Unethical Quote Of The Week: My Progressive, Rational, Educated and Gay Facebook Friend

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“I never want to step foot in Texas. I don’t even want to change planes in an airport there. In fairness to Texas, there are several states in this country that I refuse to visit, not in a political boycott way but in a I’d-rather-not-get-harassed-by-white-trash-or-shot-by-a-gun-nut kind of way. Basically, you won’t be seeing any pics of our family in the Deep South…ever!”

——-Posted to Facebook by a Facebook friend.

It constantly astonishes me that otherwise kind and intelligent people who regard themselves as tolerant, accepting and enemies of prejudice and bigotry can be so devoid of self-awareness that they openly display not only their own irrational bias and ignorance as if it is a badge of honor, but also think that avoiding new data and experiences that challenge their facile assumptions makes them look wise and virtuous.

Bulletin to my friend: This makes you look like a hateful fool, and I know you are not.

I’m waiting to see how many “likes” his post gets; I assume a lot. I don’t know who it was who first observed that as we age we tend to become the kind of human being we hate the most, but it struck me as a perceptive observation the first time I heard it, and I have never read a more perfect example of the phenomenon.

 

 

65 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: My Progressive, Rational, Educated and Gay Facebook Friend

  1. Jack,
    There’s nothing wrong with being a hateful fool. If you can defend idiots who can defend and wear a flag of seditious racism, you can defend someone who doesn’t want to associate with those types. Texas as a place is amazing; Texas as a political animal is everything he said (and I’ve never lived anywhere else).

    -Neil

    • Ive found that people will usually live up to your expectations of them. Maybe that’s what is going on with you. Just something to consider.

    • Fair enough, and wise.

      If I substitute San Francisco as a destination for the kind of Texan that “Friend” is talking about, I’ve no doubt the dismissive reaction would be pretty much the same.

    • “Texas as a political animal is everything he said “

      Though I said I’d decrease snark and bluntness, I can’t let this pass: this is by far the stupidest thing I’ve read all week, and that includes Charles Green’s pathetic rant of strung together left wing talking points.

      • Whoever You Are,
        Then learn to interpret hyperbole.

        I have roots in this state that go back to it’s founding and I’m ashamed of most of of them. Texas history represents the worst in imperialism and American exceptionalism. Not to mention they were on the losing of side of Supreme Court cases involving flag burning (whatever your view on it, it counts as free speech) and sodomy laws (even the most ardent homophobe will usually admit laws like this are ineffective and unfair).

        Also, considering you were educated by (or at least claim allegiance to) a University that gave us such idiocy as making a collie the “Cadet General,” the “jizz jar,” and Johnny Fucking Manziel, your outlook on anything Texas-related is a tad biased.

        -Neil

        • Can you write in anything BUT hyperbole? This reads more like parody. Flag burning was against the law all over the country for over a hundred years—so Texas was the state that saw it reversed—so what? The same with the sodomy laws. Texas was later than most in holding on to them…again, so what? That’s just hindsight bias and cherry picking. Texas’s contribution to the good of the US is as extensive and pride-worthy as any.

          There is NOTHING wrong with American exceptionalism, since the US has been, in fact, exceptional. High standards mean high expectations and frequent failure. One of the best things about Texas is that it mirrors core American ideals.

        • “Whoever You Are,

          Maybe you couldn’t read my screen name?

          “Then learn to interpret hyperbole.”

          Learn how to appropriately use hyperbole…because what you stated certainly wasn’t at all interpret-able as hyperbolic.

          “I have roots in this state that go back to it’s founding”

          Irrelevant. Makes you an authority on nothing.

          ” and I’m ashamed of most of of them.”

          Sounds like a personal problem, and not only that, a somewhat illogical stance as well.

          “Texas history represents the worst in imperialism and American exceptionalism.”

          Only to someone who doesn’t think and buys into whatever the Left-wing guilt mongerers tell them to believe.

          ” Not to mention they were on the losing of side of Supreme Court cases involving flag burning (whatever your view on it, it counts as free speech) and sodomy laws (even the most ardent homophobe will usually admit laws like this are ineffective and unfair).”

          Jack handled this thoroughly. Your points prove nothing.

          “Also, considering you were educated by (or at least claim allegiance to) a University that gave us such idiocy as making a collie the “Cadet General,” the “jizz jar,” and Johnny Fucking Manziel, your outlook on anything Texas-related is a tad biased.”

          Non-sequitur combined with well-poisoning.

          “-Neil”

          Ooo, finally something substantive.

          Did you really expend energy saying literally NOTHING?

  2. In honesty, it’s probably best if your friend does avoid Texas. Judging by the post, he would be unable to keep his/her mouth shut long enough to learn something about us; our culture (certainly diverse and colorful), our history (wildly improbable) and who we are as a result. At some point, somebody would take offense at his/her obtuseness and the result would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • Why? I don’t want to embarrass him. I didn’t name him. The sentiment deserves discussing. How do we discuss it without quoting him? I could change the quote, or use a fake name while saying it isn’t a fake name, but then I’d be lying. Facebook is a semi-public space—there’s no privacy issue. I wrote a short version of this on his page. I don’t need permission to quote someone’s Facebook post without attribution. When I’ve needed to use a name, I ask permission. People take whole posts of mine, with my name, and put them on Facebook pages of people I don’t know without asking permission, because it’s implied. When I was getting flamed on FB and off it for writing that Woolly Mammoth was pandering to racial divisions to sell tickets, nobody alerted me to where that was going on, and while I would have appreciated it, they had no obligation. I quote Facebook comments and post all the time. I don’t see the problem. He got the nice version of my opinion, because he’s a friend, but i told him the truth.

      If he finds the post, fine. I’d also tell him that his comment was bigotry to his face. I’m hoping my gentle FB comment was sufficient.

      • “People take whole posts of mine, with my name, and put them on Facebook pages of people I don’t know without asking permission, because it’s implied. ”

        So basically your saying that because everyone else is doing it, its ok for you to do it.

          • But you didn’t share it on FB, where it could be seen and commented on him and others who saw the original post. That I wouldn’t have had a problem with , even though I think your position is wrong.

            • 1. I didn’t share it on Facebook. I commented on his post, and nicely too.
              2. You think declaring a whole state as too dangerous to step foot in and full of rednecks with guns ISN’T bigotry? I don’t believe that for a second.

              • And I really don’t get your complaint. What goes on Faceboook stays on Facebook? Who made that rule? The opposite is true: public figures use Facebook for manifestos, then it becomes national news. The writer I referred to has over a thousand “friends”—if that isn’t a public statement, what is? I used his sentiments and words—would you have preferred that I paraphrase? Use his name? Really?

                • No I would want you not to take something that he posted on Facebook for his friends to see and comment on and use it someplace else without his permission or knowledge. You do it when you find posts other places on the web why not with his?

                  • Again, its called sharing. Anyone who argues that text and photos put on Facebook can’t be shared, quoted or other wise used without permission doesn’t understand social media. It isn’t copyrighted, and the content was used to make a different thing entirely. It is no different that quoting from a conversation conversation and saying “I have a friend who thinks Donald Trump is God.” That’s not violating confidence, that’s nothing. I didn’t connect that statement to the speaker. THAT I would ask permission for, and do.

                    I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

  3. Well, it is the arrogance of the coasts, most likely. A student of mine was rejected without even an interview (despite having the highest MCAT score) from a med school on the west coast. He did research there one summer and they told him that they didn’t feel that anyone from the interior of the country was really good enough for their school, no matter what their grades and test scores said. I told him to forget about that school because they seemed arrogant well beyond what their reputation, but he was convinced he could be admitted. Apparently, a 100th percentile (don’t get me started on MCAT scoring) wasn’t good enough for an interview there if you aren’t from either coast.

  4. The “Men in Women’s Bathroom” ordinance, as that loathsome Lt. Governor Dan Patrick called it, was doomed to fail at the outset. Mayor Annise Parker, Houston’s openly gay mayor and the ordinance’s key proponent, knew that. That is why she and her administration tried every political tool they had at their disposal to keep it off the ballot. The first ordinance, voted on by city council and adopted, was thrown our of court because the court ruled it belonged on a ballot for the citizens to consider. She knew that, if put to a vote, it wouldn’t pass. She wrote the first ballot initiative in such a confusing way to ensure it would pass. The Texas Supreme Court had to tell her to rewrite it, in a very strongly worded rebuke. She rejected petition signatures, which were accepted by the City Administrator, more than enough for any other ballot initiative/referendum to be put on a ballot, and had to be told by a federal court that she had to accept them. She subpoenaed sermons of churches who opposed it? Those things are not shameful? Those things don’t offend your friend? They should.

    As for the knuckle dragging ‘redneck vote’, I submit that the Black vote killed it. The Black churches, and the politically powerful Black preachers, were against it. Without their support, the ordinance had no chance. Why aren’t they ridiculed? Where is the shame heaped on them? I found it interesting that the crack team of ‘ad hoc pro bono lawyers’ she employed to represent the city in the federal court litigation (the very same large firms she used to draft bond referenda and represent the City on other matters) didn’t subpoena or approach any of the Black churches or their ministers for their sermons and other political activities. She only subpoenaed the sermons of the Latino churches, evangelical churches, mega-churches, and Southern Baptists. Why would that be? Could it be that the Black churches have been a staunch component of the Democrat Party that they didn’t want to ruffle their feathers?

    jvb

  5. “Don’t stereotype and pigeon- me because I’m gay; I’m more than my gay-ness, and we’re not all the same”, but does the same to an entire state, no doubt with many thousands of gay people in it.

    • Yup.
      For the record, Texas is one of my favorite states, and arguably the most American of them all, a true microcosm, for better or worse.

      It also isn’t among the top 20 states with the highest rate of gun deaths. In fact, it is right at the national average, but facts never get in the way of stereotypes.

        • Austin is still “an island of blue in a sea of red.” But not for long – global Democrating will eventually melt the red “icecap” and usher in the eternal inundation of the state in blue seas. Wait a minute…I got my liquids and solids mixed-up there…the global Democrating will dry-up the red sea and leave Texas high (with pot legalized) and dry as a permanently blue desert. Everyone will think alike and act alike, and any dissidents will receive court orders to self-gag and perform community service for life.

  6. I can’t believe this guy’s abysmal ignorance. I have visited Texas a few times (Houston and Dallas) and those cities are very cosmopolitan and I’m sure there are about as many hate crimes committed against gays there as in LA. Yes, there are probably a few rednecks around who fit the stereotype of “Easy Rider”. But to smear a whole state, come on! Incidentally, I don’t think most of us become bigots as we age. Some of us actually become smarter.

  7. By all accounts, I should like Texas. I was born there, have family there, and have visited there. It’s nice for a visit, but I don’t want to live there. If I weren’t so in love with Denver, I think I’d be fine with OKC as a 2nd choice. Of course, I’d love to be able to find a work life balance in a very small town in MN or WI – but that’s pretty much a pipe dream.

    • Texas has no natural advantages, and manages to be prosperous with friendly people and actual opportunity and jobs and stuff. So pretty much the reverse of California. It’s not fair, really.

  8. Speaking sincerely as a native-born and current resident of Texas: Whatever makes your friend happy and does no harm to himself or others, I hope he remains free to do.

    (Oh crap! I just commented while thinking about a part of Thomas Jefferson’s writings in the Declaration of Independence. Your friend might be offended, harmed irreparably, if he finds out that I was thinking like that while thinking about him. I’d apologize, but…)

    He clearly hates, or fears, or both. That’s OK. It really is. His reasoning for his hates and fears, and his object(s) of his hates and fears, are entirely his business to keep to himself if he chooses. Of course, on the other hand, if he does not keep such to himself, he has no right to expect no one to challenge his reasoning. His stated dedication to avoidance of Texas and the “Deep South” looks most suspiciously like an admission that he wishes to minimize potential to have his reasoning and prejudices challenged. Such is one of the self-destructive ways of a bigot.

    If he doesn’t even want to change planes in an airport in Texas, then for consistency’s sake, he ought to support me when I don a gas mask and breathe from an oxygen tank anytime I find I have no choice but to change planes in Colorado. I fear fatal health impacts if I don’t do the mask-and-tank thing. I don’t want to take any chance of inhaling secondhand marijuana fumes; my risks of doing so are too high where pot is legal.

    Of course, there would be “justice and peace,” if only Colorado would ban marijuana fumes, out of respect for my status of equality with all others, instead of forcing me to take such health risks. Maybe I should sue Colorado for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, despite how freedom to smoke marijuana might reflect, in any way, intent to comply with that law…

    Similarly, your friend might wish to sue Texas for the imposition of “open-carry” laws, on a similar risk-avoidance basis, and despite the “gun-free zone” designation of airports.

    Your friend has become the control freak that he thinks the hated and feared territory of Texas already is overpopulated with. He is harming himself more than anyone else, but that truth of course is just a Big Lie (to him) that conflicts with whatever Big Lies he has previously chosen to believe. Sooner or later, one’s belief in Big Lies is avenged.

    • The fear and loathing that the Left holds for the South in general and Texas in particular is almost palpable any time the subject is raised. Little wonder why. If you despise free, traditional America and are determined to eradicate it, you invariably find yourself in direct confrontation with those states. For decades, the Left has done all it can to defame and subvert this region by every means available. Now, they see their worst fears manifesting themselves in the success of Texas by methods that defy the Left’s orthodoxy. This has encouraged other states by example. Therefore, Texas has become the center of their animosity.

  9. You also post his comment out of context. His post was in response to this happening.

    When people are getting attacked, the state has just said its ok to discriminate against you, they have consistently elected officials who not only want to deny your rights as a human being but also think you are abnormal, who can blame him for not wanting to visit. That’s not bigotry that’s common sense.

    http://www.newnownext.com/two-more-gay-men-attacked-at-gunpoint-in-dallas-marking-11-violent-assaults-in-two-months/11/2015/

    • Jeez, Bill, do I need to count the leaps in all that? Houston just voted not to add a non-discrimination law, making it as it has been, like most of the nation. Saying that gay status isn’t constitutionally protected doesn’t mean crimes against gays still aren’t illegal. The attacks in a gay community doesn’t prove they are anti-gay, and one section of the Dallas burbs isn’t Texas. Anyone could pull identical stats, but more of them, to say “I’m never visiting DC.”

      And the redneck comment is per se bigotry. as you know.

      • Houston just voted not to add a non-discrimination law

        No, they voted to repeal all existing ones. The non-discrimination law had been in effect for a year. 11 cases were brought under it in that time, 5 on the grounds of race, 5 on the grounds of sexual orientation, 1 on the grounds of gender identity.

        Houston voters voted 62-38 to repeal it. 10% of voters cast ballots on the issue.

        Texas state law exactly mirrors US Federal discrimination law, it goes no further, unlike most of the USA – almost all of it, including every other major city in Texas.

        Examples:

        HERO text:
        “It is the policy of the city that all of its residents and persons subject to its jurisdiction shall not be subject to discrimination based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status,religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or pregnancy. “

        Ft Worth Text:
        “Sec. 17-48. Unlawful acts.
        (a) It shall be unlawful for any person or any employee or agent thereof:
        (1) To discriminate against, withhold from or deny any person, because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, transgender, gender identity or gender expression any of the advantages, facilities or services offered to the general public by a place of public accommodation;

        Austin Text:
        “A person, including the owner, operator, or lessee of a public accommodation may not directly or indirectly exclude, segregate, limit, refuse or deny a person the accommodations, advantages, facilities, benefits, privileges, services, or goods of the public accommodation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age, or disability. “

        El Paso Text:
        “It is unlawful for any person, firm, association or corporation, or any agent, servant or employee thereof within the city, to refuse, deny or withhold from any person, for any reason directly or indirectly relating to the race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic background or national origin of such person, any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or services offered to the general public by place of public accommodation. “

        Regarding Houston law on restrooms,
        It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally enter any public restroom designated for the exclusive use of the sex opposite to such person’s sex without the permission of the owner, tenant, manager, lessee or other person in charge of the premises, in a manner calculated to cause a disturbance.
        (Code 1968, 28-42.6; Ord. No. 72-904, 2, 6-2-72)

        This remains unchanged. HERO had no effect on that. It is just as legal now, no more, no less, for a man, be he trans, intersex or cis, to enter a female restroom, as it was before the repeal.

        The only difference is that such permission for anyone – man or woman – to use any restroom, drinking fountain etc can now be refused on the grounds of that individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status,religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or pregnancy.

        • Too complicated for the average voter. Which is why the slime campaign against HERO was successful. Here’s the Times editorial about the vote. Three points:

          1. The last line: In time, the bigots are destined to lose. I agree put if LGBT advocates act and sound like bigots, as my FF did, it’s going to take a lot longer. Because people like me tend to lose sympathy for bigots no matter what side they are on.

          2. The Times cited the Illinois case I wrote about yesterday in a misleading fashion, leading with restrooms when the big issue was showers and reasonable accommodations. I resent that, too. Activists who can’t prevail being clear and candid don’t deserve to.

          3. The Times said the Department of Education backed a transgender student in Illinois who is fighting for the right to use restrooms and locker rooms on campus like any other female student. She is not transgender; she identifies as female. In all other respects, she is still male. It is ridiculous to say a male body with a fully functioning penis is “Like” any other female.

          So the Times is using the same kind of misinformation campaign as the Houston opponents it is deriding.

          Nice.

          • The lead paragraph from the Times’ editorial is even more offensive than the rest of the screed: “Sometime in the near future, a transgender teenager in Texas will attempt suicide — and maybe succeed — because vilifying people for their gender identity remains politically acceptable in America.” The Times board ridicules Lt. Gov. Patrick (deservedly so because he is loathsome for a whole host of other reasons), Jared Woodfill, Gov. Abbott for their opposition, declaring that they will be remembered as Jim Crow elders. Where is the criticism of the Black churches? They led the opposition. They organized from their pulpits. They marched and held signature drives. Why doesn’t the Times point that out? What about the bully, overbearing tactics used by the Parker Administration? Those tactics were beyond the pale, thoroughly rebuked by the Texas Supreme Court and a federal district court. Where is the Times’ outrage about that? Why are opponents to this ordinance demonized? Why are their motives attributed to hate? Is that the position for the Left now? Divide and conquer? If you don’t support the Left, you are not only wrong but hatefilled and evil? Here is the title of the editorial: “In Houston, Hate Trumped Fairness”. Shameful. Unforgivable.

            We are in trouble in the this nation.

            jvb

        • While there are some protections for most of the HERO categories under Federal law, they’re far more limited than most realise. Any business employing fewer than 15 employees may put up a sign saying “No Irish Need Apply” for example – and enforce it. (Oddly, they can’t do the same for Puerto Ricans, as that may be interpreted as discrimination on the basis of race, not national origin).

          While the EEOC has ruled that the Title VII provisions on discrimination based on “sex” also cover “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”, several judges have ignored that ruling.

          It’s a mess. Without explicit state, city or county laws, the tangle of contradictory Federal legislation is a legal nightmare, and Congress has steadfastly refused to remedy that.

          From 5/28/14 to 9/2/15 the City of Houston received 135 complaints from employees complaining about discrimination at the workplace. They are covered by city rules not the HERO ordinance. Proponents of HERO got that list through a TPIA request. While not a perfect comparison – this is how those complaints break down:
          56 percent of the discrimination complaints based on Racial discrimination
          17 percent based on Gender
          13 percent on Familial Status
          5 percent on Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
          The rest are based on age, veteran status, national origin and disability.

          http://abc13.com/politics/whos-benefiting-most-from-the-hero-ordinance/1012266/

      • Leaps?

        Jack , on good day you leap through more hopes to justify your opinions then a Jack Russell wearing a tutu in a Russian Circus.

        • I’m always full of hope.
          By the way, that may be the first sighting of the “I know you are but what am I?” chant here.

          Of course you know that when you allege leaps, you have to actually prove them with an argument. Just saying they are there is like claiming you see Big Foot.

      • 30 Trans people – mostly TWOC – Trans Women Of Color – have been butchered in the USA so far this year, just for being Trans. Quite a few more were killed, but it can’t be shown definitely that their gender identity was causal.

        The “official figures” for transsexuality are that only 1 in 30,000 women and 1 in 100,000 men are Trans. If those murder rates for TWOC s were carried over into the general population, We’d be looking at millions of homicides. Even not accounting for color, at well over a million murders per year, rather than 17,000.

        It’s actually not that bad – the “official figures” understate the numbers of trans people by a factor of 10. So you’d be looking at more like 400.000, not multiple millions every year. 17 times the rate of the general population, as near as we can make out, plus another 1 for causes nothing to do with Trans status. More for blacks and latinas though.

        The increase in the USA every year may just be due to more accurate reporting, rather than a worsening of the situation.

        • The “official figures” for transsexuality are that only 1 in 30,000 women and 1 in 100,000 men are Trans.

          Ding ding ding *clang* Deliberately misleading to the point of being an outright lie. You just equated transsexualism with trans when you know full well that most trans people are not transsexuals.

          Quit using unrelated people as shields and just admit you’re fighting for penis in the women’s showers since it would have been easy to carve out an exception for places of inevitable nudity.

          • I know too many women with CAH – some of whom have given birth – to say they can’t be permitted to use female showers, which is what you propose.

            Not everyone is like you.

            As for carving out exceptions – it’s anything but easy. Too many different syndromes, too many physical variations, and zero goodwill and 100% ignorance on the part of legislators.

            • Red herring Zoe. Shame shame. Intersex people aren’t your shield anymore more than transsexuals are. Address you lie. You equated trans people with transsexuals knowing that the majority of trans people are not transsexual. You talk about microscopic percentages of the population when your activism serves to benefit people with dicks at the expense of those with vaginas.

              Say you think it’s perfectly acceptable to turn around in a shower room and see someone with a penis standing there. Say it shouldn’t matter as long as the other person doesn’t touch them. Say you think penis is just as female as any other organ. Hell, your favorite subject, say there’s nothing wrong with casual cross-dressers hanging out in women’s bathrooms.

              If you want employment non-discrimination, the ability to travel without hassle, better medical treatment, better mental-healthcare, insurance covering sex reassignment, insurance covering cross-sex hormones, violence prevention, rape prevention, programs for homeless trans youth, a harassment free environment, ease of changing names, ease of changing sex markers on documents for post-ops, better treatment by the legal system, better training of police and medical professions for dealing with trans people.. I will be with you. I’m a person who should be on your side.

              Except your side in the past ten years has devolved into bunch of MRAs who for their own gratification want to roll back every gain that’s ever been made for the privacy and safety of women, and your whole argument boils down to it’s just fine to have penis in the women’s showers because penis people have feelings. You see, employment discrimination isn’t a big deal to the Caitlyn Jenner set, settled into a safe career or already past it, older, affluent.

              Well it isn’t fine, and I don’t understand how someone can think otherwise and still claim they have any idea what it’s like to actually be a woman.

            • Not everyone is like you.

              No but if w were to survey only people who don’t have penises, heck, only post-op MTF transsexuals, more would agree with me than you. I’m on their side, so who’s side are you on?

              I know there is good in you, the Sandeen hasn’t driven it form you fully. That is why you couldn’t destroy me. That is why you won’t bring me to your Sandeen now. I feel the conflict within you, let go of your hate for females.

              • Okay, could you lay out the lexicon for those of us without a dog in this fight? I was able to track down Sandeen as a person (not The Force or whatever, but I’d be interested in what that is, too), but nothing beyond that.

                • In this case Sandeen would be Palpitine corrupting Zoe and turning her away from everything she once believed. Going from support of transsexuals to an advocate for crossdressers who want to perv the ladies showers.

                  Ask yourself, every time she mentions trans kids or some exceedingly rare intersex condition, who really benefits? People who’ve had surgery aren’t a worry, people who want surgery don’t want anyone to to know what’s there, they won’t be in the open showers, so who’s left?

                  The Force is what gives am activist her power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the social justice together.

                  It is an odd turn. Usually I cast myself as Elphaba not Luke.

        • Extrapolations on that scale are very problematic, for reasons almost too numerous to list. I’m not saying that it would or wouldn’t be that way, but that they would be difficult assertions to support either way.

    • The Bill,

      With all due respect, that is a really, really dumb comment. The HERO ordinance failed because of the overbearing tactics used by its promoters and supporters. The rejection of the HERO ordinance absolutely does not mean that it is open season on members of the classes supposedly protected that the ordinance. State and federal laws already prohibit discrimination against protected classes. The HERO ordinance not add anything to that classification. The HERO ordinance did not make it a crime to discriminate against protected classes.

      This the ordinance: houstontx.gov/equal_rights_ordinance.pdf. Read it.

      The HERO ordinance made it a discriminatory practice to deny public and private accommodations (yes, restrooms, housing, apartments, offices, buildings, restaurants, gym/spas, public and private libraries, buses, cab rides, and a whole host of other things) to members purportedly protected by that ordinance. Those prohibitions already exist under state and federal law. HERO was redundant and unnecessary, promoted by a mayor with an openly pro-gay agenda, who waited until the end of her last term to force this ordinance on the city.

      Houstonians reviewed the proposal and rejected it. That is democracy. Like or not. Moreover, many people were horrified by the guerrilla tactics used by supporters of the ordinance to cast evil intentions on those opposing it. Opponents have been called bigots, LGBT haters, homophobes, rightwing nutjobs, religious zealots, among other things. HERO supporters openly declared that opponents were evil, condoning violence against members of the LGBT community. Furthermore, the mayor did not want this ordinance put to a vote. She knew it would lose, pulling out every legal maneuver to prevent the initiative from being on the ballot. State appellate courts, as well as the Texas Supreme Court, rejected her actions. A federal district court entered an injunction ordering her administration to accept the petition to put on the ballot, only for her administration to write the initiative is such as confusing, convoluted way that the Texas Supreme Court ordered her to write it coherently.

      She and her administration openly used the power of the government to stifle speech by subpoenaing the sermons of Latino, evangelical, and protestant ministers and churches whose congregants were organizing opposition to the proposal. That is offensive and should not be tolerated, either by the Left or the Right. That is jumping full force into totalitarianism and it should be roundly rejected. Sadly, though, it has not been. In fact, it has been openly embraced by many people of good will to denigrate Houston and Texas as somehow being knuckle-dragging morons.

      If this issue were so crucial to the city and the mayor’s legacy, why did she wait to the last year of her term to do this? She waited because she knew that she not pay any political price (win, lose, or draw). SHE, not the opposition (idiotic Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick aside – he is loathsome), made Houston look bad. Most Houstonians don’t care what someone’s sexuality or orientation is. Most figure, “if it makes money, then why not”. She lied on Tuesday night and yesterday, claiming that NFL is reconsidering its commitment to hold the Super Bowl in Houston is 2017. The NFL has categorically denied any such action.

      And, by the way, those two gay men allegedly assaulted by a homophobe live in Dallas, which is 800 miles to the north of Houston and had absolutely nothing to do with the HERO ordinance. Both of those attacks happened over the weekend.

      jvb

  10. All of the above comments aside, your gay Facebook friend is only demonstrating the very prejudice and bias he rails against: I have friends and relatives in Texas, and their attitudes toward gays is as broadly-based as it is around the rest of the country. Should we then decide never to go to a college campus anywhere because some nut will shoot (or today, stab) us down? Should we never visit Colorado because of their new marijuana laws and our firm belief that legalizing even more drugs is a terrible downward turn culturally? Should I be afraid to drive my BMW down the Skyline Drive (VA) because of the native prejudice against perceived “rich” people? (Well, this last is perhaps a bad example…) Where does all this stop? A single state cannot be pegged as pro- or con- anything. Get realistic, here…

    I have always rejected the concept of “hate crimes” because all crimes are hate crimes — against specific individuals, against the people of this nation and against the Constitution. To set aside crimes against minorities (or anyone perceived as “different” from the majority) as especially bad, to give these crimes special attention that non-minorities do not “enjoy,” is yet another PC abomination. If a maniac decides to kill off a bunch of middle-school students, is he/she any worse than the one that kills his spouse because a divorce would be too expensive? I don’t think so. Both or either are premeditated crimes, though for different reasons. I think the concept of motive/opportunity/evidence applies all round.

    Or, we can decide (as I did, when I was 13 years old) that anyone who commits murder of any kind has to be psychotic. And if you take that for fact, then no one should be punished for murder, only institutionalized for their mental illness. And if this is so, what about the thief, burglar, embezzler? Are they, ipso faco, also mentally ill?

    One should take a look at the map and the targets of recent mass shootings (and again, today, stabbings). How does geography fit in?

    I have to say that I am just waiting for knives to be banished from public places, and be regulated, because of a recent crime. We’re all going to have register our kitchen knives, and outside of the home be relegated to the use of ‘sporks.’ That is, until someone is killed by a spork.

    • Elizabeth, I may ruin your whole day, here, but my belt folding knife, an Uncle Henry, by Schrade, with a 4 inch blade, was once banned from a strip club in Killeen, Texas because it was a weapon, and they served alcohol. I have no idea why I had it on my belt, but it was checked, with a receipt, and given back when I left.

  11. I went along with Neil’s (go on, Granny, get out your bib) original post, “Texas as a place is amazing; Texas as a political animal is everything he said” in the spirit of the initial feckless Facebook post which I read, very personally, as a reaction to the usual hypergeneralized slams at California that predominate in these blog comments. This is what happens when twits tweet and people do not meet face-to-face: all of us (even the level-headed, logic-minded Texagg) take advantage of the new, still new, so-called “social” media to kick out once in a while where one feels free to do so.

    I’m sure Friend — and Neil — know as well as I do that the so-called “news” media’s aim for quotability and enragement factors mean that we are set at one another’s throats largely by dint of public pronouncements and mispronouncements by notable (for any reason) figures, rather than being given a chance to recognize and share our similarities. By today’s everything-as-entertainment rule, in fact, the latter would be a dead bore. Hyperbole, like Beau Brummel fashions in Regency Enland, is all the rage. That the exaggeration is frequently gormless and bound to arouse the ire of the reader is either immaterial (hey look, I can get revenge – for something – here, what fun!) or intended (haha! they can’t see me!) makes no difference. What Friend had to say would be ignored by most; it just happened to land in ethics world. And ethics world is where unacceptable comments like that are taken to task.

    All well and good. It deserved to be dissected and the writer Friend castigated. (Though I wouldn’t qualify it for “hate speech” — I’m pretty angry at airport security myself)

    I was shocked to the core when, nearly fifty years ago, a close friend whom I had never thought of as an Alabaman though I knew he came from there, rounded on me for using the term “cracker.” (“Besides,” he added, after comparing it to other insults more familiar to a New Yorker, “it only applies to folks from Georgia.”) What I learned about Alabama that day, same and non-same, I have applied liberally, if one may use the word niggardly, to view the variations elsewhere. And to learn the derogatory terms and refrain from using them when possible, barring, say, “flat-lander” to yell at Oklahoma drivers holding up traffic on 10,000-foot Colorado passes. (Not that I can defend Colorado here with impunity: it is now demonized with pot fumes!) Some generalizations stick, even knowing an excellent mountain driver from Tulsa. Everyone has them.

    It is said (at least friends — that’s lower-case real friends — who share homes in both places say) that Austin has as many liberal, progressive, “out there” odd-balls as San Francisco does; and that majorities of Orange County California and Brazoria County Texas folks can match each other for all-out, do-or-die right-wingers. Berkeley has a significant conservative Republican votership, and the most diverse multi-cultural population in the country is Jackson Heights, New York with a violent crime demographic 97% below the national average.

    So … I cut some slack for feelings. Friend’s are heavy ones, he’s probably not going to let go of them any time soon (though Jack’s blog might help) because they come from poisonous barbs thrown in his direction; Neil’s are closer to home, perhaps, and that’s how Texas is portrayed in the everyday media bombardment: there is a truth in there, like it or not. And mine are sympathetic because in order to participate in Ethics Alarms, I have to do things like swallow “hippie” as some kind of nasty symbol for a whole population that is (nearly) nothing of the kind, and re-define “progressive” as a dirty word. For once, I kick against the pricks.

    We now return your station to the control of its local broadcaster.

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