The Contradictions Inherent in Confederate Symbols & Prison Sex
Nothing like two controversial subjects to start the day off with eh? First, there’s Rick Perry’s “Confederate Symbols” problem – now newly developing by a press eager to find fault with the man. Lest he get too big for his britches, and Obama lose. What his positions on old history are, I don’t know, and frankly don’t care. It’s what his positions on future actions might be that concern me. Particularly as they regard to me, personally, since the man has spoken about my life, even if he doesn’t know me from Adam, or Steve for that matter.
I saw this article this morning: http://news.yahoo.com/perry-once-defended-confederate-symbols-070535630.html – and this is one the paragraph I took away with me:
He took criticism over the weekend for a rock outside the Texas hunting camp his family once leased that had the name Niggerhead painted on it. Perry’s campaign says the governor’s father painted over the rock to cover the name soon after he began leasing the site in the early 1980s and says the Perry family never controlled, owned or managed the property. But rival Herman Cain, the only black Republican in the race, says the rock symbolizes Perry’s insensitivity to race.
First, one cannot blame Perry Junior because his father rented a place – and then painted over the offending words on the rock. What was the father supposed to do? Blow the rock into gravel and pave the driveway so that the hated painted word could be trampled upon forever? And what did the rock do to deserve such obliteration? The word was painted over – removing it – blotting it out – that sounds an awful lot like Perry’s dad was offended by the word, and removed it; perhaps the question could be “How soon after the rental was the word removed?” The quicker the better, one would think, but suppose the father didn’t even really know about it until later? How quick to question a good deed, and twist it to bad eh?
And what, was not even rental of the land to ever be considered? For it be so sullied by some creep’s word painting that no one should ever set foot on those acres again? And how could either Perry, dad or son, possibly know that the son would wind up as a presidential contender? I think Perry is just a little older than me; so he was in his early to mid 20s in the early 80s. What the implication of the criticism is that the father and son should simply have stayed away from that land, to show “racial sensitivity.” But hell, isn’t painting over the word the sensitive thing to do? Perhaps some other renter would have left the word, thereby continuing the offense.
Second, there’s this paragraph: The NAACP says its initiative against “glorification” of slave-state symbols remains ongoing. “The romanticism around the Old South,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau. “It’s a view of history that ignores how racism became a tool to maintain a system of supremacy and dominance.”
I have read many books on the Civil War, from histories to novels to polemics. Hundreds of them even. And in none of them have I found a “glorification”of slavery or racism. Indeed, it’s almost quite the opposite. It’s a steady flow of consternation over how slavery was the big reason for the war, and that “state’s rights” and “tariffs” were lesser causes. Yes, well, those two lesser causes were of course predicated on the larger cause, slavery.
But this scrubbing of history is not the way to go about it; it’s including the other half of the story that matters. So side by side with some Confederate symbols should be some oh, NAACP symbols, MLK Jr. symbols, Civil Rights Marches symbols, and in Texas, “Juneteenth” symbols. This last one the day when Texas officially freed her slaves – June 19th, (Oh, I forget the year, go look it up.)
How can one do a reenactment of the battles without the flag? How does one look at the history without the flag? And since the period was one of the most wrenching in our history, how can one look at it without reference to the flag? It would be like talking about the Nazis and never showing a swastika or talking about the Soviet Empire and never mentioning the Hammer & Sickle. How far does removal of the symbol go? Are we not even to mention it, or describe it, never mind look at a picture of it? I can’t figure that out. In junior high I painted a ship, a Confederate blockcade runner – yes, with the battle flag – how could one do the subject without it?
Oh, it’s hard to see in this picture, but trust me, it’s there. When black friends see it I say “history.” They say, yep. Then we have a pleasant visit.
But is Perry “insensitive to race”? I doubt it, I sincerely doubt it. I’m fairly certain he’s very sensitive to race and is trying to find a space where the Old South can be talked about, or mentioned, and like his campaign said – “not worry about the 19th Century, but focus on the 21st.” Of course, there is the absurd notion that the Tea Party or someone is trying to bring back lynchings and Jim Crow and even slavery, and it’s made by members of Congress even, which is why now of a sudden this issue is being pursued. They are as out of their mind as Rick Perry is on a subject he’s very insensitive on – namely, gay folks.
Which brings me to this fascinating bit of contradiction:
by this man at this space: Adam Martin | The Atlantic Wire
And while I couldn’t get to the site, for the traffic must be tremendous, such is the prurient interest of that which must not be discussed, and the site overloaded. I’ll go back later; with a very different view in mind about what I might say on the issue. For the moment, who knows what the ex-politician says? Beats me, don’t care.
But it’s what Adam Martin writes that grabs my attention, in a startling way:
As you might imagine, things can get pretty nasty when several hundred guys are confined in a small area without the benefit of female interaction, other than a pair of (arguably) female prison administrators. Outside muscle-building substances, pornography was perhaps the most prized possession on the compound.
And I laugh my tuckus off – why, no, I can’t imagine this at all. I have been confined with several hundred guys in a small space without the benefit of female interaction without anything nasty going on whatsoever. Indeed, these spaces are called “gay bars” – and nothing nasty goes on. Indeed, we almost purposely exclude females from the interaction to make it all the better! Oh, I understand Martin’s viewpoint, for it is from the heterosexual side, and it is inconceivable to heteros that they could be denied female interaction and survive – I suppose. But us? Ah, we do fine, don’t worry. Which is why Perry’s concern about us is unwarranted.
It’s why the constant calls for us to either change our ways and immediately interact with a female or be condemned forever, and harassed and harangued, and castigated and called “evil” and “sick” and “demented” and on and on, through the panoply of posing for “family values” – and even, if guys like Rick Santorum and Bryan Fischer and Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg get their way, have us rounded up and arrested and incarcerated – why – could you imagine several million gay men taken off the streets and become “several hundred guys are confined in a small area without the benefit of female interaction,”?
Why, we would have fun! Look at all those poor heterosexual criminals (gay folks don’t seem to wind up in jail, we’re too sweet,) who resort to: “including a device known as a ‘gunslinger’ that involved a toilet paper roll, some kind of lubricant, and a string.” My my, why, we’d go get the real thing; not some cheap imitation and pornography.
Why, though Sprigg and Perkins would no doubt call this punishment, this confinement of us, we shall call it the weirdest “Club Ted” ever devised by the folly of man. Indeed, so ludicrous are these “arrest the gays” people that they haven’t given a moment’s notice that to spend billions of dollars of heterosexual’s tax dollars to give us a permanent vacation is just brazen stupidity. Not to mention the corollary drop in billions of tax revenues also being brazen stupidity. Meanwhile, Martin would be quite surprised, too, at how unnasty, and rather festive, even, such an agglomeration of gay men would be. And Sprigg perhaps muttering “but they’re still gay; they’re still gay!” like Gallileo defending the the spinning earth.
Now, of course, it’s one thing to be a loon like Sprigg of “export the gays” fame, that is his right. But alas, he talks to guys like Rick Perry, who is “evolving” on the issue of whether to criminalize our smooching again. Somehow, returning to the 19th century is quite pleasant sounding to him regarding gays, while going forward to the 21st must just wrack his nerves. And the NO GAYS! Movement is speaking on the peril I am to the nation and how only my removal from society will be good. Quite crazy, eh?
I mean, who would take care of the 89 year old WWII vet I take care of? Oh, that’s right, the old man is gay – he’d be ripped from his home of 36 years and incarcerated too. For American values! For family! For – what shall we call it? Ah, yes, for the most blatant bunch of stupidity conceivable. At least by anyone truly for American family values. I think I’ll go call my father, see what he thinks.
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