Bigotry Is Bigotry
I didn’t watch the YouTube debates when they aired live on television the other night. Everything I saw I watched on a review of the whole shebang on Anderson Cooper’s 360 just last night. Mr. Cooper tried to explain what I should think about what happened. The statistics from all the numbers driven by what other viewers felt and responded were drilled across the screen after each question to one of the participants. Barack Obama was asked a question and the numbers for all the candidates would flutter up or down. Hillary Clinton would respond to the question and the numbers would respond accordingly. Bill Richards said what he had to say about what had already been said and the numbers would turn again. And so it went throughout the night.
A lot of the questions from the people were focused on healthcare. Not surprisingly, a number of Americans are concerned about the American trend of keeping quality healthcare a resource that only the well connected are entitled to. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist for people to figure out that people without any medical insurance are concerned about health. But even people with healthcare made available through their employers are regularly being denied quality medical services for themselves or for their other family members. People are dying because the insurance companies and the medical providers want to protect their bottom line profit. This was an understandable issue for debate.
However, a lot of people were sending emails of questions about the American lifestyle that openly discriminates against our homosexual brothers and sisters. Personally I was surprised to see the number of questions regarding the treatment of homosexuals being selected by whoever was playing the question gatekeeper on the debate or on the debate review show.
But there was a question about homosexuality that struck a chord with me and my conscience has been vibrating from the thrumming ever since. I can’t remember the question word for word. I really don’t even remember specifically what the question was about. But the questioner made a direct correlation between the discrimination of black people and our fight for equal treatment with white people, with the discrimination between homosexual people and the heterosexual population.
I have to confess that I was offended. My knee jerk reaction was that the difference between the two forms of discrimination was like night and day. All people have to do is look at a black person walking at them from down the street and, consciously and/or subconsciously, people immediately adapt to programming from a half a millennium history of seriously negative stereotypes past down through generations. A homosexual doesn’t walk into a store festooned with security cameras managed by people programmed to automatically track their movements. A homosexual isn’t denied a job just because of their appearance. A homosexual isn’t arrested and harassed for walking in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of day. A homosexual isn’t automatically relegated from living in certain neighborhoods the moment they meet the landlord face to face.
Just last week I had a job interview with a manager who was gay. The employment recruiter that was helping me to find a job wanted to prepare me for this fact. The hiring manager was a personal friend of the recruiters and felt this was pertinent information. But I have no problem working with or for anyone who respects me for who I am. But when the manager and I met face to face the man couldn’t keep his eyes off my locked hair. Next thing I know the job description changed right there in the interview and all of a sudden I wasn’t exactly what they needed at this time. However, more than a week later the internet description of the position still stands as it did the week before.
But then I realized I was indulging in my own version of prejudice against homosexuals. The man who ventured the question, and others just like him, was being unfairly treated by a society that sees nothing wrong with their public subjugation. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter the degree of subjugation that our homosexual population goes through. Here in America they are legally being prevented from being able to have their relationship with the person they love legally recognized by the government and openly recognized by others.
There’s no such thing as a little discrimination when a certain people are denied the same privileges as other people. The fact that there are people who feel that it is their right and their place to punish people who have a different sexual orientation than others is just as disgusting as the fact that there are people who feel that it is their right and their place to punish black people for their skin color. Bigotry is disgusting even if the person who is actually being the bigot is the victim of bigotry him or her self.
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