Friday, June 15, 2007


For The Win

Like Shakes, I'm usually cool with Matt Taibbi, but his latest piece leaves me just a little ticked off. It's not just the fact that he's engaging in the same rhetoric as nearly every gay guy who flinches at a gay pride parade, claiming that the "freaks" need to pushed to the back and the "real people" need to be brought to the forefront. While I agree the media loves to make little categories, stuffing a ball gag in Al Sharpton's mouth, as amusing as the thought may be, is not going to keep the media from bringing him on as one of all of two black liberal representatives.

But I've gotta say, it's this bit, right near the end, that really drives me up a wall:

In a few years it will be half a century since the 1960s began. The Baby-Boomer generation that shaped modern liberalism will soon be moving on to the nursing home, many of its battles – for civil, gay, immigrant and women’s rights, for workplace protections, and against the Vietnam war and Richard Nixon – already won.

You know, I just love it when some straight white guy tells me that all the battles black people, women, and gays have ever had to fight are as good as won. After all, it's not like the past few years have seen a nasty reminder of the racist undercurrent in America, the Supreme Court ruling against operations that could save a woman's life and equal pay for the sexes, and a state-by-state effort to write hidebound laws that prevent gay couples from receiving the same rights as straight couples. Apparently, we've done all we can, folks! Let's pack up and let the Serious Common People (none of whom are black, or gay, or women) do their jobs.

Equality is not some fucking trophy. It's not something you win that you can put up on some shelf to mark the occasion throughout the years. It's something that, once won, you fight for with all your life. Because somewhere out there, there are people who don't agree with the general public. And given enough time, and enough attention, there's a chance they might win over the general public. And pretty soon, that nice shiny trophy is gone, and you're back where you started.

Matt Taibbi wants to see a more serious version of liberalism. I suggest he lighten up a little, and perhaps take some lessons from the music of Phil Ochs.

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