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Monday, April 28, 2003  

Taboo topics

•The ways of white folks

Jesse is on a roll over at Pandagon now that those pesky papers and exams are out of the way. One of the subjects he has in his sights is the various ways some white folks exercise white privilege in regard to people of color, sometimes even as they claim to be seeking enlightenment.

As a multiracial/black person, I run into three schools of thought - the conservative, "color-blind" mantra, which is essentially that I should shut up about race and stop drawing attention to myself. The liberal mantra is twofold - either a sympathy with the plight and a recognition that it can never be truly "understood" except by those who've actually gone through with it, and then Bean's idea (paraphrased):

I want to be a better human being, and since you are (insert opressed group), I'm going to dump it all at your feet and ask you to be responsible for my enlightenment while I pepper you with questions, demand that you explain all things (relating to the opression) to me, and then when I fail to achieve the enlightenment I want, I can blame you for not enlightening me properly.

Exactly! Somehow, most of time, the same old hierarchy of white over nonwhite manages to get asserted over and over again, though I've been assured time and again racism ended ages ago.

I would add another category for conservative whites and the occasional liberal. Let's call it the 'You think what I want you to think or else' position. I most often run into it with conservatives, but liberals sometimes pull the same rabbit out of their hats. The argument is basically that to be acceptable in respectable (i.e., white company) a person of color must be counseled by a Great White Father or mother who helps her keep her unacceptable colored ways in check.

Got a mind of your own, CP? Then expect to be dismissed as either irrelevant or as a radical who wants to (gasp!) destroy America and therefore should be destroyed herself. The Great White Father also assures you he is trying to run your life for your own good and he is not a racist.

•Abortion and fetal homicide

Plucky Punk, who I will be adding to the blogroll right after I finish this entry, dares probe the messy business of why murdering a viable fetus by killing its mother is not equivalent to abortion. I know most of us prefer not to think about something as ugly as the Scott Peterson case, but we're going to anyway.

Is abortion morally wrong? What makes the choice of, say, a teenage girl with her life ahead of her, to have an abortion any different from the the "choice" Scott Peterson made when he killed his wife and unborn child? To me the answer is obvious. To compare the free choice of one person with the robbing of one expectant mother of the choice to have a child is disgusting to me. I'm going to attempt to spell out why to those who find the answer a little less clear.

She then goes on to explain her reason for saying two homicide charges are justified.

So why did Scott Peterson kill two people and not just one? Because Laci Peterson made a choice. She chose to give birth, and that's as sacred as the choice not to give birth. And both choices should be equally as respected. The fact that there are men out there who want to force either choice on any woman is sickening to me.

In legal terms, Plucky is saying Ms. Peterson had an expectation interest in having a child. It would be a reasonable expectation interest once the fetus became viable.

You may have noticed I am focusing mainly on the viability issue. That is because I believe the U.S. Supreme Court was right to grant the state a limited interest in the birth of a fetus once it becomes viable. Arguing for murder charges in regard to non-viable fetuses is more difficult because the younger the fetus the less likely it would ever become a person.

•Who you gon' call?

We like to believe that if or when we call the police, they will at least give us an honest listen. After all, one would not be hitting those three numbers unless the distress was real and serious, right? Think again. Too often, policemen have problems with violence, especially the domestic kind, themselves.

•Moonie man 'solves' gaiety

Sen. Rick Santorum's debacle has conservatives thinking about what to do about homosexuals. Their usual dodge "We hate homosexual acts, not homosexual people" isn't holding up to scrutiny. Seems it is difficult to separate the two. Atrios' informants tell us the Rev. Sun Myung Moon has already come up with a solution to the problem of the homosexual penis.

Tell them that if it really becomes a problem to cut it off, barbecue it, put it in a shoe box and send it to me.

Well, I said these topics were taboo.

3:07 PM