political parties who kowtow to the rich and their various strategies of divide and conquer.

    The best legislation to address the problems of ourselves, people of color and women is a federal Civil Rights Amendment addressing all forms of bigotry, with robust punishments for those who discriminate or who organize and promote violence. Democrats and Republicans will never pass such legislation but fighting for a CRA will help mobilize opposition to them and that’s a good thing.

  14. mf_roe says:

    AGREE! But Life ain’t stable, it’s change. ALL civilizations eventually fail. Sometimes they Fail outright, sometimes they just evolve into something totally different, which I see as the failure of the old system to manage change but is instead Itself managed BY Change.

    F***ing People are Limited, Civilizations, although created by People, ARE less limited. Using the limitations of people to justify the failure of preserving Civilization says Civilization is an Illusion.

    YES, Windows grows ever more obsolete, BUT that doesn’t mean that the NETWORK can be allowed to suffer, Linux and other Operating Systems on the Network will replace Windows when it does fail. Evolution is based on the concept that failure of one creates opportunity for another.

  15. mf_roe says:

    WELL!, Founding Father References, I like!
    Try this, and off hand I can’t quote but only paraphrase. When Benjamin Franklin was asked what the Constitution had given Us, He replied with the observation that it wasn’t important of what was produced it was important that that creation be preserved. His challenge to us was simple, The Revolution and The Constitution, represented a Priceless Treasure of Opportunity—–The loss of that Treasure despite its flaws was in the hands of those who benefited from that Treasure. In short, protecting the prize is more important than winning the Prize.

  16. 2karmanot says:

    Troll begone

  17. BeccaM says:

    I think you totally missed my point. Despite laws like that, the wage gap still exists half a century earlier. It’s half what it used to be due to the Equal Pay Act, but the problem remains — and is getting worse again — because too many people have believed “pass a law or win a court case and the war is over.”

  18. The_Fixer says:

    That was discussed here. Your argument is invalid.

  19. Sean says:

    All your critiques are accurate. What gets me though, is that our pop culture trashes the bad stuff, but has no idea how important the good stuff is.

  20. The_Fixer says:

    I am hopeful for the future, but have deep concerns. I am worried that we’ll burn ourselves out in the public’s collective mind, and will be no better off than other minority groups who’ve made progress, only to see it whittled away in later years.

    Right now, all things gay have captured the public imagination. Look at pop culture – you have famous gay people all over the place. Even jocks are coming out – unthinkable in decades past. Every other day a judge is invalidating discriminatory anti-equality marriage laws. This is big news, and it’s playing out big on the Internet – both positively and negatively, of course.

    However, the U.S. American people collectively have ADHD. We get bored with causes and people rather quickly, discard them and look for “The Next Big Thing” to use up. The cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. As a result, like an ADHD person running a giant household, nothing of consequence ever gets done well and completely.

    Right now, we’re hot. But at some point, we’ll fade from the public conciousness, that’s a given. What’s an open question is if there will be a public backlash. That’s another symptom of the public “easy burn-out syndrome”, backlash against what we formerly loved. We love to destroy our former heroes.

    Becca’s earlier observation that the other side will just whittle away at our rights, and give themselves a right to discriminate figures into this, too. It’s that much easier to slip something through legislatively when people aren’t paying attention. The other side knows that, and uses it to its advantage.

    I will be pleasantly surprised if we have true permanent progress in my lifetime. I suspect that this is far from settled and we may well wind up in the same boat as other minorities who’ve made progress, but haven’t gotten that truly level playing field.

  21. Houndentenor says:

    It’s also now all about “access” now. Be careful not to be too critical of those in power or they won’t give you those “exclusives” any more and then you’d actually have to go out and find stories on your own.

  22. Houndentenor says:

    They seem more interested in polling and the horse race than any substantive discussion of issues. I used to think it was because they thought the American people were stupid, but when you hear them talk it becomes clear that most of these media personalities really aren’t that bright.

  23. Houndentenor says:

    The American media deserves to be bashed. Look at any issue and the coverage. The Ebola coverage was almost nothing but fear-mongering and virtually fact-free. And then there’s the lead up to the Iraq War. Let’s not forbid that it was the same NYTimes that published Judy Miller’s White House supplied bag of lies. Or the shameful dismissal of concerns about Russia before the Winter Olympics earlier this year by msnbc, the supposedly liberal channel. Part of it is that they are more concerned with profits. Others are conflicts of interest. Are we hearing about the very important net neutrality issue? Off course not, and especially not on anything owned by Time Warner. But more than anything else, the national level on-air and print “personalities” are part of the 1% and as out of touch with the rest of the country as the CEOs I worked for. That became obvious during what passed for a health are debate during which even liberals seemed completely clueless about what it’s like for people near the median income or whose employer does not provide them with gold-plated health insurance plans. I’m sure they would all resent that characterization but so would the corporate types I worked for.

  24. Sean says:

    And sometimes they still do – especially the print journalists. But they don’t get credit for it. On TV they are either bottom feeders, or invisible. It is a huge blind spot in our culture, and I’m critical of TV for reinforcing it.

  25. FLL says:

    People have often commented on the disparity between the very rapid pace of gay rights since the turn of the century and the slower and more incomplete progress in women’s rights and racial equality. I’ll offer two concepts to suggest a reason for that disparity:

    (1) What we’ve been doing in recent centuries hasn’t been working well, so let’s try something that worked very well indeed for millions of years for both modern humans (i.e., homo sapiens sapiens) and early humans.
    (2) You see things as they are and ask, “Why?” I dream things as they never were and ask, “Why not?”. (Paraphrase of quote from George Bernard Shaw)

    The gay-rights juggernaut that John mentions in this post has an inherent advantage. The lack of legal injunctions and hatred toward same-sex relations was the norm in human societies before the takeover of the Roman Empire by the Pauline Christians in the late fourth century. Feminists, in contrast, cannot look to past centuries for examples of gender-equal societies. They must find their inspiration from modernism and the movement for women’s rights that began with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. The situation for proponents of racial equality is similar, although not exactly the same. There have been a few—very few—historical examples of peaceful coexistence and equality in multiracial societies. The medieval Arab colonies on the Swahili Coast of East Africa gave rise to a fairly tolerant Arab-African society, although there certainly were economic disparities in favor of the Arab traders. However, the medieval Swahili Coast was the historical exception, not the rule. For the most part, human history is littered with examples of hostility between people of different races and/or ethnicities. Proponents of racial equality must look for inspiration to modernism and the struggles of the 19th-century abolitionist movement and the 20th-century African-American Civil Rights Movement.

    This is only to explain why, from a historical perspective, issues of gender equality and racial equality are more difficult endeavors than ending homophobia. Once the lynchpin of scriptural hate from the three Abrahamic religions is removed, popular homophobia implodes very quickly. A tolerant attitude toward sexuality may be part of our biological inheritance as humans. A number of studies of various animal species have shown a correlation between same-sex pairing and the kind of social bonding that increases the species’ prospects for survival. Those studies have involved (for males) dolphins and lions, and (for females) bonobo chimpanzees, our closest biological kin. A study at the University of Portsmouth in England (link here) supports the same concept for the human species. All three struggles—equality on the basis of gender, race and sexuality—are equally important, but we need an honest understanding of why one struggle is moving faster than the other two.

  26. Naja pallida says:

    Which has really been aided by this odd notion that nobody in a work place should know what anyone else is being paid, except the boss, and that nobody should ever discuss salary at any time, except directly and alone with the boss. If a workplace was open and had a standardized pay scale, they could very easily overcome this sort of discrimination.

  27. FLL says:

    “Fine, get ‘married'(scare quotes on purpose there) — we’ll just pass laws to ensure people have total freedom to discriminate against you and your ‘spouse’ and your ‘family.’

    You have put your finger on the next anti-gay strategy, a phase which may be now be starting in South Carolina, where marriage equality is the law. May I have a drum roll, please… Get married, get fired. You only have to realize that marriage is a so-called vital statistic, along with births and deaths, and is, therefore, public record that can be accessed by anyone. If your the owner of the company you work for is a homophobe, the owner can easily check if any employees are married to a same-sex partner. But it doesn’t even have to be the owner. Any disgruntled employee would do, and if you live in the Deep South, that disgruntled employee may find sufficient support to push married gay people out of the company. Remember that marriage equality is coming to the Deep South before employment protections. Sooooooo… get married, get fired.

    Of course, this only bolsters the case for nationwide employment protections (aka ENDA) or nationwide civil rights that also include housing and public accommodations (perhaps modeled on the 1964 Civil Rights Act). How long do you think the nation will put up with a campaign to get people fired for exercising a basic right like getting married? The “Get married, get fired” campaign—if it comes to pass (and I think it will)—would be another example of fundie Christians shooting themselves in the foot.

  28. StealthVoter says:

    Women still earning only 3/4 what men do for the same jobs, on average” —

    I’m curious what your proposed solution is to that problem. It has been illegal since 1963, under Federal law, to pay a woman less for the same job.

  29. mileikowski says:

    ferguson to lynch Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, gay marriage bans ain’t an appropriate metaphor to hijack indexed headlines to enterprise your rectum.

  30. kurtsteinbach says:

    I think Thomas Jefferson said it best when he said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Liberty & Democracy are but fleeting breaths if one isn’t constantly vigilant in guarding them against those who oppose liberty, freedom, and democracy for others, in short we must guard our freedoms and liberties against those who would steal them and destroy them. Treat conservatives just like enemy terrorists who seek to destroy all that we hold dear for that
    is precisely their wish.

  31. Denver Catboy says:

    People value stability. Stability comes from the status quo and things being exactly they way they have always been. So what if some third world country is a hellhole. As long as the lights stay on, the gas flows, and we can keep going to work, the majority of society will go along with it.

    And there will be some hellacious resistance to any attempts to change the status quo. Too many people have too much to lose to rearchitect the entire system.

    But you’ll eventually need to rearchitect lest your society becomes the sociological equivalent to Windows…

  32. BeccaM says:

    Reporters never expose abuses of power

    They used to. Then the plutocrats realized what was happening, so they bought up all the media outlets and began firing all but the propagandists and knee-pad stenographers.

  33. Sean says:

    As a sidebar, my own recent (and unscientific) sampling of TV programs produced over the past 20 years finds that the press has nothing positive to offer a democracy. Reporters never expose abuses of power – they merely crucify innocents caught up in criminal investigations. And they never get speaking parts. Hell, even terrorists get more rounded treatment. Probably because they “believe” in something. Whereas the soulless pop people who stand in front of the TV cameras are only out for themselves.

  34. Sean says:

    First, thanks for the insult! – Because you seem to be agreeing with my “knee jerk” opinion. I said our predecessors were fighting the same fight. You then tried to slap me down by describing “the long intricate history of a democracy striving to get it right.” No argument there from me. So what are you talking about?

  35. BeccaM says:

    Well, gay rights activists have had one thing African Americans and women haven’t: Access to lobbying money. Maybe that’s part of it.

    However, having been around since ’63 and with a particular vested interest in the women’s rights movements, I’d caution heavily against calling the war as won and over. This is the mistake we women made in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade, Title IX, the Civil Rights Act, and even the Violence Against Women Act. My sisters became complacent. We failed to pay attention when anti-feminists made feminism a dirty word, and when misogyny and paternalism were used to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. We watched as the GOP drummed the remaining pro-choice candidates out of their party and the Democrats increasingly adopted the position of constantly redefining the compromise as close and closer to an outright ban on abortion. And now, even contraception is on the playing field again, after we thought that was was over, too. Apparently it’s okay in the media to call women sluts if we want to have sex but not risk getting pregnant; hell, we’re not even allowed to point out all the non-contraceptive uses of the same medications without being slut-shamed.

    To my friends in the LGBT community: Yes, celebrate the repeal of DADT and the swift spread of marriage equality rights throughout the country. But never, EVER believe that the bigots will stop fighting back. They already have their strategy, which is to say, “Fine, get ‘married’ (scare quotes on purpose there) — we’ll just pass laws to ensure people have total freedom to discriminate against you and your ‘spouse’ and your ‘family.’ And by people, we mean businesses. Oh, and also doctors, pharmacists… oh hell, everybody. That’ll include government officials who want to make your exercising of those 1100 federal rights and privileges as difficult as possible. We’ll start with exempting county clerks from having to treat you and your partner like citizens deserving of equal rights.”

    I’m not kidding. We thought Roe v. Wade was the sea change, the sign of coming inevitable equality for women everywhere. Now look around and see where we’ve ended up. Still no ERA. Women still earning only 3/4 what men do for the same jobs, on average. Unequal representation in government and in corporate boardrooms. And testosterone-drunk mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers are still shambling around, exchanging tips on how to rape women and get away with it — actually emboldened now by the Internet and its relative degree of anonymity for the average user.

    In the aftermath of America’s Civil War, during Reconstruction, it was thought that the former slaves would soon enjoy equal rights. Some were even elected to office. Then the racists hit back with everything they had and the newly freed African-Americans ended up as economic slaves again anyway. Stripped of the right to vote, or to bank or to obtain loans, consigned to a permanent second-class judicial system….

    It can happen again. So don’t call the war over. That which has been won will need to be defended with everything we have.

  36. StealthVoter says:

    “You had the gay Netroots, Get Equal, Dan Choi and a number of ticked off
    current and former servicemembers, which included upstart groups like
    OutServe and Servicemembers United, and some mainstream groups like

    And don’t forget your leader, HRC Board Member, Terry Dean.


    This blog is intellectually dishonest. John Aravosis wrote volumes about Daniel Craig trying to pick up another man in an airport rest room.

    But not one word about a leading gay rights activist raping a child.

    Why the silence — to cover up the sins of your leadership. Or is it so commonplace that you don’t consider it news.

  37. 2karmanot says:

    exactly so

  38. I think the media class, whatever that is, is fine. I think we progressives did ourselves, our country, and the future a great disservice by buying into, over the past 10
    + years, the whole “bash the media” mantra that the right has been doing since the 1990s (at least). Collectively, along with a lot of really horrible changes in the economy, we’ve effectively destroyed independent media in this country IMHO. And now the right is being handed its dream — an unfettered ability to define lies as truth.

    I really bristle at the overgeneralizations, that originated with the right, and that the left (myself included, at times), have bought into. This would include the notion that there’s such a thing as “beltway mentality.” That little ditty, which basically is based on the notion of government being evil, makes it possible for the Republicans to gut the federal government, the budet, federal employees, to undercut the authority of the courts, the presidency, and more.

  39. Houndentenor says:

    I was born in 1962. I have no memory of justice for poor people. Such instances are the exceptions at any time in our history.

  40. Houndentenor says:

    The media class grossly underestimates the amount of racism that is still common in our country. They live in cities where such attitudes are more hidden. In the rest of the country it’s far more open and angry. And the coverage that focuses on the vandalism and arson while ignoring the concerns of African Americans and dismisses the angry racist taunts on social media as outliers rather than indicative of a large section of our country aren’t helping.

  41. 2karmanot says:

    If you have read the law you would understand what traditional meant in code and standing and the long intricate history of a democracy striving to get it right. Your facile, knee jerk ‘opinion’ not withstanding.

  42. Sean says:

    2karmanot has some impressively rose colored glasses when looking at the “traditional moral and justice standards” of the past. Starting with more recent times, those standards included segregation, blatant hiring discrimination, zero work safety, no votes for women, and if we go back far enough, slavery. “Traditional” doesn’t mean “enlightened.” And if you study history with open eyes, you’ll see they were fighting the same battles that we are today.

  43. mf_roe says:

    John makes sense with his analysis. I see it as a case of the old concept “Easier to Gain an objective than to Hold it”. When your on offense the goal is focused, when you are on defense not only must you oppose the frontal attack, you must also guard against unforeseen attack from new opponents while struggling to preserve the unity of your forces, many of whom will have refocused their goals.

    I’m a married straight guy, I can honestly say that marriage isn’t the end all be all. I’m lucky, I have the choice. I made mine, but I can envision myself being happy outside marriage. I’m sure many Gays / Lesbians will also feel comfortable outside of marriage. They will start to focus on other goals that matter more to their circumstances, as an example the right to not be descriminated against in employment. When a goal is won the focus moves to the next objective the resources needed to secure the next victory will always diminish the resources available to protect the earlier gains. Sadly in all things we reach a point where it takes all we have just to protect what we have achieved further advancement stops and the best we can do is protect what we have.

  44. mf_roe says:

    Well stated, I would add that most Americans are living their own version of “The American
    Dream”. Most are unable to examine the horror of the mess our reality actually is. Instead they cling to the lies of whatever Demagog makes them most comfortable with their biases. We are thus rendered into the status of Domesticated Chattels of the true holders of Power. Until there is awareness of a problem there will be no corrective action taken.

  45. 2karmanot says:

    It is difficult to truly assess an aging capitalist empire in decline while living in it day to day. However, a sure sign of it is the fact that the rule of law is a now sentimental euphemism for law as commodity divorced from traditional moral and justice standards of the old democratic Republic. Ferguson was a blatant kabuki of injustice from start to totally predictable finish.

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