Sunday, April 29, 2018

Against Eternal Damnation And For Redemption: I Support Joy Reid

First,  if Joy Reid did post the things being called "homophobic" when she was a blogger in the heady days of the aughts and regrets it now, I have no problem with that.  I believe in redemption and the forgiveness of sins and even people learning their way out of anti-gay attitudes.   If that were not possible and real and important and dispositive no progress would be possible.  The possibility of people changing for the better is an essential thing for the validity of egalitarian democracy and the basis of trying to change things for the better. 

Second, it doesn't surprise me that anyone would have said the things she did at the time.   That kind of trash talk was practically required, speculating about whether or not people who took anti-LGBT positions were, themselves, gay, especially among people in politics and celebrities was common as dirt then.  A lot of it were things I didn't like, I've never cared for people using the language of discrimination even in the lamebrained attempt to hijack it and make it neutral.  But lots of people did and do.  The part of the population pushing for equality is way too small as it is, to exclude people merely on that basis would be ridiculous and counter-productive. 

Third,  I also have no problem with anyone outting any LGBT person who takes anti-gay positions or engages in anti-LGBT acts.   Speculating about John Roberts son may or may not fall into that - I don't know enough about him to know, but I certainly remember all kinds of rumors about John Roberts being thrown all over the place.  The fact is that there have been many Republican and conservative, anti-LGBT politicians and figures who were gay, some of them notably quite actively so, while voting for discrimination.  

Fourth, some of the things she said were not homophobic in themselves, noting that a majority of heterosexual people were, perhaps still are made uneasy by seeing two men kiss would be simply the truth.  That's one of the reasons that when it was done the first, second, third . . . times on network TV, when the first ads featuring gay couples appeared, it was big news and considered risky or brave.  It was praised in gay media because it was taking a risk.  

And Fifth, considering what white men have gotten away with attacking Black People, Latinos, Women, and, yes, LGBT people without having it destroy their careers, some of those people making a career of little more than that or having it be a major focus of their career,  what Joy Reid is accused of is next to nothing.   Considering what men have gotten away with and the backlash against the Me-too phenomenon that's being mounted, this is hardly equal treatment.  

This gay man and equality absolutist will continue to listen to Joy Reid and note what she says because she is one of the best advocates for equality in the media today.  No matter what she might have said in the past, it's what she's doing now that counts.   I don't think it would be at all fair to hold her to a standard others never or seldom are held to and as far as her work on TV goes, that's what she should be judged on.  I think if she felt those things in her heart, it would have come out in the spontaneous, unscripted shows she has done and I don't believe anything like that has come out.  I have never heard her oppose equality.  

As to the possibility of some of what she's accused of being the result of hacking, I don't know what to make of that.  I can say that as someone who has written several thousand pieces for various blogs,   I go back over the several blogs I've posted to and often find things I'd forgotten about.  A few I don't remember having written at all AND I DON'T ALWAYS AGREE NOW WITH WHAT I WROTE THEN.  Maybe she doesn't remember, maybe something is a result of hacking.  I don't know.  But I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. 

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