Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I check IOZ so you don't have to

On Proposition 8.

Everyone remembers Martin Luther King for his campaign of non-violence, but what they forget, what they choose to forget because his real radicalism terrifies most Americans, was that he was the man who stood before America and called in a debt, told the nation that the check was due. The power of his nonviolence was in the dramatic role he cast himself: this one man holding back a seething tide of implacable rage. Behind the entire civil rights movement lurked the specter of violence held in check, but not forever.
Not sure I agree with his take on the gay movement, but I don't have an actual dog in that fight, so I'm not going to criticize. But the quote above oughta be widely read and understood for its relevance to... well, a lot of stuff.


Gleemonex said...

I like the way he puts it. I don't really think there's a threat of violence in this case, but I do agree that it's a civil rights issue, and that with the giant boot to the face that was Prop 8 (especially the religionist & out-of-state forces behind it), the spark has finally been lit nationwide. This thing is gonna happen, whether the religionists like it or not, and I do love the irony of them being the ones who set it off. :-)

HHL said...

I may have been misreading him (IOZ is, if anything, hard to read), but my impression was that his point re: the gay movement was that it isn't likely to turn violent to any substantial degree, and this fact, being known by the powers that be, lessens the movement's ultimate effectiveness relative to the black civil rights movement.

If so, this point dovetails nicely with IOZ's own view that marriage is, relatively speaking, not all that important. In other words, the systematic economic oppression and relatively extreme dehumanization experienced by blacks prior to the advent of King (and Parks, et al) was a state that would inevitably lead to violent uprising, while, on the other hand, denying gays the right to be married -- though it may be undoubtedly discriminatory and certainly degrading to them -- is an injustice of a lesser degree and is therefore unlikely to lead to widespread societal violence or upheaval. And that therefore change must inevitably come at a slower pace.

All of which, clearly, doesn't argue against the idea that this IS, in fact, injustice and that it will, as you mention, eventually be overcome.