Rolling Stone Editor Giles Muhame: Violence Against Uganda’s Gays Isn’t My Fault

Ugh. It appears the Uganda newspaper Rolling Stone's attempt to incite violence against its Top 100 list of homos is working: "Several people have been attacked in Uganda after a local newspaper published their names and photos, saying they were homosexual, an activist has told the BBC. Frank Mugisha said one woman was almost killed after her neighbours started throwing stones at her house. He said most of those whose names appeared in Uganda's Rolling Stone paper had been harassed." Not that backers of the two-month-old Rolling Stone are taking responsibility: Editor Giles Muhame says that despite a call to "hang" the people on his list, he wants only for law enforcement to investigate those "recruiting children to homosexuality." And then execute the guilty.


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Queerty

—  admin

Washington keeps trending towards marriage equality but isn’t there yet

For the 5th year in a row, the number of pro-equality voters in Washington state is increasing.  Last week The Washington Poll released the results of their annual fall poll of likely voters on questions including this one:

Q: Which of the following statements best describes your views on the issue of same-sex marriage?
  • Gay and lesbian couples should have the same legal right to marry as straight couples.
  • Gay and lesbian couples should be able to have the same legal rights as stright couples but it should not be called marriage.
  • There should be domestic partnerships that give gay and lesbian couples only some of the benefits and protections of marriage.
  • There should be no legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples.
  • Dunno/Getoffmylawn

  • The Washington Poll is a non-partisan academic survey research project sponsored by the University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality.  They first asked this question in 2006.  I combed through previous reports so that we could look at the most recent results in historical context.  Looking at the graph above, the positive, unwavering trend towards equality is very clear.

    We saw this statistical trend validated last year when almost 53% of the Washington electorate voted to ratify the new comprehensive domestic partnership law via Referendum 71 (a national first!).  A post-election analysis showed that 38 of Washington’s 39 counties had demonstrated an increase in pro-equality voting since the last time an LGBT measure was on the ballot.

    So we’re ready to push for marriage equality in the legislature, right?  Well, not so fast.
    The really great news is that fully 29% of voters in Washington State believe gay and lesbian couples should be legally recognized.  But from here it gets a little more complicated.  The graph to the right should make you drool.  I’ve combined the results from the Washington Poll graph above into two pots: voters who support marriage equality or full domestic partnerships, and voters who support limited domestic partnerships or no legal recognition for lesbian and gay couples.  In the Land of Wishful Thinking, we’re nearing 70% support when you look at this way.  Do not look at it this way.  Then why am I showing you this?  So that you can see that we have great potential for success in Washington if we marshal our resources over the next 2 years..  

    Strong support for marriage equality currently polls somewhere close to 40%.  Taking a sober look at that number is vital because Washington is a referendum state and any marriage equality law passed by the legislature will almost certainly need to be defended at the polls.  The wild card are the 29% percent of voters who support giving same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage but don’t want the  legal status called marriage. While many of these voters will ultimately support marriage equality we can’t even count on a majority of them.  And here is what we know about how voters actually behave when it comes to marriage referenda and initiatives.

    * Pre-election polls consistently underestimate opposition to marriage equality.

    * We cannot change voters’ attitudes on marriage equality during the course of an election campaign.

    These facts are well known to our leadership in the Washington state Legislature, and Senator Ed Murray for one has said he will file but not push a marriage equality bill until he’s satisfied that the electorate is ready to ratify it at the polls.

    Equal Rights Washington’s Executive Director Josh Friedes says we are at the point where we can seriously start talking about winning marriage equality at the ballot box as early as November 2012.  According to Friedes, what we need to do over the next 18 months is explain to voters why full domestic partnerships are not equivalent to marriage.


    Part of this conversation has to be sharing our personal stories and the stories of people we care about. We need to help people see that domestic partnerships don’t provide the dignity every person is entitled to.  Another part of the conversation has to be explaining how domestic partnerships do not attempt to confer the federal protections of marriage such as Social Security protections, immigration rights and equal treatment under the IRS tax code. Lastly we need to address the concerns many voters have, we need to ask adult children of same-sex couples to speak out so that ambivalent voters can see that our children grow up to be productive and well adjusted.

    It  takes a long time for voters to move on family recognition issues so we need to start now and since the key is personal conversations we need to fund an educational program that allows us to reach out to the 40% of voters who already strongly support marriage equality and ask them to speak to their social networks.

    Friedes says that its not so much that the work is hard, as it is costly. In California and Maine the money came too late.

    We need to fully fund a comprehensive education program that starts to roll out by mid 2011, if we have any intention of winning marriage on the ballot in November 2012.

    So what’s the moral of the story?  The latest poll results are incredibly encouraging, but we still have a lot of work to do, and it is work that cannot be put off until some electoral crunch time.  I’m game.  Are you in?
    Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

    —  John Wright

    Rep. Lamar Smith Is Afraid Obama’s DoJ Isn’t Defending DOMA Enough. So He Wants In

    Rep. Lamar Smith has The Sads about the Defense of Marriage Act. He sees you radical homosexuals attacking a perfectly reasonable law, and now the the Texas Republican wants to do something about it. Like protect it!

    CONTINUED »


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    Queerty

    —  John Wright

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker: ‘Being Gay Isn’t Tough – It’s Who I Am’

    Annise-Parker_1542660c-1

    Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. city with over one million people, opened up to journalist Diane Brady to open up about what it's like to be an out and proud public servant in Houston.

    Here's a sample of what Parker, whose sexual orientation once caused a scandal, had to say:

    People assume the toughest decision in my life was coming out. But being gay isn't tough—it's who I am. What's been tough is learning how to be social, and how to adapt to public life.

    I don't get death threats anymore, but I still have to work at being comfortable with the public part of the job. There are so many more images of gay and lesbian people today, and so many ways to be gay. I'm a middle-aged soccer mom and I appear in public with my spouse of 20 years and my kids. It's hard to make me scary. When the job is over for the evening, I go home and pull up the drawbridge. It's a relief when the scrutiny isn't there. But being honest about my personal life pays off every day. 

    That line, "It's hard to make me scary," should be put on a gay rights t-shirt.


    Towleroad News #gay

    —  John Wright

    AP/Nat’t Constitution Center Poll: Majority supports right that really isn’t theirs to decide

    Screen Shot 2010-09-19 At 12.26.37 Pm

    *FULL DATA: The AP-National Constitution Center Poll

    Keep up the good work, National Organization For Marriage.




    Good As You

    —  John Wright

    Charlie Crist Isn’t Sure Whether He Loves or Hates Health Care Reform

    Depending on how, or when you ask Florida Gov. Charlie Crist whether, as a U.S. senator, he would've voted for or against Obama's health care plan, he'll give you a different answer. Though that's to be expected when you continue changing your position on the issues whenever Marco Rubio polls higher.


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    Queerty

    —  John Wright

    Fred Phelps: Fags ‘Ought to Be So Thankful’ Westboro Isn’t Charging Them

    Hell is the place where the worm eats on fags, and the fire is never quenched. Indescribable pain. The Lord Jesus said that. And he knows because he's had a front row seat since the creation of Adam. What you need to do is get a Bible and look up Luke, Chapter 16. These fags are going to hell, and instead of squawking like crybabies, they ought to be so thankful that at no expense to them, we've dedicated time and resources to preach to them. People say we're "disturbing the peace." Don't you understand: we've done 40,000 of these pickets, and we'd be in jail if we were disturbing the peace.

    —The always insightful Westboro Baptist leader Fred Phelps, who also notes that when it comes to other religious leaders, "about half of these preachers and priests are closet homosexuals–I mean practicing homosexuals."

    CONTINUED »


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    Queerty

    —  John Wright

    One’s Gender Identity Isn’t Societal Perception Of It; Marriage Equality Isn’t Just A GLB Issue

    Once again, I hear transgender people all over speaking for me. Here is Autumn once again telling me what’s good for me and to add insult to injury…whether I like it or not:
    “That’s why trans people’s marriages are part of the concept of marriage equality, whether some transsexuals like that idea or not.”

    Now that’s a lot of nerve…an unmarried, admittedly asexual, bisexual GLB and homosexual T activist telling me, a heterosexual, married female…what is best for me…and, to boot…whether I like that idea or not. Autumn has appropriated my place in life and told me absolutely why she knows better than I do…about my life.

    And, make absolutely no mistake, Autumn and other GLB type are not – repeat NOT – going to cease telling women of operative history what is right for us whether we like it or not. As far as the GLB and homosexual T activists/rank and file are concerned, heterosexual women of operative history are 1) in same-sex marriages…whether we like it or not…reducing us to something less than-other than simply female, 2) are in the marriage equality movement which is simply another way of telling us we are in the same-sex marriage movement…whether we like it or not, and 3) will continue appropriating our positions…whether we like it or not, telling us that they know better than us what is best in our marriage and association…whether we like it or not.

    ~SA-ET (EnoughNonSense) in the blog post at Enough Non-Sense entitled Whether We Like it or Not

    Sometimes, the misunderstanding regarding the difference between self-identification and external perceptions of identity — well, these find me in me sighing and shaking my head is some frustration. In my own experience I see the religious right, as well as what I would call the online, transsexual separatist community, conflate the connection of self-identity to the external perceptions of others — external perceptions that can result in harassment and discrimination.

    So going to specifics, in the paragraphs I quoted above from the Enough Non-Sense piece — where SA-ET quoted my August 4th This & That diary — she drew a conclusion based on hers and her peers’ self-identification as women of operative history being a separate identity from transgender identity. They rightfully contend that their women of operative history identification isn’t very often found to be a transgender self-identity. Certainly I see the difference — a separation — between between the two identities.

    SA-ET incorrectly indicated that I was telling her and her peer women of operative history that their self-identification isn’t valid; that I was telling them they are transgender, like it or not; that I was telling them that they must embrace the concept of the transgender umbrella for themselves, like it or not.

    Thumbnail Link To Harry Benjamin's 'The Surgical Phenomenon'And too, I was using same-sex marriage to force them to become members of what they call “Homosexual T” . This concept of the “Homosexual T” is from Dr. Harry Benjamin’s The Transsexual Phenomenon (Copyright, 1967) in the segment entitled Relationship To Homosexuality:

    There are homosexuals who get an emotional satisfaction from cross-dressing. It would be a matter of semantics to consider them “homosexual transvestites” or “transvestitic homosexuals.” They simply desire, for their sexual gratification, both cross-dressing and a partner of the same sex.

    SA-ET apparently perceives me to be a “Homosexual T” . But just as SA-ET doesn’t identify as transgender, I don’t identify as “Homosexual T” .

    For the record, I identify as a transsexual. If one uses Harry Benjamin’s Gender Disorientation Scale (related his book The Transsexual Phenomenon), I fairly closely align with Type Five: True Transsexual (Moderate Intensity):

    Gender Feeling: Feminine (trapped in male body)

    Dressing Habits and Social Life: Lives and works as woman if possible. Insufficient relief from dressing.

    Sex Object Choice and Sex Life: Libido low. Asexual auto-erotic, or passive homosexual activity. May have been married and have children.

    Kinsey Scale: 4-6

    Conversion Operation: Requested and usually indicated.

    Estrogen Medication: Needed as substitute for or preliminary to operation.

    Psychotherapy: Rejected. Useless as to cure. Permissive psychological guidance.

    Remarks: Operation hoped for and worked for. Often attained.

    If only I didn’t sociopolitically identify as transgender, transsexual separatists might — per the relevant, historic documentation — consider me a “true transsexual.” But, of course, only after I had genital reconstruction surgery (the kind of surgery Dr. Benjamin referred to as the “conversion operation”).

    But I digress.

    I was mentioning this conflation on this past Monday when I had lunch with my friend Cecilia Chung. She helped clarify for me something that I already knew intuitively, but hadn’t recently articulated as a cogent thought. And that thought is this: being discriminated against because one is perceived to be a member of a minority group isn’t the same as identifying as a member of that minority group.

    So, there are three components I’m discussing here: 1.) how one self-identifies; 2.) what others perceive one’s identity is, as well as those others’ preconceived ideas about how those others perceive one’s identity, and 3.) the perceptions of those who harass and discriminate against those whom they believe emulate or embrace behavior associated with a particular identity.

    So let’s use the difference between the concepts of points 1.) and 2.) to show that others on the religious right don’t see genital reconstruction surgery as doing anything for the those who identify with Harry Benjamin Syndrome, or who identify as true transsexuals, classic transsexuals, women of operative history, etc.:

    [Below the fold: Comments by second wave feminists and conservative "Christians" regarding genital reconstruction surgery, as well as statements by conservative "Christians" and courts as to why marriage equality even applies to those who have had genital reconstruction surgery.]

    “Their regular response was to show me their patients. Thumbnail Link To First Thing's 'Surgical Sex' By Paul McHughMen (and until recently they were all men) with whom I spoke before their surgery would tell me that their bodies and sexual identities were at variance. Those I met after surgery would tell me that the surgery and hormone treatments that had made them “women” had also made them happy and contented. None of these encounters were persuasive, however. The post-surgical subjects struck me as caricatures of women. They wore high heels, copious makeup, and flamboyant clothing; they spoke about how they found themselves able to give vent to their natural inclinations for peace, domesticity, and gentleness – but their large hands, prominent Adam’s apples, and thick facial features were incongruous (and would become more so as they aged). Women psychiatrists whom I sent to talk with them would intuitively see through the disguise and the exaggerated postures. ‘Gals know gals,’ one said to me, ‘and that’s a guy.’

    “The subjects before the surgery struck me as even more strange, as they struggled to convince anyone who might influence the decision for their surgery. First, they spent an unusual amount of time thinking and talking about sex and their sexual experiences; their sexual hungers and adventures seemed to preoccupy them. Second, discussion of babies or children provoked little interest from them; indeed, they seemed indifferent to children. But third, and most remarkable, many of these men-who-claimed-to-be-women reported that they found women sexually attractive and that they saw themselves as “lesbians.” When I noted to their champions that their psychological leanings seemed more like those of men than of women, I would get various replies, mostly to the effect that in making such judgments I was drawing on sexual stereotypes.

    …”We saw the results as demonstrating that just as these men enjoyed cross-dressing as women before the operation so they enjoyed cross-living after it. But they were no better in their psychological integration or any easier to live with. With these facts in hand I concluded that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness. We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.”

    ~Paul McHugh‘s Surgical Sex

    “Sexual “Reassignment” Surgery and various hormonal therapies represent the physical alteration/mutilation of the body to match a perceived — and self-defined — social role.”

    ~Caleb Price of CitizenLink, an activism arm of Focus On The Family

    For someone born with male kit, the decision to ditch it is long, painful and often very expensive. Powerful female hormones will help you sprout pubescent breasts, have a waspish waist, and add a few inches to your hips, but they won’t alter the pitch of your voice or dispense with the need to buy Bics. Only hours of electrolysis will remove your beard and years of speech therapy lessons teach you how to talk like a lady. Massive surgery is essential. The penis is cut off, a cavity is created and, with skin taken from the redundant dick and testicles, a vagina and “natural looking labia” are constructed. Surgeons claim that they can create a fully functioning clitoris, and orgasm is possible – although not at all probable.

    It’s important that these details are spelt out. Because gender reassignment is not simply about men in frocks; it’s about removing bits of a fully functioning body to be replaced by parts which, however they may approximate to the real thing, simply do not work. In any other case, this would be considered as nothing other than genital mutilation.

    ~Dea Birkett for The Guardian, via Press For Change

    “Thanks to feminism and gay liberation, that situation has altered radically. What a disgrace, therefore, that our legacy amounts to this: if you are unhappy with the constraints of your gender, don’t challenge them. If you are tired of being stared at for snogging your same-sex partner in the street, have a sex change. Where are those who go berserk about the ethics of genetic engineering yet seem not to worry about major, irreversible surgery on healthy bodies? Also, those who “transition” seem to become stereotypical in their appearance – fuck-me shoes and birds’-nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls. Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease.

    …I don’t have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man.”

    ~Julie Bindel for The Guardian

    “There’s a gulf of difference between what Obama and liberals in Congress, and the American people deem ‘medically appropriate;’ especially when it’s ‘we the people’ footing the bill. To force Americans, against their conscience, to fund abortion on demand and to facilitate gender confusion by subsidizing the elective practice of genital ‘sex-change’ mutilation is unconscionable.”

    ~Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel

    “Perhaps the state here might consider helping these severely disturbed individuals to get the spiritual and psychological help they need to align their falsely, self-perceived gender identity with their God-given gender reality.”

    ~Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel for OneNewsNow

    And of course, marriages of people who have had genital reconstruction surgery are already considered same-sex marriages by conservative “Christians.” For example, Matt Barber in American Family Associations “news” arm of OneNewsNow, in the article Irish plan promotes same-sex ‘marriage’:

    Ireland’s government is planning to permit transsexuals to marry partners of the same gender.

    Ireland’s minister for social protection has confirmed that the government is committed to providing “legal recognition of the acquired gender of transsexuals.” Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel tells OneNewsNow that means a man who has been surgically altered to become a female could marry a man.

    “It’s a shame that Ireland, a nation with such a rich [history of] family values…would be engaging in essentially legalizing the oxymoronic notion of same-sex ‘marriage,’ and that’s exactly what this is,” Barber laments.

    The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) wrote in Transgender Marriage Is Coming:

    Somers and Gast are suffering from a serious mental problem called a Gender Identity Disorder (GID). However, instead of a counselor helping each of them to overcome their bizarre feelings of being members of the opposite sex, these men found a surgeon who was willing to mutilate their bodies so they can become fake women.

    And quoting the Supreme Court Of The State Of Kansas, TVC wrote:

    “The words ‘sex,’ ‘marriage,’ ‘male,’ and ‘female’ in everyday understanding do not encompass transsexuals.

    …A postoperative male-to-female transsexual does not fit the common definition of a female.”

    And, the Supreme Court Of The State Of Kansas added :

    “[T]hrough surgery and hormones, a transsexual male can be made to look like a woman, including female genitalia and breasts. Transsexual medical treatment, however, does not create the internal sexual organs of a woman, except for the vaginal canal. There is no womb, cervix or ovaries in the post-operative transsexual female.

    “[T]he male chromosomes do not change with either hormonal treatment or sex reassignment surgery. Biologically, a post-operative female transsexual is still a male…

    …”There are some things we cannot will into being. They just are.”

    The Supreme Court Of The State Of Kansas decision, was heavily rooted in the Judgment of the Texas Appeals Court in the Case of Littleton v. Prange, which stated:

    Christie was created and born a male. Her original birth certificate, an official document of Texas, clearly so states. During the pendency of this suit, Christie amended the original birth certificate to change the sex and name. Under section 191.029 of the Texas Health and Safety Code she was entitled to seek such an amendment if the record was “incomplete or proved by satisfactory evidence to be inaccurate.” Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. 191.029 (Vernon 1992). The trial court that granted the petition to amend the birth certificate necessarily construed the term “inaccurate” to relate to the present, and having been presented with the uncontroverted affidavit of an expert stating that Christie is a female, the trial court deemed this satisfactory to prove an inaccuracy. However, the trial courts role in considering the petition was a ministerial one. It involved no fact-finding or consideration of the deeper public policy concerns presented. No one claims the information contained in Christies original birth certificate was based on fraud or error. We believe the legislature intended the term “inaccurate” in section 191.028 to mean inaccurate as of the time the certificate was recorded; that is, at the time of birth. At the time of birth, Christie was a male, both anatomically and genetically. The facts contained in the original birth certificate were true and accurate, and the words contained in the amended certificate are not binding on this court. There are some things we cannot will into being. They just are.

    Conclusion:

    We hold, as a matter of law, that Christie Littleton is a male. As a male, Christie cannot be married to another male. Her marriage to Jonathon was invalid, and she cannot bring a cause of action as his surviving spouse.

    When I previously wrote that marriage equality is a trans issue, like it or not, I wasn’t saying that those who self-identify as women of operative history are transgender, like it or not. I didn’t say that those who self-identify as women of operative history who see themselves as simply women are in same-sex marriages if their partner is a non-transsexual male – like it or not.

    What I’ve said — and clearly meant — is many in society (especially on the religious right) see marriages that include at least one partner that has had genital reconstruction surgery as being same-sex marriages. Like it or not, marriage equality is an issue for transgender people, transsexual people (which include those who identify as classic and true transsexuals), those who identify as both transgender and transsexual, those who identify as women of operative history, and those who identify with Harry Benjamin Syndrome. That’s because some feminists, the religious right, and some courts in some states have declared that people who have had genital reconstruction surgery can’t really change their sex — and that’s especially the case when it comes to determining who a person who has had genital reconstruction surgery has the freedom to marry.

    We’re back to my three points I mentioned above:

    There are three components I’m discussing here: 1.) how one self-identifies; 2.) what others perceive one’s identity is, as well as those others’ preconceived ideas about how those others perceive one’s identity, and 3.) the perceptions of those who harass and discriminate against those whom they believe emulate or embrace behavior associated with a particular identity.

    There are societal and legal consequences for women who’ve had genital reconstruction surgery being perceived by many as being mentally ill, gender confused gay men. Marriage inequalities for those women who have had genital reconstruction surgery is a reason why marriage equality matters — whether one likes or not that marriage equality should matter to, and definitely applies to, those who’ve had genital reconstruction surgery.

    ~~~~~

    Further Reading:

    * TS-SI: Marriage Among the Forbidden Class

    * First Things: Surgical Sex

    * Harry Benjamin: The Transsexual Phenomenon

    * Supreme Court Of The State Of Kansas: In The Matter Of The Estate Of Marshall G. Gardiner, Deceased

    * Press For Change: Texas: Case of Littleton v. Prange (1999) (Text Of Appeals Court Decision)

    ~~~~~

    Related:

    * Wednesday This & That: Open Thread

    * The “Alleged” Transgender Wife Of A Texas Firefighter And Inheritance

    .
    Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

    —  John Wright

    Maddow: “If DADT is going to end, the President could stop enforcement of that policy, pending that change. Why isn’t he?”

    Rachel Maddow closed her show last night with a rather strong broadside against Robert Gibbs and President Obama, over DADT, but more generally, over everything. Rachel says this White House refuses to spend political capital, refuses to show guts. She says the White House won’t stop the DADT discharges now because “it would be hard.” She concludes:

    “If DADT is going to end, the President could stop enforcement of that policy, pending that change. Why isn’t he?”

    Why isn’t he? Because either the policy isn’t ending, or the President is afraid of something. Afraid of standing up to the Pentagon (remember, THEY work for HIM), afraid of spending political capital, afraid of making Republicans angry, afraid of doing anything that in any way might seem “controversial.”

    It’s interesting that Rachel did this, since the White House made quite a big deal recently over her recent broadcast in which she praised Obama and his accomplishments. I’m guessing the White House won’t be sharing this video with anyone. It’s spot on.




    AMERICAblog Gay

    —  John Wright

    If the tea party isn’t racist, why warn against racist behavior?

    A link to this WaPo piece by David Weigel came bumping along my twitter trail today.  “Five myths about the ‘tea party’” challenges the notion that “The tea party is racist”, saying

    It’s a phenomenon that some activists call “nutpicking” — send a cameraman into a protest and he’ll focus on the craziest sign. Yes, there are racists in the tea party, and they make themselves known. But tea party activists usually root them out. …

    Liberal critics of the tea party argue that conservative opposition to social spending is often racially motivated. That’s not new, though, and it’s not the basis for the tea party.

    I was just mulling over the “logic” of how the purported economic basis for the tea party movement could somehow magically rule out an increased presence of racists when the following email arrived in my mailbox.  It’s from The Tea Party of Spokane (WA).  I’ll highlight the interesting part.

    Subject: Tea Party ~ Obama coming to Seattle. Action Alert

    Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2010

    Bothered by Patty Murrays Policies!

    Date: August 17, 2010

    Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm

    Westin Hotel, 1900 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA

    President Obama is coming to Seattle to fund raise for Patty Murray and “the People” will be there to protest Patty’s re-election .Please remember this protest is against Patty and her economic policies so keep your signs related. Don’t give the media any reason to racially profile us. Do not engage hecklers, please ignore them.  Above all be safe! Take pictures and video of any trouble for evidence! …

    For the sake of Liberty,

    The Tea Party of Spokane

    and Volunteers

    Now David Weigel might respond by saying “see, they’re weeding out the racists among them!”.  But I’m not so sure it’s that simple.  I think that if you have to remind your whole membership not to carry signs that are racist, it’s a tacit admission that there’s plenty of racist propensity in the ranks.  I’m not saying that all tea partiers are racist, but what I have seen of the local t.p. tells me that the economic complaints are partly genuine, partly a proxy reason to rail away at the black man who has usurped the Office of President.  But that’s just my take on the local manifestations of the party.  Maybe it’s all interracial brotherhood where you are.  You know, those local tea party groups whose black, Latino and Asian membership equals or exceeds the population percentage?  Yeah.  Right.

    A reality check from Think Progress is after the fold.
    Unlike Mr. Weigel and myself, who are relying on opinion or personal non-randomized observation, several research groups have gone out and methodically polled tp-ers.  Think Progress gives us a synopsis of the results.

    National surveys of the Tea Party have found that explicit racist sentiment is a strong component of the tea-party make up, in addition to economic conservatism and strong Republican partisanship. The April, 2010 New York Times/CBS News national survey of Tea Party supporters found that they are:
  • More than twice as likely as the general public (25% vs 11%) to believe that “the policies of the Obama administration favor blacks over whites.”
  • Half as likely as the general public (16% to 31%) to believe that “white people have a better chance of getting ahead in today’s society.”
  • Almost twice as likely as the general public (52% to 28%) to believe that “too much has been made of the problems facing black people” in recent years.

  • In a broad study of adults in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and California conducted between February and March, the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality (WISER) asked a number of questions about “racial resentment” – such as whether blacks don’t try hard enough or have gotten more than they deserve. Conservatives are 23 percent more likely to be racially resentful, and Republicans 15 percent more likely than Democrats. However, the institute found that this racial sentiment isn’t simply a byproduct of white conservativism:

    [E]ven as we account for conservatism and partisanship, support for the Tea Party remains a valid predictor of racial resentment.

    It is untrue, as political commentator Dave Weigel argues, that racism in the Tea Party is merely reflective of its conservatism. The WISER study found that compared to other conservatives, Tea Party supporters are:

  • 25 percent more likely to have racial resentment.
  • 27 percent more likely to support racial profiling.
  • 28 percent more likely to support indefinite detention without charges.

  • Tea Party supporters are also significantly more likely to hold racial stereotypes, with a majority believing blacks are not hard-working, intelligent, or trustworthy.

    But there is a silver lining on this dark cloud.  The tp-ers have finally transcended the old American black-white dichotomy!  ”Their fear of others transcends race, however – the WISER study found that a majority of tea party adherents distrust Latinos, Asians, and other whites as well.”  This is progress, right?  Right?  Oh.
    Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

    —  John Wright