Friday, April 28, 2017

Mr. Erickson: It's unfortunate that we make you so insecure

Erick Erickson
I will not apologize for making Erick Erickson insecure. That is his problem.  Erickson is seated at the intellectual kiddies' table for good cause. He is incapable of marshaling the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate anything more substantive than what is most superficial. Consider his blog post titled: “You Will Get Punched and Others Have Rights Too.”
You know, I’m really damn tired of all the people running around making other people extremely uncomfortable then screaming about their rights and privileges when called out. If you want to go around making people uncomfortable, you’ve got the problem, not the rest of us.

It all starts with Mike Enzi who has enraged the BLT&GQ community by declaring a simple fact. If a guy walks into a bar in Wyoming, he’s probably going to get punched. Enzi said the person would deserve it, which he apologized for, and the guy would not deserve it. But it is probably going to happen and yes, the dude wearing the tutu shoulders some of the responsibility. He should have known better.
Aside from the incomprehensible sentence structure what Erickson is parroting is the notion that if someone makes someone else uncomfortable that provides a permission slip for violence. Indeed, he deserves the violence. As I said, it is the appraisal of superficiality.

What I would tell Mr. Erickson and that proverbially offended bar patron is to grow the hell up. If a man walks into a bar wearing feminine clothing he presumably poses no threat to anyone. He is not doing anyone any harm. If he offends someone to the point of violence it is because the violent fellow is immature and insecure.
And spare me the tirade about Matthew Shepherd.
The original text links to one of those conspiracy posts about the supposed drug deal that went wrong. Right. They confessed to a murder because someone is gay rather than a murder due to a bad drug deal because …?  

No! I am not going to spare Erickson my opprobrium for the “thinking” that would cause those two losers to kill someone because he was gay. Shepherd weighed about 100 pounds. He sure as hell posed no threat to anyone.
I know liberals in their coastal bubbles of homogenized whiteness and skinny jeans think everyone else has to think like them — not does, but has to — but the reality is we don’t. We are a culturally heterogeneous nation with diverse cultural norms. If a guy walks into a bar in Wyoming wearing make up and a tutu, he’s probably going to be asked to leave, if not picked on or punched. If you don’t like that, don’t go to a bar in Wyoming wearing a tutu. It really is that simple. This is not a justification of violence, but let’s not kid ourselves that there won’t be an expectation of violence, however unjustified.
That most certainly is a justification of violence. Why should there be an expectation of violence? Suppose the same guy walked into a bar wearing a zebra suit (thank you John Oliver). What then? Should we expect a violent reaction? Probably not because no one will feel it necessary to assert their masculinity over a costumed zebra.

We are indeed a culturally heterogeneous nation. Our diversity is one of our strengths as a country. Diversity does not mean, as Erickson implies, that we have different sets of rules for civility. Diversity means that we have more obligations for tolerance. If someone in a bar finds the male patron in a tutu offensives then the offended person should leave. That same person might be offended by a patron wearing a yarmulke. How about a dashiki? Would those provoke what Erickson suggests is understandable violence?

Erickson is exploring his own homophobia. I will bet that he has even said that he is fine with gays as long as they don't “flaunt it.” Erickson is responsible for dealing with his own insecurities or his sanctimonious religious objections to LGBT people.
If you want to keep pushing boundaries and making people uncomfortable, don’t be surprised when people try desperately to revert to cultural norms.
No Mr. Ericson. Grownups realize that they have no right to resort to violence. Period. Who gets to define those boundaries. Where in this polemic does Erickson say, even once, that violence is unacceptable? Erickson claims that “others have rights too.” Apparently one of those “rights” is to violently attack someone they disapprove of. Yet another so-called conservative proves that “live and let live” is not a reliable conservative motto.

Erick Erickson will remain seated at the kiddies' table.  Meanwhile he can probably walk into any gay bar in the country with the reasonable expectation that he will exit intact.

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