Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bigotry Sells

So, Washington state is set to make marriage equality law.

Industry tends to support marriage equality, because it means that they can hire the talented gay people with families away from anti-gay areas, since they can treat them as employees should be treated.

This makes perfect sense, and you'd think it would get supposed free marketeers excited, but it tends not to (See the conservative states that have banned gay marriage over the objections of industry).  A lot of times, when a really obviously bigoted ad gets some attention, people argue that it can't be racist because it would alienate potential customers of color.  Markets are segmented and targeted all the time, which alienates potential customers, but will create some loyalty in the targeted segment.  No one blinks when an ad takes advantage of classism to position its product as one of the good things in life, so why wouldn't one take advantage of sexism or racism or homophobia?

I used to believe this market-based argument against bigotry in advertising, but I've since noticed how attached people are to their -isms.  Anti-feminism is important to some people, and they might buy manly Dr. Pepper. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ron Paul is the least racist member of Congress

The title of this post is actually a comment I've read from a Paul supporter.   Typical Lost Cause bullshit here: Yes, Lincoln's motivation for war was to keep the unity of the country together.  The South was in it to keep slavery, or maybe squeeze a few extra dollars out of slavery's demise in a scam like Paul is describing here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Intersecting Privileges and Oppressions on Facebook

It's true: the first thing I do when I get going on the computer is open up Facebook.  This morning was pretty interesting in terms of intersections of privilege.

The first thing I saw was a photo NPR had posted of amputee and runner Aimee Mullins, captioned "Inspiration, in On Photograph."  Mullins, a white, thin woman, is pictured in a bikini running on a beach, with the aid of prosthetic lower legs.  The comments turned into a little bit of a fight about how hard it would be for someone who wasn't so sexy to be called inspirational.  Mullins is a really attractive woman - it's true.  The thing that started to bother me in the comments were a lot of negativity about wheelchairs; Mullins had the good fortune to access the prosthetic technology she did.  Not everyone is so lucky.  Mullins works with organizations that seek to let everyone access this  tech, and educate people in general about disability, so she's no slouch when it comes to, well, anything.

Next up was an item from the Courage Campaign about Pat Buchannan's complaints that he's being forced out of MSNBC by "militant gay groups" and "people of color."  What stood out to me about this is the implication that people of color and gay groups (there's likely to be some crossover in the membership here) shouldn't have sway over what goes on at MSNBC.  Buchannan has been an embarrassment in American culture for too long, and he knows this was long overdue.

Oh, and what the hell.  I wrote a bit yesterday that would not have made a whole post on its own, so I'll just add it here:

Unfortunately, I am not in the regular habit of giving money to causes that need it.  In the past year or so, I've run into a few really absurd societal failures (like Topeka, KS stopping prosecution of domestic violence) that have prompted me to find a local program and send a few bucks in.  Today, it's transitional housing in Pennsylvania, since  if you have enough money on-hand to pay first and last-month's rent (ish, $2,000 in savings is the cutoff), you will no longer be able to get food stamps.