So Prop 8 has been repealed, and now the repeal is being appealed. Everyone expected this of course, but I’ve been thinking about how the whole Prop 8/Perry v. Governator journey will be remembered by generations to come. The odds of equality not being granted to the tax-paying homosexual citizens of this country are extremely low. I’d honestly bet my life on it, because this is not the first civil rights battle we’ve had in this country, and historically, however long it took, forward thinking prevailed and a bunch of bigots ended up looking phenomenally stupid. Lets take a nauseating trip down American memory lane:
“Americans” killed the Native Americans. Somehow, a bunch of assholes convinced themselves that they were entitled to this land that they just “discovered”, despite the fact that other human beings already lived there. Eventually we realized how disgusting that was and cut it the f!^% out, but it took quite a while for that to happen. I don’t think giving the Native Americans a smidge of land and the ability to run casinos is any type of reparation, but the historical consensus is that we were being assholes.
Americans had slaves. Many, many slaves. Human beings treated like objects. Isn’t that amazing to you, my computer-owning friend who probably has never had your life and family threatened over your ability to pick crops? Yeah, we were being assholes. We had a big war about it, and it nearly broke up this country. Let me repeat that: people were so outraged that the government was telling them to stop “owning” other people that they picked up their guns and killed people over it. They thought the government was getting too big, and that it had no business telling them how to run their lives. Some considered owning slaves to be a God-given right. Some people on this dirty, dirty rock still do. History does not smile on these assholes.
American women couldn’t vote until 1920. Anglo white women haven’t had it as badly as a lot of other races of women, but for the purpose of this blarticle I’ll just use this example. Women–half the population–weren’t allowed to vote. Hell, until the last half of the 1900′s, women weren’t allowed to leave their husbands without the man’s permission. So the suffragettes fought, and a bunch of assholes–including the president–fought back. Now we can vote, we’re taking over the work force, we have 2 new female supreme court justices, and… Well… Sarah Palin. But hey, we never would have been gifted with “Who’s Nailin’ Paylin” if women weren’t in politics, and we have the suffragettes to thank for that! (Just for poops and giggles, I recommend researching women’s suffrage in the US vs. polygamy in Utah.)
Americans were segregated. While women were celebrating their suffrage, blacks were still getting utterly and truly f!#ed by their former massahs, and if you youngsters have been watching Mad Men, you know that it wasn’t all that long ago. In fact, it hasn’t even been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed. A lot of people fought to uphold segregation and the ‘Merica of their youths–that perfect, utopian ‘Merica where the economy was good, government was smaller, women didn’t vote and where white men were proud of themselves for not owning slaves, but didn’t have to drink from the same water fountains as the darkies. They said blacks were dangerous, a menace to society and a threat to the white way of life. Despite that passionate argument, segregation ended.
I was born in the 80′s, so I really don’t understand how large groups of people in this giant narcissistic country of ours, so proud of its ability to lead the world and herald the future, could ever have thought that segregation was any type of sane. South African apartheid is a whole other brand of crazy, but South Africa has never gotten onto a podium and jerked itself off while talking about how much the entire world looks up to it. My point being that history regards the people who fought against ending segregation as a bunch of assholes.
Now we have Prop 8, and a bunch of assholes are once again fighting to continue oppressing a group of fellow human beings. The most ironic, and saddest thing people should know about Prop 8 is the degree to which the African American population in California was manipulated in order to get Prop 8 passed. I don’t know the exact figure, but exit polls showed something like a 75% “yes” vote for Prop 8 by the black community, and without that, Prop 8 would not have passed. (Is it any coincidence that Prop 8 was on Obama’s ballot?) The pasty white assholes who 50 years ago would have been fighting to uphold “Separate but Equal” spent a pretty penny manipulating African Americans, and it’s extremely sad to me that it didn’t occur to them that their voting “yes” on Prop 8 turned them into the assholes their families fought against.
Perry vs. Schwarzenneger is ultimately going to pave the way for equal rights for our gay brothers and sisters. Gay and transgendered marriages will no longer be put in a separate category, DADT will be repealed, and a lot of people are going to feel phenomenally stupid. I can’t tell you how long it will take, but I will say this to everyone fighting against it: Do you really want to be that guy on the losing end of a civil rights battle, fighting to keep human beings from being treated equally?
No matter how disgusted I get with the BS happening on this planet, I know that on a long enough timeline, our understanding of humanity evolves towards compassion. I don’t think we’re in a very good place at the moment with our civil rights blind spots, environmental murder and this whole “selfish is the new generous” movement, but critical people, both conservative and liberal, have always been saying that the world is going to hell, and that now is the “worst” period in history (see my EFH2T post “The Superlative Now for more on this).
You don’t have to get a banner and wave it around to show what you believe in, but you should decide which side of history you want to be on. And hey, if you disagree with me, we’ll just let history decide who is the asshole.