Watch my discussion the impact of Donna Summer’s music and homophobia’s impact on disco.
Archive for May, 2012
Some religious leaders are struggling with President Obama’s support for gay marriage but not the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In a statement released shortly after Obama’s announcement Jackson said, “If Dr. King and our civil rights movement have taught us anything, it’s the fundamental principle that all people deserve equal protection under the law. LGBT people deserve equal rights — including marriage equality. Discrimination against one group of people is discrimination against all of us. The State — and the Courts — should not sanction discrimination. We must be consistent in upholding human rights for all human beings.” I spoke to the Reverend about the impact of Obama’s announcement among blacks and the wider community of the faithful.
Watch me rant about how Will & Grace & the Real World changed how people feel about gays via parasocial interaction on MSNBC’s the Dylan Ratigan Show.
They say the arc of history bends toward justice. If that’s true, then as a nation, we’re having a hard time bending on the issue of gay rights. But this week will be remembered as a historic turning point, because President Obama threw political caution to the wind and came out as the man who can put principle over politics in announcing his support for marriage equality. “I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Robin Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday.
Polls show the U.S. is trending toward embracing gay marriage. We now have a thin and growing majority that supports marriage equality. And we have the young millennial generation strongly in favor of marriage equality, while the older boomers are firmly against it. But national acceptance of gay marriage remains a long, hard slog. This week North Carolina planted its feet in the past by becoming the 30th state to legally prohibit gay marriage and also abolish civil unions, thus enshrining romantic segregation in its state constitution. Separate and unequal in matters of the heart. We should all be ashamed that we’re still restricting civil rights to certain groups of Americans. Barring gays from marriage says their committed relationships don’t merit the protection or sanctity of marriage — an important step both socially and legally. It says their love and commitment is of lesser value. The sanctity of marriage in the U.S. has not been compromised by the thousands of married gay couples we already have. The institution of marriage was mocked by the sham, made-for-TV 72-day marriage of Kim Kardashian, and yet no bill has been proposed barring her from the altar.
Watch me discuss the politics of marriage equality and President Obama’s declaration of the support of same-sex marriage on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Watch me square off with CNN’s Piers Morgan about the facts of the Trayvon Martin case.
Watch me alongside Michael Eric Dyson, Jack Ford and Mark Strassman discussing the importance of the Trayvon Martin case on Face the Nation.
Watch me “Turn the Tables” on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss what’s most detrimental to America.
The wind of revolution is beginning to blow through the halls of justice. It’s a small breeze now and the impact of what many consider one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century still weighs heavily, but in North Carolina something called the Racial Justice Act is suggesting that a change is gonna come.
Many studies have shown that there is significant racial bias in the administration of the death penalty. Defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death for killing whites than for killing blacks and black defendants are more likely to get the death penalty than whites, as was referenced in David Baldus’s 1998 report “Racial Discrimination and the Death Penalty”. But a study by Jennifer Eberhardt found the impact of race to be even more nuanced: judges and juries perceive defendants who have physical traits that are stereotypically associated with blackness (broad nose, big lips, dark skin) to be more “death worthy.” What a horrific term. In Eberhardt’s study, stereotypically black-looking defendants were twice as likely to be sentenced to death. Sociologists know that race matters in capital punishment, but the Supreme Court has refused to notice since a 1987 decision in McClesky v Kemp.