Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

    Double standard

    Friday, May 23rd, 2008

    Hillary Clinton is getting a raw deal. That’s not in reference to her politics; it’s in reference to her gender.

    The never-ending race for the Democratic presidential nomination between Clinton and Barack Obama is peeling back layers and layers of this country’s long-shot hope for equality.

    Sexism vs. racism — which is more offensive?

    Ideally, we want to believe that both are regarded with an equal degree of seriousness, because both are forms of discrimination — plain and simple. Realistically, however, that isn’t the case. Realistically, we tolerate sexism far more than we do racism.


    Way back in January, while addressing supporters at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Clinton was interrupted by two men who stood up with signs and repeatedly yelled, “Iron my shirt!” The signs matched their moronic proclamation. Soon after the outbursts, the men were escorted out of the building, not to be heard of or from again.

    Ah, the remnants of sexism — alive and well,” Clinton said after the commotion subsided.

    Upon hearing the news, reaction around the newsroom consisted of incredulity mixed with laughter. There was something about the incident that prompted some to chuckle, and conclude how ridiculous certain people can be.

    Now, I’d like to present another scenario:
    Let’s say that Obama was at a rally. And during his speech, two individuals stood up flaunting signs and yelling, “Shine my shoes!”

    What would the reaction be to that? Would there be chuckles? Would the occurrence be chalked up merely as ridiculous? Would we forget about it three days later? Or would the media latch on to the episode to spurn scores of news stories and analyses about race relations in America?

    We’d quickly describe “Shine my shoes!” toward Obama as hate speech. But never once have I heard someone describe the “Iron my shirt!” demand toward Clinton as hate speech.

    Sexism and racism are both, by law, equal forms of discrimination. Yet they don’t prompt equal responses. 


    The right to marry

    Friday, May 16th, 2008

    When the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday to overturn the ban on gay marriage, I was curious to read what the justices would write regarding their decision.

    Because it seems only fair that this nation start recognizing gay marriage as marriage, regardless of whether that term relates to the union between man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman.

    I thought to myself: How is this current resistance that much different from that which existed in the early part of the 20th century and beyond, when it was illegal for a black man and a white woman to marry?

    And, stretching the logic a bit further, I thought: If we perceive marriage between a same-sex couple as a lesser marriage, should we perceive a parent who adopts a child as a lesser parent? Do we not give that mother and her child as equal rights as we’d give a mother who carried her child in her womb?

    Parenting is parenting, the way marriage is marriage — a relationship based on love, which yields to no such barriers as race, gender, class, religion or sexual orientation.

    And so said Chief Justice Ronald George of the California Supreme Court:

    An individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. …Reserving the historic designation of ‘marriage’ exclusively for opposite-sex couples poses at least a serious risk of denying the family relationship of same-sex couples . . . equal dignity and respect.”

    Yes, I thought, marveling over the simplicity of it all. 

    Justice George went on to say that the ruling, which was divided 4-3, was based on California’s 1948 decision to end its ban on interracial marriage. That ruling, to my surprise, was handed down 20 years before the U.S. Supreme court followed suit. I wonder how long it’ll be before homosexuals across the nation can marry and attain the same civil rights as heterosexuals.

    Describing gay marriage as “untraditional” is true. But if we remind ourselves of the past “traditions” of United States, such as slavery, does “untraditional” really sound so bad?

    Sure, change is difficult to follow. But we will neither survive nor succeed unless we accept change, and then adapt to it.

    minalisms.com designed by Solvm validate xhtml // css // wordpress // (mt)