Smart people saying smart things (5.2.23)

Smart people saying smart things (5.2.23) May 2, 2023

Ansley Quiros, “Justin Jones, Diane Nash, and the Long Struggle”

It’s not just that he, and others like him, are drawing inspiration from the civil rights struggle; it’s the same struggle. Justin Jones was expelled, just as Julian Bond was. Justin Jones goes to Vanderbilt Divinity School, just like James Lawson. Diane Nash is alive. She’s on the phone.

Katherine Stewart, “The Rise of Spirit Warriors on the Christian Right”

There is also a tendency to reduce the rise of the religious right as a political force to an ongoing, perfectly static culture war that takes place across policy positions on specific issues within the natural give and take of a democracy. But this is a mistake. The psychological needs of spiritual warriors are not going to be satisfied with a few concessions on abortion policy or same-sex marriage. Those issues are mostly pretexts for a need to settle grievances and claim dominance.

(Steven Shorrock on Flickr)

The Onion, “It Is Journalism’s Sacred Duty To Endanger The Lives Of As Many Trans People As Possible”

“Quentin” is a 14-year-old assigned female at birth who now identifies as male against the wishes of his parents. His transition was supported by one of his unmarried teachers, who is not a virgin. He stole his parents’ car and drove to the hospital, where a doctor immediately began performing top surgery on him. Afterward, driving home drunk from the hospital, Quentin became suicidally depressed, and he wonders now, homeless and ridden with gonorrhea, if transitioning was a mistake.

We just made Quentin up, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean stories like his aren’t potentially happening everywhere, constantly. Good journalism is about finding those stories, even when they don’t exist. It’s about asking the tough questions and ignoring the answers you don’t like, then offering misleading evidence in service of preordained editorial conclusions. In our case, endangering trans people is the lodestar that shapes our coverage. Frankly, if our work isn’t putting trans people further at risk of trauma and violence, we consider it a failure.

Duncam Black, “Suddenly You Care Deeply About The Experiences Of Underprivileged Children, Hmmm???”

Anyway, part of my latest agenda is to convince people you don’t have to pretend bad faith people are arguing in good faith. You do not have to engage with their arguments, especially when they get Atlantic cover stories and you are just yelling at them on blogs and twitter. Bad faith people will slip from one argument to the next, and then, of course, ignore you, because they are very important people who are not obligated to engage with your arguments.

Point and laugh, call them lying clowns, that’s always what they are.

John Cole, “The Sid Meiers Effect

At any rate, none of the anti-trans shit that Republicans and others are pushing is going to change the number of trans people out there, just like no amount of bigotry is going to change the number of gay people out there. They’re still going to be trans, they’re just going to be more miserable than they already are, which if you look at the numbers for kids, is fucking horrifying.

And, if you are an old like me, you don’t have to fucking understand it. It literally does not impact your life. All you need to do is call people what they want to be called, don’t be a fucking bigot, and mind your own fucking business.

Sarah Posner [2018], “Anti-Trans Bathroom Debate: How a Local Religious-Right Faction Launched a National Movement”

Facing such political headwinds, Christian-right activists desperately needed a fresh strategy. Provoking fear of infringement on religious liberty would likely only gain traction among fellow believers. They soon found an alternative in Shackelford’s home state, whose largest city was, at the time, led by a lesbian Democratic mayor. There, in Houston, a small band of well-connected far-right activists was resurrecting an approach from the oldest anti-LGBTQ playbook: to transform the civic debate about homosexuality into a panic about predators. As national activists fretted at the Ritz-Carlton, Houston players had already sketched out a plan to turn voters against nondiscrimination ordinances by framing the debate as one about safety for women and girls. It proved so potent that it prompted a shift in legislative strategy across the country.

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