Sunday, June 04, 2006

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Diversity

It seems ironic to me that we see Gay Pride Month in with headlines that tell of a renewed push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Alongside that, we have the recently passed immigration bill, and its provision for officially declaring English our "national language", a provision that a Philly cheesesteak vendor takes too seriously. And with the World Cup competition impending, we note the prevalence of anti-black sentiment among soccer fans.What is going on?

We made great progress in the 1960s and 1970s in the acceptance of racial, cultural, and social diversity. It seemed that in the 1980s and 1990s we had a solid stance, a clear intolerance for intolerance. I remarked a few years ago that we'd come far enough that I saw a TV ad showing an interracial family enjoying the advertised product, and it was presented to us casually, as a normal, acceptable thing. And I rejoiced. We see black, hispanic, and gay characters on TV and in movies, depicted as just... characters... without their being shown to us as people unusual or different. I thought we had cracked the "diversity" nut.

And then, the other day I saw someone wearing a t-shirt that said

It's still A-MER-ica, not A-MEX-ica
Stop the flood of illegal aliens before it's too late!
And I matched that shirt with the news items above, and I wondered: What has happened? What has turned us back in the wrong direction? And how do we turn back to the right path?

On this I have a lot of questions, and no answers. One can't force people to be accepting, or even tolerant. At best, one can prevent people from acting on their intolerance, but one can't control how they think. How can we influence that thinking, so that people want to be more accepting?

2 comments:

scouter573 said...

I think the call it the Defense of Marriage Amendment (at least, they called it the Defense of Marriage Act when they flogged it as a bill) and the intent is to return to the traditional form of marriage to protect the family. So let's consider that for a moment.

Families are, by their assertion, protected best by a stable, long-lasting, two-person, male-female marriage that produces children. Applying this bit of logic, the wording of the amendment is rather simple to assemble. It may require a bit of additional work to smooth it out, but here's a short version with which to start.

Amendment in Defense of Marriage

(1) A marriage shall consist of one man, one woman, one time, and with one exit.

(2) A marriage without issue shall be deemed inferior to a fruitful marriage.


Isn't that wording the logical consequence of the argument they advance?

Barry Leiba said...

Actually, the Scout-man jests, but I have heard that weird line of reasoning on the marriage thing: On NPR, a while ago, they interviwed someone who said that marriage is for procreation, and that's why we have to "protect" it, so the interviewer asked whether that means that heterosexual couples without children have invalid marriages. The guy's answer was so bizarre that I can hardly believe I heard it: the hetero couple could procreate, so that makes it valid.

The interviewer did not pursue the question of diagnosed (or elective) infertility; it would have been "interesting" to hear what the guy had to say about that.