Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Standard Arguments

In the on-going "blog vs. blog" discussion I'm having with Thomas Bushnell, he's done one of the standard things one sees on "liberal" side: replace "homosexual" with "negro". Personally, I think it would have been a lot more apt to replace it with "Latino" or "Mexican"; after all, I live in the middle of the negro/Afro-American/black problem, and my father is from North Carolina. Somehow I have to doubt that New Mexico and California offer quite the same perspective.

Be that as it may, this is an old mode of argument. SO-- d'ya think someone might have formulated an answer by now? Of course they have! But Has anyone ever convinced anyone else? It hardly seems so.

The obvious answer is that race is a very poor analogue for homosexuality. Even leaving aside the important issue of nature vs. behavior, the reality of class structure is utterly different. Washington DC (and for that matter the area as a whole) has a very visible black underclass; but it also has a black upper class. The black underclass is extremely segregated, but then, so are latinos and for that matter poor whites. Do male homosexuals mostly live in a similar underclass? If they do, it's not very visible.

Even running the clock back forty years, it's hard for me to see the parallel-- and I should point out that forty years ago I was in Montessori school. I've never attended a segregated school in my life.

Surely I'm not the first person to make these observations. It bugs me that discussion of these issues all too often takes the form of trading ritual arguments. The similarity of race and sexuality is a corollary, not a lemma, but it seems that we never get to confronting this.

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