racial and sexual inequality (was Re: various bits)
John M. Klassa
Tue, 03 Aug 1999 09:11:59 -0400
>>>>> On Mon, 2 Aug 1999, "Brad" == Bradley M. Kuhn wrote:
Brad> Someone from a minority group, particularly a minority women's
Brad> group, is much more likely to be sensitive to the causes of the
Brad> I didn't say that she wasn't qualified, did I?
Indeed, you didn't. I guess the impression I got was that the mere
fact that she's a lesbian made it cool for her to be mayor. That may
not have been implicit in what you said, but the sense I get from
hearing that kind of sentiment, in general, is that it doesn't matter
whether the person is capable, just that he/she represents a particular
lifestyle and has made it into a position of authority. My apologies
to you for misrepresenting what you said.
Brad> Given two qualified candidates, though, someone from a minority
Brad> or a group that is oppressed by the white male patriarchy in
Brad> this country is always preferable.
Brad> Again, I agree, however, if given a choice between two qualified
Brad> candidates, why not pick someone from the group that has been
Brad> passed over for years because of the oppressive nature of our
Brad> social structure.
Isn't that unfair to the other candidate? I mean, if they're both
qualified, and you always give the election to the one who's from the
traditionally oppressed social group, then aren't you oppressing the
traditionally oppressive social group, as it were? :-) What a mouthful.
Take affirmative action, for example. I know several folks who used
to work for NASA contractors, near NASA LaRC (Hampton, Virginia). In
a number of cases, incumbent contractors (companies) failed to get
their contracts renewed so that minority-owned businesses could be
brought in instead. Is that fair to the incumbents? Seems like more
discrimination to me, but this time advocated (practically enforced) by
To me, the way to end prejudice and discrimination and what have you
is to have the government get out of the business of telling you who
you have to hire, and let people compete on equal terms. If you're
qualified, you're qualified; if you're not, you're not. I realize that
this is off the subject of lesbian mayors, but the issue of choosing one
when both candidates are qualified seems related, somehow. :-)
Brad> This entire country's social, economic and professional
Brad> structure is designed to keep white men in power. Without
Brad> active to work to modify that, it will continue that way
I suppose this is true. I fear, however, that we'll wind up at the
other extreme unless we (collectively) apply common sense.
Brad> Remember that women have only had the right the vote for less
Brad> than 100 years, and less than 200 years ago, all black people in
Brad> this country were *slaves*.
True. That doesn't make the current batch of "white men in power"
responsible for either of those conditions, however. You often hear of
various ethnic groups calling for an apology from mainstream America for
some real or perceived wrong, done to them in the past. My take is that
I wasn't there, and I didn't do the wrong, so why should I apologize?
Why should I be burdened with more taxes, to pay restitution to someone
I didn't injure? Maybe I'm just way off base... I'm certainly not
opposed to hearing countering opinions. I like to think I have an
open mind. :-)
Brad> That sort of damage doesn't repair itself with a few
Brad> marches and sit-ins in the 1960s (although they did help).
John Klassa / Alcatel USA / Raleigh, NC, USA