Conservatives pride themselves on their skepticism, and generally dismiss liberals as soft-headed Utopians. But in so many ways, political conservatism is Utopianism for the powerful. It isn't broadly skeptical of human nature, so much as it's broadly skeptical of people its agents don't particularly like. Hence the sense that Americans are intrinsically "good people," that this country "is the best nation that ever existed in history," that the South is home to "the greatest people that have ever trod the earth," and that the murder of four little girls in Birmingham was the work of a "Communist" or "crazed Negro," which had "set back the cause of white people."
Hence the notion that those voting against gay marriage, are not actually, in the main, motivated by bigotry, but a belief in tradition and family. But very few people would actually ever describe themselves as bigots. We think we know so much about ourselves. This is a country--like many countries--which is deeply riven by ethnic bias, and gender discrimination. And yet we don't seem to know any of the agents of that discrimination.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Ta-Nehisi Coates on bigotry and gay marriage.
Sorry for the absence, but I've been (a) on a deadline, and (b) searching for Simon (above), who beat it out the door on Sunday night and hasn't been persuaded to come home yet. He's been reported to the authorities (the people who put the microchip in him), and we've posted fliers around the neighborhood. Last night, we saw him, but he hasn't yielded to blandishments. His brother, Nicky, wanders around the house yowling for him. Cats are stubborn people.
Otherwise, pissed off about Maine, glad to see the wingnuts thwarted in New York.