This aggression will not stand, man

I know I said I wasn't going to say much about the Rick Warren inauguration, but really, I can't seem to help myself. After thinking about it some more, MFP and I removed our Obama bumper sticker (not to sound all melodramatic since it was just a magnet, but still...). And we will also no longer be attending any local inauguration festivities, which is too bad because we worked hard to make this happen. But so did our gay and lesbian friends, and quite frankly, they deserve better treatment than this. The passage of Proposition 8 on election day was shameful enough, but for Obama to amplify its exclusionary statement by giving one of its proponents a place on his stage is simply too much. So, we figure that one bad symbolic turn deserves another (or two...or three...we're not sure yet).

Weirdly enough, I have no problem with Obama being friends with Rick Warren. In fact, I think it's a good thing to be friendly with people you disagree with and try to do it myself when I have the patience. But this issue isn't about friendship or even about policy. It's about understanding that intentionally refusing a group of people their basic rights doesn't deserve symbolic validation. It deserves symbolic condemnation. Or, at least, symbolic disregard.

I hate to sound all naive and hopey, but truth be told, I actually had quite a bit of respect for Obama's sense of decency and class before this incident. It's amazing how quickly that respect can evaporate. I still think he'll be a pretty good president. But I'm much less impressed with him as a human being. And even as a politician since the tonedeafness of this act hearkens back to the Donnie McClurkin days. Nonetheless, every time I attempt to justify Obama's decision to overtly legitimize Rick Warren at the expense of the gays and lesbians who worked so hard to elect him, I keep coming back to the same childish conclusion: You just don't treat people this way; it's wrong. Can't seem to get around that.

Nothing New byslag at 10:45 PM

2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here):

WNG said...

First - I love the quote. Now, on to the seriousness...

I have a problem with the Rick Warren pick as well, but I've had a bigger problem with the reaction of some in the LGBT community who seem to be saying that they went out of their way to elect a Black president and now he owes them. He does owe them, and the rest of the country, much better than this - but the tone that I've read/heard is bothering me. (Not yours - just want to make that clear if it wasn't).

What I'm also seeing is the reopening of some not even scabbed over wounds between the LGBT community and the Black community (and yes, I realize there is an overlap there). I was, personally, pretty pissed when people started blaming the Black community for Prop 8 passing because I donated and worked to stop it (and I have the cell phone bills to prove it). The campaign was underfunded from the beginning and mismanaged, we seriously underestimated the opposition until almost the last minute. The Black community is seriously conservative/close minded on this issue and while many of us work to change that it's hard when people make blanket statements that simply aren't true. Sorry - maybe I'm still a little bitter.

All of that said I can understand your disillusionment and share it to a degree. I say to a degree because Obama has never been particularly progressive on this issue and I always felt it was one of the things he was going to need to be pushed on.

I'll still be going to the inauguration and during the invocation I'll be praying that both Obama and Warren come a little closer to Jesus' ideal of loving their fellow man totally.

And I wrote an email to the inauguration planners.

I'd apologize for the length of this comment - but the last time I did that you yelled at me so I'll just go try and find a rug that ties my room together...

slag said...

G: You always know how and win to bring it, which makes you awesome. I completely agree with your sentiment on the post-H8 divisiveness and stone-throwing. That said, there were a lot of LGBTs who stood up against the stone-throwers as well, so I hate to generalize in this situation.

That said, I have a tendency to see this issue as transcending individual jackassery. In my mind, equality is equality, and even the jerks of the world deserve their equal rights. But, in this case, I guarantee that the majority of LGBTs worked harder to elect Obama than Rick Warren did. And consequently, they should be given preference over him. Especially since they were the ones who also just got their rights taken away with his help.

As I said in my comment on Marc Ambinder's blog:
"The way I see it, presidential inaugurations serve a similar function as New Year's Eve celebrations--a time for renewal and for us to put our best foot forward at the beginning of a new journey. That's especially true with this particular inauguration. But Rick Warren is not our best foot. He's the gangrene-plagued foot we should have had cut off years ago. And to see Obama put him forward at this time not only reminds us of our painful recent history (which happened to involve a lot of tissue damage), but it makes us doubt our own future health. Ick."

Weirdly enough, I was among those who underestimated the opposition. It was practically inconceivable to me that the majority of people would vote to amend their constitution to deny people rights. I mean, that's serious. And seriously f'd up.

As always, don't ever hesitate to bring all your comments to the table because they make me think. Besides, the dude abides.

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