(Gotta admit, he was skilled at talking the talk.)
Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
~ Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations; but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism.”—James Madison
The below is a comment thread from a youtube video re: Eminem’s defense of his use of the word “fag” on 60 Minutes in October 2010. 53 seconds long. Exactly what it sounds like. I posted it in a moment of gumption, and it took me about that long.
The comments section has proven to be fruitful ground, giving forth both homophobia and insight, targeted hatespeech and personal anecdotes, and bears oh my. This exchange took place today:
@GlanceofGlory dude r u seriois? 1. fag is not meant o meant gay its meant ot mean dick. 2. how old r u because during eminem’s time,shitloada of rappers were using those lyrics. its not eminem’s fault in any way he u were bullied it was the other kids.
MrNumbahOne2 hours ago
@MrNumbahOne Are YOU seriois?
1. Do you mean to say that “fag” literally means “penis”? Makes no sense, as that’s hardly an insult in this our phallocentric culture. Were you saying that “jerk” be a fitting translation? If so, how the hell is that not insulting to gay people? That’s like saying it’s okay to call people “nigger” (which I say in full to distinguish it from the reclaimed “nigga”) because what you mean is that they’re less than human. Drawing that analogy,
from a slur that applies to a group of people to a personal insult, IS THE PROBLEM! If the word “fag” were used as a stand-in for, idk, “skilled professional” or “loyal friend” or “hell of a kickass guy,” those of us burdened with powers of observation wouldn’t be quite so upset.
2. The “everyone else does it” line of reasoning has been tested many times, perhaps most notably at the Nuremberg Trials - let’s all take a sec and recall who was on trial and why - and you know what? EPIC FUCKING FAIL. “Susie Q jumped off the bridge, so I will too.” “Everyone else thinks women shouldn’t vote, Jews should be exterminated, blacks should sit at the back of the bus, so that’s good enough for me!”
Human beings are super fucking flawed; they like to be on the winning team, and we as a species have spent the last several centuries (and counting) coming to the agreement that putting your foot on some other group’s face is an unacceptable way to climb the power ladder. Those who don’t learn from history, MrNumbahOne (& all you like-minded homophobia groupies) …. Are doomed to repeat it. And my face is not fucking your foothold. Seriously.
CheckYourDiction in reply to MrNumbahOne 1 hour ago
@CheckYourDiction really? 4 fucking paragraphs? ur crazy if u think i care enough to read that shit
-MrNumbahOne30 minutes ago
Eh. I’d rather be crazy than illiterate. CheckYourDiction in reply to MrNumbahOne 1 second ago
“What isn’t said is as important as what is said. In many classic short stories, the real action occurs in the silences. Try to keep all the good stuff off the page. Some “real world” practice might help. The next time your partner comes home, ignore his or her existence for 30 minutes, and then blurt out “That’s it!” and drive the car onto the neighbor’s lawn.”—"How to Write" (Article @ NYTimes.com)