Unalienable Rights

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
    -- Declaration of Independence
    Reactionaries abhor change. When minority groups demand the rights guaranteed by the Creator or simply as being human, reactionaries push back. Reactionaries stand athwart history yelling "Stop". For reactionaries things are the way they are because that is the way things were supposed to be. When change occurs, reactionaries demonize the people seeking change. Minorities are criminals or terrorists. Women are emasculating or FemiNazis. Gays are depraved individuals who will rape children and destroy the institution of marriage.
    There is no way to appease the reactionary. The attacks on marginalized groups will continue. Attempts to change behavior of marginalized groups is a wasted effort. The reactionaries hate that the marginalized groups are demanding rights. Reactionaries care little if the people making demands are in suit and tie or have low hanging pants. To the reactionary, those making demands are all the same. The men are thugs and the women are harlots.
    Appeasement accomplishes nothing. Blacks cannot get white enough to appease the reactionary. There will always be a flaw in the black or Latino demanding rights. Gays will always be an abomination.Women will always have to know their place.
    We we have unalienable rights. People who perform and listen to hip hop have unalienable rights. People who consider Robin Thicke a great artist have unalienable rights. People who love people of the same sex have unalienable rights. Women have unalienable rights.
    People do not have to pull their pants up, stop listening to hip-hip, love people of the same sex, or be more submissive to have unalienable rights. Reactionaries will punch you in the mouth if you are a member of a marginalized group. They will punch Harvard educated blacks and Latinos in the mouth. They will punch poor blacks and Latinos in the mouth. They will punch black people who listen to Jackie McLean and they will punch people who listen to Kendrick Lemar.
    Respectability politics will not save you. You fight for the rights of the drug user killed in the back of a police van in Baltimore. You fight for the rights of the Gospel drummer killed by an uncover police officer in an unmarked van in the middle of the night. You fight for people because when you don't you personally run the risk of being targeted. Just ask former tennis star James Blake.
    We do not have to make concessions to gain inalienable rights. Those rights are our birthright. Anyone who sets conditions on those rights is in error.


    Great piece.  I'm with you.  Human rights are yours from birth.  We should not interfere with one another's desires without cause.  We should all follow our bliss.

    We're mostly all a little reactionary too, though.  We're born, we learn slowly and continuously, adaptation is hard and change involves risk.  We can only help people along if we can convince them we're headed towards a better place.

    Thanks, I just needed to get that off my chest. 

    Some of us suggest that blacks should change their speech, clothing styles, or taste in music to expect to receive justice. Black Lives Matter is not well-behaved, so it is easy for reactionaries to demonize them. The basic problem here is that we are looking for ideal victims and pristine activist organizations. We forget that the Martin Luther King Jr we idolize today was demonized as a Communist. King was not perfect, he was an adulterer. If we wait for perfection in our warriors, we will fail. We cannot expect perfection in people victimized by police. We cannot expect perfection in activists.

    While we wait for perfection, we overlook the obvious. We try to find only the cream of the crop of victims of olive abuse, we give the police the right to abuse the best of us. While we give behavior instructions to activist organizations, we ignore the attack that we are under.Many  look at hate speech on the radio or listen to the rankings off right wing Sheriffs. There is a worry that they will enrage the wingnut masses. If only we were so lucky that the attack would come in the future. The attack is now. 

    The wingnut masses are not getting revved up by hate radio and local Sheriffs. They are being juiced by the modern Republican Party and Republican politicians. Donald Trump has openly demonized Latinos. The GOP makes a habit of disrespecting blacks. I noted in a comment in another blog that Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, and Mike Huckabee appeared at a conference sponsored by an anti-Gay pastor who believes that Gays should be put to death.

    While some worry about the respectability of the black community or the rude behavior of Black Lives Matter, the GOP has already become hard-lined reactionaries. The media is not going to press Cruz, Jindal, or Huckabee over their connection to a hate monger minister with anything close to the intensity that Obama faced with Reverend Wright, Hillary faces on Benghazi, or Sanders has to face in repeatedly explains the term Social Democrat because the media is too stupid to explain the term to viewers.

    We have those in charge of the venomous Republican snake demonizing minorities, Gays, and women. Worrying about hate radio is a distraction. Trump does not need hate radio to attack minorities, he is expressing his heart. Ben Carson is willing to demonize blacks who do not agree with his cult religion. Cruz and Rubio are willing to demonize Latinos who came to the US for economic opportunities. Carla Fiorina is willing to demonize women who want control over their bodies. Hate radio is not the problem. Wingnut Sheriffs are not the problem. The Republican Party is the problem

    If we are waiting for those at the forefront of the battle to be "respectable", we will be standing still. Martin Luther King Jr. was not respectable. We have been seriously dumbed down if we expect Liberal activists to be considered respectable. We need to focus on the clear and present danger represented by the Republican Party.

    Please, MLK was respectable, Rosa Parks we respectable, Thurgood Marshall was respectable, Ralph Abernathy was respectable, etc. Not everyone has to be as respectable as this, but in high profile cases and public opinion, it helps to have some figures beyond reproach. Yes, some can infer flaws in whomever, but these were gold standard. Then you have secondary figures who help move the ball forward - these will be from all walks, but you don't need to scrape the bottom just to prove every right is sacred. I understand good cop/bad cop, but let's hope there's really a good cop to make progress for the fear and negative feelings the bad cops cause. Right now black protests have people resigning - that's power but not progress in and of itself. Making candidates name names of blacks who suffered may be useful or may just be lording a bit of power over someone just to show they can. If changes in acceptance and tolerance and less calling people Nigger and other needs happen, all is good. But do we see steps? Power also creates petty tyrants - Winnie Mandela and countless others - so good to keep real goals obvious and out front to keep eyes on the prize, whatever the prizes you deem worthwhile. I don't think the protesters with megafones were a very good representation, but my opinion doesn't matter much - still, what are the useful outcomes to be had? Is it working? And who are the actors making that work? Is there a repeatable recipe? How will it look in 3 years? How do you want it to look?

    Latest Comments