Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Almost Tuesday 12/14/2015: Equal Grounds




A conversation about equality and allies...

CHRIS: It’s celebration time! In the midst of all the news happening, we all forgot: it’s the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment!

WOODY: Oh yeah, that’s right! Finally, some good news.

CHRIS: Yup. This time, let us remember the time in 1865 when black people ratified the 13th Amendment, freeing them from slavery. We did it all by ourselves, with no help from anyone.

WOODY: Um, I don’t think that’s how it happened…

KARA: Of course it is! It’s just like when women got the right to vote when a group of women took over congress and ratified the 19th Amendment.

CHRIS: Yes, and when all the members of the gay Supreme Court abolished DOMA and upheld marriage equality.

WOODY: OK, I KNOW that’s wrong! We were all around for the Supreme Court decision! There’s no gay Supreme Court!

CHRIS: Wait, so these groups didn’t achieve the rights they fought for on their own?

WOODY: Of course not! They had allies! There was never a time when embattled groups didn’t have at least a little bit of help. We even had help fighting the American Revolution!

CHRIS: And that is my point. A lot of my activist friends seem to think that they cannot advocate for another group’s rights, lest they lose focus on the cause they are fighting. It’s the idea that I can’t get a piece of the pie and help another person get a piece of the same pie, because I’ll lose my slice.

WOODY: Ah, nicely done. I like that analogy.

CHRIS: Thank you! This also leads into something else I see happening: I feel for the people who already had certain rights who lost them over the years

WOODY: Wait. What?

KARA: Oh Yeah. remember when gay marriage was passed in NY, and the governor immediately invalidated all straight marriages held in the state?

CHRIS: How about the time The Lily Ledbetter Act was passed, and men’s salaries were reduced by 77%?

WOODY: Um, guys?...

KARA: Oh! And in history class, 13th Amendment was passed, and it abolished black slavery, but enslaved all the white people.

CHRIS: And when women got the right to vote when all the men in the country gave up THEIR right to vote!

WOODY: Oh, come on! You two are just making up things!

CHRIS: yeah, you got me. This is all a similar notion that activists have, but on the other side of the coin. People pushing back against groups fighting for rights act like there is a rights exchange program. It has never worked that way. If you are enjoying a piece of your mom’s delicious homemade pie, and someone says, “I would like a piece of pie”, they don’t want YOUR slice. They just was A slice.

WOODY: Another clever analogy!

CHRIS: Well, it works pretty well. Everybody loves pie.

KARA: I want some pie.

CHRIS: Me too. The point is that there is not a time in US history when the ruling class relinquished any of their rights in order to give another class the same rights. Everybody got the same benefit.

KARA: Well, Except for slavery:

CHRIS: True, but screw slavery.

WOODY: Thanks for your thoughts, Chris This was eye opening. A real “pie in the sky” view.

CHRIS: Woody...just...don’t.

WOODY: Sorry.

KARA: Chris, you haven't talked about the coming straight white genocide!

WOODY: What?!?!

CHRIS: Oh Yeah! There's concern that with other minority groups gaining popularity, they'll take over the US and eradicate straight white men.

WOODY: That can't be real!

KARA: Oh, it’s real. Just look at pop culture.

CHRIS: Yup. In Sci-Fi and comics, people freaked out when people introduced a black Spider-Man, and a woman Thor. In Supergirl, John Jones, the Martian Manhunter is played by a black actor, and people were mad about that. He’s a shapeshifting MARTIAN, for crying out loud!

KARA: Don’t forget the gender-swapped Starbuck and Boomer in Battlestar Galactica, and there’s a Lesbian Jewish Batwoman now! And original Green Lantern and Iceman are gay. Straight white men are scared for their lives.

CHRIS: Even in classic theatre, black actors are being cast for Othello now instead of having a white actor wear blackface. You’d think the end of the world was happening.

WOODY: But you only mentioned 9 characters. There are thousands of characters that are straight white males. Where is the threat?

[KARA AND CHRIS PAUSE AND THEN LAUGH]

KARA: Woody, when have facts ever guided insecure white men’s thoughts? They’ll think that the wimmen folk and the brown folk are taking over, even though it’s 2015, and we’re STILL making movies about ancient Egypt and the Middle East with an all white cast.

CHRIS: I know! Just last year, we had Christian Bale cast as BatMoses and Russell Crowe was Angry Noah. This year, there’s a movie called “Gods of Egypt”, and not only is it nearly all white, but they also are all British! England didn’t even exist back then!

WOODY: Wow...I didn’t think about that.

CHRIS: A few people wanted to boycott the new Star Wars movie because the main characters are a black man and a woman. They acted as if women and black men were taking over!

KARA: If by “taking over”, you mean having the 4th main black character and 3rd main female character in the Star Wars in a cast of at least 100. And that’s including Jar Jar Binks and Aunt Beru!

CHRIS: Exactly. Look, If you have a giant hunk of your delicious pumpkin pie that you’re sharing with your friends, and a few people you don’t know are enjoying a piece of the same nutmeggy, cinnamony good pie, your slice is not ruined. They are not going to take your pie piece from you. They just want a slice of their own.

WOODY: Um...Do you two just want some of my mother’s pumpkin pie?

KARA: Well, I don’t know where you got that idea, but since you mentioned it…

CHRIS: Yeah, I think you’ve been enjoying that pie for long enough. It’s time you share some with the rest of us.

WOODY: I only get three of my mom’s pie each year! If I share it with you, then I lose pie.

KARA: You’ve got plenty of pie! You don’t even eat all three! Let us have some pie!

CHRIS: Yeah! We want pie! We want pie!

[KARA JOINS IN ON THE CHANT FOR PIE. ANYONE IN THE ROOM SHOULD JOIN AS WELL]

[WOODY CLOSES OUT WHILE WE CHANT IN THE BACKGROUND]: Well, I guess that’s the end of the segment. That was the Chronicles of Nonsense. NONE OF YOU ARE GETTING MY PIE!

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