Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rachel Keeps on Keeping On: Let Me Count the Ways Pat Is Wrong about Race

As a follow-up to my previous posting about Rachel Maddow's refusal to allow Patrick Buchanan to spew racist nonsense unchallenged: yesterday, Maddow summarized the many ways in which Buchanan was flatly wrong with his assertions that white men built America.

Maddow argues brilliantly and persuasively that democratic (and ethical) societies have an obligation to overcome structures of oppression and marginalization, which work against the ability of members of targeted minority groups to pursue their goals and contribute to the rest of society as long as discriminatory barriers impede the self-fulfillment and social contributions of a marginalized community.

Once again, I think it is very important to point out that Maddow refuses to allow Buchanan to disseminate racist disinformation because, from her vantage point as a member of the LGBT community, which experiences social marginalization precisely like that of people of color, she makes the connection between her own oppression and that of African Americans.

And she is not content to permit people like Buchanan to do to people of color what is commonly done to gay and lesbian citizens in the U.S. It is lamentable that some people of color and some members of the LGBT community refuse to admit the points of connection between the oppression both communities experience.

But despite that refusal of some members of both communities to make solidarity with each other, courageous members of both communities are willing to recognize that unjust discrimination against anyone for innate traits such as sexual orientation or race harms all of us, and ought to be combated.