The Monday Morning Teaser

What I paid the most attention to this week was the continuing backlash of social conservatives against marriage equality. One moment that stood out for me was when Ted Cruz was asked whether the “religious freedom” to resist same-sex marriage (which he was promoting) also could be used to resist interracial marriage. Outrageously, he replied that there is “no religious backing” for opposition to interracial marriage.

That sent me to the history books, including a fascinating recent one on how interracial marriage became legal, called Almighty God Created the Races by Fay Botham. The parallels in the arguments are quite striking, as Botham herself recognizes in the final chapter.

So why, I wondered, are the Ted Cruzs so resistant to claiming their social-conservative heritage? And why was Justice Alito so concerned that his fellow marriage-equality opponents might be called “bigots”? And I came to understand the reason: Our image of the bigots of the past is that the were all haters, like the mobs being held back by federal troops in Little Rock while they yelled obscenities at the little black children going to school. No wonder Ted Cruz and Sam Alito are offended to be lumped together with them.

But when you look back more thoroughly, you find that the vast majority of segregationists and male chauvinists and even slavery defenders were just like the marriage-equality opponents of today: not conscious of hating anyone, but sincerely believing — usually for reasons rooted in their religion — that certain people shouldn’t be treated fairly, and that everyone will be better off if they remain unequal. In other words, most of the bigots of the past were probably nice folks, if you met them under the right circumstances — a lot like Ted Cruz and Sam Alito.

The result of that history project will be this week’s featured post “You Don’t Have to Hate Anybody to be a Bigot”. It should be out around 9 or 10, EDT.

The weekly summary covers yesterday’s referendum in Greece, which launches me into a reflection on how the we’re-turning-into-Greece line the Tea Party was pushing a few years ago had the economics exactly backwards. There are still more Republican presidential candidates, and pundits are finding new reasons to ignore the huge crowds Bernie Sanders is drawing. Confederate flag defenders came out in force, but I don’t think they did their cause much good. I quote a first-person response to Georgia’s open-carry law, and a couple of great Bill Maher riffs. I’m still looking for a closing. So let’s predict that to appear around noon.

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  • Roger Green  On July 6, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Hope you cited the GREAT quote in a 1959 court decision keeping the Lovings out of VA: “‘Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

  • allflesh  On July 6, 2015 at 8:49 am

    While significant in our lives, the events unfolding in Greece might be more important than our various domestic social developments. Greece, partly due to its history of malfeasance, has been put into the spot of throwing off the neoliberal “aid” offered by the EU and IMF/ECB. Greeks, maybe out of desperation, have said “no” to further control of their nation and national assets.

    The questions raised by these events and the role played by U.S. and European financial power brokers, eg Goldman Sachs (why does that name keep coming up?), the neoliberal followers in Europe and America (most political candidates, Dems and Repubs). Without being a “conspiracy theorist”, I believe there is a significant story going under reported, especially in America. When banks are “too big to fail/jail”, we have a problem.

    We didn’t press this point in 2008, but will we learn from Greece?

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