January 21, 2008

Race and gender on MLK Day

All of the race/gender politicking among some of the candidates for president is annoying, and ludicrous.

I don't buy this race business; as far as I know, there's one "race": homo sapiens. Some of its constituents have really dark skin, some of them have really light skin. And along the continuum between each, there's every shade possible. Any line drawn perpendicular to the axis of the continuum is necessarily arbitrary and ultimately meaningless. To paraphrase Warren Beatty's character in Bulworth, 'Just everybody fuck everybody else until we're all the same color.'

So there are groups of individuals within the species that share physical characteristics dissimilar from other groups of individuals. So what? That's a function of population genetics. Obviously those genetic characteristics that are shared within a group that inhabits a geographical area separate from another group are going to propagate within that group. This has been going on for millions of years and it's about time for broader recognition of the fact.

That the law recognizes race as an identifiable characteristic is, for the most part, lamentable. On the other hand, that the law recognizes the fact that some people use fantasies based on "race" to discriminate against other people is not so lamentable. Because race is little more than a social construct issuing from fear, ignorance, and superstition and it's correct that the law should intervene on behalf of those who are discriminated against on that basis. But it's quaint and erroneous notions of race that forced the requirement of those legal protections in the first place.

By the same token and given the unfortunate history of "race relations" in this country, African Americans are right to formulate social policy based on that history. That's why Chris Rock gets to say 'nigger' and Dog the Bounty Hunter doesn't, and why a Black Caucus is understandable while a White Caucus is offensive. However, I would like to see those distinctions eventually erased as well. (Which is not to say that Chris Rock should tone it down in the meantime.)

Similar considerations may be applied to the popular ideas of gender and sexuality. There are relentlessly heterosexual people, and relentlessly homosexual people. Again, a continuum exists between both with every possible permutation along the way (many of which I don't care to contemplate). Even the physical manifestations of gender are not always clear: consider those born with ambiguous genitalia. Such are the operations of nature. Deal with it, rather than reacting with horror, loathing, and political pandering.

Also, Fred Thompson is bald and Rudy Giuliani is nearsighted, but I don't hear either struggling over the hairless, myopic vote (okay, they're both lobbying for the myopic vote, but in the slightly less literal sense of the word. They're Republicans, after all).

Now for some quality civil disobedience.


Jennifer Rouan said...

Excellent post, my friend.

illusory tenant said...

Spank you very much.

Emily said...

Stop forcing your disgusting spanking sexuality on the rest of us!


Great post!

illusory tenant said...

Teehee! Thanks, E.

capper said...

Tres bien, mon ami.

illusory tenant said...

Mercy buckets.

capper said...

Non, c'est: Mercy! B-cups!