Friday, April 13, 2007

Go Harvey!

The only thing I regret about this thoughtful op-ed piece by Harvey Fierstein in the New York Times is that we don't get to hear him read it, with his fantastic voice that sounds like he swallowed a burning pack of cigarettes.
I applaud Harvey for mentioning the strange selectiveness that Americans exercise in their prejudices. It's acceptable to be outraged, and rightly so, over vulgar racist comments, but over other equally despicable prejudices, nobody says anything. Harvey is completely right to call out homophobia.

Since I’m a second-class citizen — a gay man — my seats for the ballgame of American discourse are way back in the bleachers. I don’t have to wait long for a shock jock or stand-up comedian to slip up with hateful epithets aimed at me and mine.
Forget shock jocks or comedians, just stand anywhere with your ears open and you'll hear it from ordinary citizens. As Harvey mentions, the President, members of congress and generals at the Pentagon express unbridled homophobia. They want to make it official. Even Cheney with the lesbian daughter condones his own party's prejudices. So the deck is quite stacked. Gay rights are the next frontier in civil rights. As long as gay people are discriminated legally, this country will be living in darkness.
So, how do you people choose which hate to embrace, which to forgive with a wink and a week in rehab, and which to protest? Where’s my copy of that rule book?

I hear you, Harvey. Or rather, I wish I could hear you say it.

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