Why Are The Gays So Loud? Unsolicited Advice From David Brooks

3 Apr

David BrooksIn the nasty wake of Republican Governor Pence making it legal to discriminate  against the LGBT community (which Presidential wannabes Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have both applauded), we have been admonished by his holiness, White Hetero David Brooks, shining his beacon from atop his throne  at The New York Times.

While I have never been a fan of Brooks, I used to think of him as being at least a quasi rational conservative, albeit one who never quite understands his position of power and privilege as a white heterosexual man in  the United States. Apparently our uniting and proclaiming that we will not be considered second class citizens was enough to cause Brooks to clutch his pearls and grab his smelling salts. Sadly, Brooks’ latest diatribe does not even bother to include transgender people, or bisexual people.

Brooks has missed the civil rights bus at several stops. First, NO,  the law passed in Indiana is not “just like” the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That Federal Law and the 18 state laws actually modelled after it have their own problems — just look at the recent Hobby Lobby decision irrationally referencing RFRA — but are fundamentally different from the Indiana hate legislation. RFRA prohibits government action from interfering with the faith of individuals. Indiana — just like Arkansas, North Carolina, and Georgia if they are foolish and bigoted enough to follow suit — allows individuals to use their personal beliefs as a weapon against other individuals, refusing services and goods. That is absolutely not the same, something a man with Brooks’ education and background ought to clearly understand.

Secondly, my goodness what great privilege you must enjoy, demonstrated by your ability to remain this obtuse:

Instead, the argument seems to be that the federal act’s concrete case-by-case approach is wrong. The opponents seem to be saying there is no valid tension between religious pluralism and equality. Claims of religious liberty are covers for anti-gay bigotry.

While I would never have claimed you as an ally of the LGBT community, I do fear you are working against us, and this editorial certainly commits great trespass, for which I’m fairly certain you will neither reflect upon, nor make any attempts at repair.

Like many of your contemporaries, older, white, heterosexual males, you seem to be driving the train to irrelevance in the 21st century world. This is not what I would want, for I truly believe there is room for us all, however, the onus to get up to speed and become more inclusive is on you, not those of us who are targeted, marginalized, and have disproportionately less power. One should note, the Anti-Violence Project has reported that the homicide rate against the LGBT community is up exponentially in 2015.

Looking at this through a lens of social justice, I would add that people of color who are also LGBT often have even more at risk, thus I have to bring up the issue of race, as race and misogyny are always inextricable from the conversation.

Mr. Brooks, your aimless, thoughtless piece puts the blame on the victims, wondering why we have to push so hard to make ourselves heard. Your own deafness should answer that question for you. As a Jew Mr. Brooks, what happened to tikkun o’lam? Your behavior along with this editorial do nothing to help repair the world.

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22 Responses to “Why Are The Gays So Loud? Unsolicited Advice From David Brooks”

  1. Scott Rose April 3, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    The heterosupremacy delusion is every bit as bad as the master race delusion, which also relies primarily on attempted religious justifications.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 3, 2015 at 7:28 am #

      Yes, Scott, and I would ask that people think about the intersections of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Scott thank you for all you do for social justice! Peace, Michael.

  2. Dr. Rex April 3, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I say ….. “consider the source”!!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 3, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      Dr. Rex, thank you for reblogging this! Sadly, Brooks is allowed to spew forth is filthy homophobic venom from a great paper, The New York Times. Peace, Michael.

      • Dr. Rex April 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

        SMH … speechless!

  3. philipfontana April 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    Michael, Great piece here…..I always thought David Brooks was one of the good guys amongst them as well! Thanks for the “Like” on my excuseusforliving.com. Phil

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

      Phil, yes. Quite sad that Brooks uses his power and privilege for hate. Enjoyed your blog, Phil. Peace, Michael.

  4. Christopher C. Stead (@Quintus_McG) April 4, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    I would imagine they are loud because they resent attempts to relegate them to second-class citizens.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 4, 2015 at 7:04 am #

      Thank you for commenting here, Christopher. Yes, silence has an enormous price–a price we are tired of paying. Thank you for being a strong ally. Peace, Michael.

  5. Central Oregon Coast NOW April 4, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  6. Paul Oakley April 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Especially when you base part of your argument on the privilege the person being critiqued enjoys is based on their identity, it would be nice for you to even simply google the person to find out what their identity is. The writer refers to Brooks’ “throne at the New York Times” and his “position of power and privilege as a white Christian, heterosexual man in the United States.” He doesn’t mention his alma mater (Chicago) perhaps because it doesn’t gleam as brightly as Harvard or Yale? But while it is true that Brooks is a white male heterosexual American New York Times opinion writer, he has not, as a Jew, received the benefit of Christian privilege.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

      Paul, thank you for commenting here. While I appreciate you correcting Brooks’ religious affiliation (which I will correct), it does not mitigate the homophobia he is perpetuating and the privilege he enjoys. I would add that as a Jew, what happened to tikkun o’lam? His behavior and his editorial here do nothing to repair the world.

  7. penguinlad April 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Sadly, Brooks has become less coherent and more conservative over the past few years. This particular editorial is a weird mishmash of homilies (“Morality is politeness of the soul.”) and blame the victim ranting.

    Besides his utterly false claim that the Indiana law is a reiteration of the Federal RFRA, his central theme is utterly false. He maintains that because of RFRA “Fewer people have to face the horror of bigotry, isolation, marginalization and prejudice.” In fact, that law has done nothing to help combat racism, homophobia, misogyny, classism, ageism, or any other oppression not directed explicitly at religius practice.

    The very reasonable reaction to Indiana’s new law is not a repudiation of tolerance or — to use Brooks’ term — “religious pluralism”. It is a reaction to the absolute reality that the law was designed to discriminate, hoping to hide that fact behind a nice little phrase like “religious freedom”. The Indiana GOP overplayed their hand and are now suffering the consequences. That’s democracy, Mr. Brooks.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      Thank you for commenting here, Penguin. I appreciate your pointing to how Indiana has with great intention acted to discriminate. Where I would go further is to look at how Brooks is now implicated in several systems of oppression. Again, it would be lovely if he offered some reflection here and some repair. Peace, Michael.

  8. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 6, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    Nel, thank you for the lovely blog article and for citing me! Peace, Michael.

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