And I also worried that friends who know me better might wonder how it is I could possibly make such a defense: my motives would be suspect. Indeed, the point of Coates’ marking a portion of my argument as “bizarre,” “terrible,” and “telling” is to signal – without openly calling me a bigot, a ploy that would be too embarrassingly obvious – the fact that my motives are in question ...
the writer, wes alwan, is good people. he's not some right wing nutjob trying to carve out a place in public discourse for the phrase "cocksucking fag." he's making the simple point that calling someone who has done real work for the cause of gay rights a "bigot" and suggesting their support for such causes is insincere on the grounds of a series of emotional outbursts is way over the line. the response from TNC is to suggest to his readership, to whom alwan is an unfamiliar white guy questioning the party line, that alwan is some kind of bigot himself. (but hey, it's okay! TNC used to be a "bigot" too! but it was a long time ago, so he can still be a writer at what was formerly one of america's premier magazines.)
anyway, i'm sure we'll have plenty of bush league debate team commentary about how the words "bigot" and "bigotry" can really mean whatever you want them to and so forth. but seeing the way the atlantic has evolved and the tenure of TNC in particular, i feel somewhat prescient for having dumped the magazine years ago -- and, given all of Andrew Sullivan's approving links to TNC's "rebuttals" complete with loaded commentary, equally prescient for not having subscribed to his virtual rag (it's too bad, it's mostly a fun blog, but his commentary on so many things is so bad and divorced from reality -- plus, his contempt for anyone who works for a living...)
i'm certainly not one to claim rosa parks ended racism in the fifties, but it'll be a great day in america when people no longer make a living as the gold standard for public denunciation of bigotry (broadly defined, of course) the way TNC does so cavalierly.
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