Silver Rights

News, thoughts and comments on civil rights and related issues.

Thursday, October 07, 2004  


Commentary: Gay reader will vote for Kerry

A regular commenter at a large blog has explained why he will be supporting John Kerry for president, despite his disappointment that the Democratic candidate does not favor gay marriage. Steve, who uses the nom de plume, Boomcrashbaby, has analyzed the issues and concluded there are grounds for choosing Kerry anyway. The material below is Steve's entirely. Consider him a guest blogger.

Kerry opposes gay marriage. Kerry is on record as supporting civil unions and legal protections for gay couples. When Republicans insinuate that a vote for Kerry is a vote for gay marriage, they are certainly misleading facts and exploiting fear among their voters.

If I were smart, I'd save my rationale of voting for Kerry, as I continually have to repost it. This is my perspective which is the perspective of many, but I don't know that it's of the gay majority, I certainly hope so:

First, I am a lifelong Democrat and many issues, including national security and the war on terror, are of concern and I feel the Democrats have the best agenda on all fronts.

For the issue of gay marriage, which is of more importance to me than many Americans, there is not a viable candidate who supports gay marriage at this time. [Ralph] Nader who is the 'most viable' has about 4% of the vote right now, some reports have him with less. If EVERY gay person voted for Nader (already an impossibility), then he might get about 8-14% of the vote. That is not enough to win him office, and since most gay people vote liberally, those votes would come from the Democratic platform. Which means that Al Gore and others are right, a vote FOR someone who believes in gay marriage will result in 4 more years of Bush and his anti-marriage platform.

Kerry personally believes in marriage between a man and a woman only, but also believes in letting the states decide. So if Kerry were President and my state legalized gay marriage, Kerry wouldn't step in with a proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution. He would let my state allow gay marriage, because he wants the states to decide. His own state has legal gay marriage and while he doesn't believe in it, he's not actively working to stop it, is he? That works for us. We don't need, nor can we achieve, personal acceptance of our relationships from everybody, but with Kerry we can still achieve equality from our government.

Also, of bigger concern to me (and hopefully to millions of gay people), is the issue of Supreme Court Justices. At least 1 and possibly up to 3 Justices may retire in the next four years. The next President will have to select their replacement. Kerry will choose someone who is liberal on social issues like women's rights, civil rights, etc. whereas Bush will choose another [Supreme Court Justice Anthony] Scalia clone. ([Vice President Dick] Cheney can never have too many duck hunting partners who happen to be judges in cases where he is the defendant). No thanks.

Even though Kerry does not support gay marriage, we can achieve more equality and gain more ground with him in office than with anybody else who is a viable candidate at this time. That's my rationale, but it is not the rationale of every gay person.

Steve works on the Internet from his home, where he is the full-time caregiver for his toddler daughter. He and his partner have been in a committed relationship for years.

posted by J. | 10:34 PM

Tuesday, October 05, 2004  


News: 'White Power' music targets teens

Eric Olsen of Blogcritics, who often writes about music, was repulsed when he encountered news about the audio accompaniment to the neo-Nazi branch of America's racist Right. There has been music for racists since the eighteenth century. In fact, the state song of Maryland, "Maryland, My Maryland," is a tribute to the Confederacy. Racist music celebrates white supremacy and denigrates people of color. Most of it is too stupid to pass scrutiny by well-informed persons. Olsen learned about an up-and-coming leader of neo-Nazi music, Panzerfaust. St. Paul's Pioneer Press, the hometown newspaper of the label, has the story.

Byron Calvert is co-owner of Panzerfaust Records, a small label that has become a major force in the neo-Nazi skinhead movement. Only 6 years old, the company — a smattering of operations throughout the metro area — already is contending to be the premier producer of white-supremacist music, observers say.

An ex-con with a record of violence, the 33-year-old is now banking that a low-key approach — combined with the music of rebellion — is the most effective way to convert teens to the white-supremacist ranks.

The company's latest and most ambitious move came last week when Calvert announced "Project Schoolyard USA," a plan to make and distribute 100,000 copies of a "pro-white sampler CD" to teenagers across the country.

. . ."Our target audience," Calvert said, "is 50 million white kids who have never heard of us."

The denial of racist sentiment in the blogosphere is common. A blogger will post an entry claiming that lynching had nothing to do with race and occurred as often in the North as in the South. Another will assert that black people are so inherently inferior they will never be equal to whites, citing H.L. Mencken, a white supremacist, as a source. David Horowitz's blatantly bigoted claim that slavery was a benefit to African-Americans has been embraced by more Right Wing bloggers than I can keep up with. All of these people will declare war on the messenger when the reason why they are promoting such propaganda is stated explicitly. The reason why is the exact same as Byron Calvert and Anthony Pierpont's motivation for building a 'white power' music label: These people want a society in which white supremacy remains the status quo.

Parents and other adults need to be aware that promoters of white supremacy target schoolchildren for their efforts. Not only is 'white power' music available on the Internet and in some record stores, the neo-Confederate movement regularly recruits white students to take or wear symbols of racism to school to provoke their minority peers. Vigilance and accurate information about the cultural construct called 'race' are the antidotes to these efforts to brainwash the young.

But, not everyone who is subjected to misinformation and disinformation is a child. Here in the blogosphere, weblogs, most of them Far Right, publish falsehoods meant to bolster white privilege and white supremacy daily. We have an obligation to confront and expose those lies. Truth telling, like charity, begins at home.

posted by J. | 9:00 PM