Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Say anything,

but do not say this amounts to argument.

Quote:
THE MOVEMENT TO REDEFINE MARRIAGE to include same-sex unions has packaged its demands in the rhetoric and images of the civil rights movement. This strategy, though cynical, has enormous strategic utility. end quote.

1. burden of proof.
2. The first sentence describes a tactic, not a strategy. The goal of gaining same-sex marriage rights is couched in the language of the civil rights movement. But this does not amount to a strategy for its achievement.

Quote:
As an exercise in marketing and merchandising, this strategy is the most brilliant playing of the race card in recent memory. Not since the "poverty pimps" of 35 years ago, who leveraged the guilt and sense of fair play of the American public to hustle affirmative action set-asides, have we witnessed so brazen a misuse of African-American history for partisan purposes.
end quote.

An argument is suggested, but not made.

Quote:
But the partisans of homosexual marriage have a problem. There is no evidence in the history and literature of the civil rights movement, or in its genesis in the struggle against slavery, to support the claim that the "gay rights" movement is in the tradition of the African-American struggle for civil rights. end quote.

1. Appeal to ridicule.
There is also no evidence that the feminist movement, LaRaza, or disabled rights are in the tradition of the African-American civil rights movement. Yet they have used the language of the civil rights movement and some of its tactics in legal and activist challenges to unjust laws. Simmilarly, the civil rights movement was influenced by, and used the rhetoric of, Mohandas K. Gandhi.
The gay rights & the African-American civil rights movements are different historically, yet in their defiance of injustice, they are strikingly similar. That the gay rights movement would use civil rights language is not a historical freak. It's history. Period. Get over it.

But what really concerns me, are the authors' assertions about the nature of slavery.

Quote:
As the eminent historian Eugene D. Genovese observed more than 30 years ago, the black American experience as a function of slavery is unique and without analogue in the history of the United States. While other ethnic and social groups have experienced discrimination and hardship, none of their experiences compare with the physical and cultural brutality of slavery. It was in the crucible of the unique experience of slavery that the civil rights movement was born.
end quote.

Let's divide it.
1. The "eminent historian" wrote 30 years ago. One should never rely on just one secondary authority to buttress one's case.
2. The black American experience is unique in that it is a function of slavery. No. The black American experience must be historically contextualized generationally.
Is it unique and without analogue? No.
Cuba and Puerto Rico possessed slave systems of labor by African-Americans until 1888.
All over the Atlantic world of the 15th-19th centuries, the slave trade and slavery flourished. It is not a fluke of the United States.
3. It was in the crucible of the unique experience of slavery (lie) that the civil rights movement was born. Which one? The one at Reconstruction (which was not so named and is historically contextual in language and action) or the one from 1954-1980? Remember the second? Ronald Reagan et al murdered it. Damn them to hell. The authors read their 30-year-old historical perspective but leave Eric Foner (a genuine current authority) alone. The civil rights movement 1954-1980, arose out of Jim Crow, urban poverty, and discrimination, and it employed the rhetoric of non-violence, Islam, Black Nationalism and even shades of socialism & communalism.
The authors assert:
Quote:
The extraordinary history of the United States . . .
end quote

American exceptionalism, the engine of much fallacious history.

Quote: as a slaveholding republic . . . end quote.

No, not as a slaveholding republic, as a set of slaveholding colonies that became a slaveholding republic.

Quote: included the kidnapping and brutal transport of blacks from African shores, . . . end quote

Blacks betrayed by black chieftains.

Quote: and the stripping of their language, identity, and culture . . . end quote.

There is much archaeological evidence to suggest that their language, identity and culture continued to be practiced even in the repression of slavery.

Quote: in order to subjugate and exploit them. end quote.

Welll duh.

Quote: It also included the constitutional enshrining of these evils in the form of a Supreme Court decision--Dred Scott v. Sandford--denying to blacks any rights that whites must respect, end quote.

Fine.

Quote: and the establishment of Jim Crow and de jure racial discrimination after Dred Scott was overturned by a civil war and three historic constitutional amendments. end quote.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
The establishment of Jim Crow did not occur until the 1880s.
de jure racial discrimination (a pretentious use of words) was Jim Crow, along with numerous cultural conventions and arbitrary social rules.

Slavery and involuntary servitude were overturned by the civil war, but related forms of coercive labor have continued to flourish. The only concept that was challenged was a human being's right to own other human beings. The question of coercive labor is one Americans are afraid to discuss.
The three historic constitutional amendments open the door to gay rights and African-American civil rights. It is only now that people are perceiving what is possible with the Equal Protection Clause in force and extended.

Quote:
It is these basic facts . . . end quote.

These basic opinions is accurate. The use of the word facts is misleading.

Quote:
Whatever wrongs individuals have suffered because some Americans fail in the basic moral obligation to love the sinner, even while hating the sin, there has never been an effort to create a subordinate class subject to exploitation based on "sexual orientation."
end quote.

I don't think we're talking about subordination here.
We're talking about humiliation.

Quote:
It is precisely the indiscriminate promotion of various social groups' desires and preferences as "rights" that has drained the moral authority from the civil rights industry. end quote.

So we shall discriminate among rights to conceal the resulting discrimination among or against people in fact and experience. A pro-Jim Crow white could have made the same argument in 1954.
There is no civil rights industry.
This is equivocation.

Quote: Why should an institution designed for the reproduction of civil society and the rearing of children in a moral environment in which their interests are given pride of place be refashioned to accommodate relationships integrated around intrinsically non-marital sexual conduct? end quote.

And here the authors reveal their true perspectives. They're not arguing, they are preaching.
Who is anyone to define marital and non-marital conduct for the universal set of human beings? The authors are conservatives, period.
These men are highly presumptuous, and presumption is not argument.

This was only the first page of the article, but from it I think one may glean the intent of the authors, one of whom is not a philosopher, but a reverend. Perhaps in his own eyes, a righteous reverend.
And I just want to say that William Kristol is the editor of this publication.
Why does he have a job? He clearly isn't doing it.

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