21 September, 2013

Shock and Horror as Pope Less Awful than Last Pope

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/world/europe/pope-bluntly-faults-churchs-focus-on-gays-and-abortion.html?_r=1&

Seriously though think of all the suffering gay people go through because of bigotry, tending into outright persecution and murder socially and legally in many countries, such as, for instance, majority Catholic Uganda, in which homosexuality is illegal upon pain of death. It is all well and good to speak to the west of how tolerant the Church is now, to plead for less focus on issues that lose the Church so many congregants amongst the first world. But to raise this facade on the one hand, while Cardinals and priests still tout the murderous lie that condoms are worse than (and propagate) AIDS throughout so much of Sub-Saharan Africa, to preach that gay people are tempters, maintaining the perpetual and vile fabrication that they are acting immorally and unnaturally when they move amongst nations where this can and does get innocent people killed.


The Pope can make a massive positive difference in the lives of so many by saying what all good and reasonable people know: the gender of the people you love and the people you are attracted to says nothing at all about your morality; monogamy and its legal codification through marriage is good and bountiful and beautiful for all of us, and condoms totally save lives and help alleviate poverty. It is cruel to feed into that morass of hatred, however minutely, however timidly Francis wishes to do so, however weakly he foists the bulwark of faith against what we all know in our hearts to be true about our gay brothers and sisters. He has the power within his grasp to do so much and he chooses not to, maybe because his own beliefs are wicked, maybe through fear of the political powers within and without his own church; it is not the first time a Pope has sat silent, or added his voice to the perpetration of evil that it is within his power to change. The fact remains that no matter how he flaps his hands, and really anything a Pope has to say about condoms or heretics or gay people should begin and end with an apology, he could do something very good, at no risk to his own life or safety, and instead chooses to either remain silent or to feed meekly into that evil. He's a Pope, a station now bereft of temporal power, and like anyone else whose power lies in his words this is the wickedness he is capable of. And he does it.

-The Rev. Schmitt., FCD.

20 July, 2013

The N word

Crossposted yo 

There seems to be this confusion about when white people and black people can say the naughty n word. Oh nooo it's racist to only let black people say it.

   

Well actually white people say it a lot. Academics, writers, comedians, white people who genuinely speak AAVE and yokels amongst other yokels for instance. Also white people being funny and ironic.


   


The distinction is and always has been about intent and it is a bit bizarre to have to point this out. In Rachel Jentel's speech community 'nigger' really does just mean 'man', we did not need someone to tell us this but evidently pretended we did, and she genuinely can envisage any person in that speech community speaking that way, irrespective of their race. It does not follow that it is therefore not awful to insult blacks. It does not mean that we are forced to pretend that Limbaugh is also speaking AAVE.

What is the likelihood that any given white person is going to be saying it as a term of brotherhood and endearment? Thus the horrible burden of the whites: we are almost certainly going to be using it because we are racist and stupid, with few exceptions, and so when we use it because we are racist and stupid, we get called racist for it. Just saying that we are totally not saying it to insult black people while insulting black people is just not persuasive. It is the child saying 'niggardly' over and over again and thinking no one can tell them off for being mindlessly insulting. We see you, guys. We get what you're doing. It's still that thing. 

Our own intuitions about language should not need to be pointed out. If they are correct they should not be shied away from. 

In Limbaugh's exceptional, profound, bigoted ignorance he saw an opportunity to say a naughty word about black people and belittle a black person because she is black at the same time. All of us intuitively understand this is what he is doing. It is the source of his banal comedy and is the (incorrect) point he is trying to make. It is a very strange phenomenon that a group of people will sit around claiming differently. By all appearances some people are stupid and petty enough to claim he is not for no reason other than weird sense of what partisanship is, and some whites really, desperately want to use slurs without any social consequences. 

Lastly the way lots of white Americans, or at least lots of the most vocal, talk about black people as some kind of hostile and exotic creature glimpsed through trees is creepy as Hell guys, just FYI 

 -The Rev. Schmitt, FCD.