A musical invitation: In this morning’s New York Times, it’s bombs away—again.
In New Hampshire, the state legislature may repeal the 2009 law which lets gays and lesbians marry. This has inspired Andrew Rosenthal to toss his B-bombs around. In the hard-copy Times, these are the headlines which appear above today’s editorial:
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (2/29/12): The Challenge to Marriage EqualityIn one way, these headlines represent an advance. The New York Times typically restricts its use of R- and B-bombs to actions taken by southern whites. In this case, the board is accusing a northern legislature of being “driven by bigotry” too!
Driven by bigotry, New Hampshire is poised to take a giant leap backward
Is everyone opposed to marriage equality in New Hampshire “driven by bigotry?” That’s a perfectly decent question—but in the editorial itself, the Times doesn’t bother itself with such trifles. At the Times, B-bombs are thrown so routinely that the editors don’t feel the need to explain their use of this term. Though the editorial does say that the opponents of the New Hampshire law are “right-wingers.”
Are they all "right-wingers?"
Is that an appropriate use of the B-bomb? In our view, our tribe has used its B- and R-bombs so promiscuously for so long that the terms no longer have much meaning. But since Andrew Rosenthal has a different view, we’re extending an invitation:
Please come to Baltimore! No really! Come on down!
As the Times editorial notes, marriage equality is about to become law here in Maryland. But uh-oh! Here in Maryland, opposition to the bill has often come from the state’s black clergy. This front-page report in last Friday’s Washington Post was the latest report about this situation, which you won't likely see discussed on the Maddow Show.
For ourselves, we wish the ministers felt differently. But are we prepared to call them bigots? Are you, after reading that report?
Plainly, Andrew Rosenthal is! Hence, our invitation:
Andrew Rosenthal, please come to Baltimore! We’ll take you to our local supermarket. You can set up a little stand on the sidewalk and drop your B-bombs on black Baltimoreans as they enter the store! We’re sure that Rosenthal, in his great fury, is eager to spread his judgments around. He wouldn’t want to drop his bombs on New Hampshire “right-wingers” while ignoring the Democrats who feel the same way down here!
In this recent post, Kevin Drum said this about our view on the use of the B-bomb: “Bob thinks it's counterproductive to throw around charges of bigotry too casually, and I suppose I agree.” We do think this can be counterproductive. But that isn’t necessarily our main objection to the casual use of this term.
The promiscuous use of B- and R-bombs often strikes us as being rather shaky on the merits. It strikes us as being disrespectful of the history in which real bigotry has been involved—including real bigotry aimed at gays and lesbians. Most unattractively, loudmouths like Rosenthal tend to drop their bombs on tribal foes, while ignoring similar conduct from those within their own tribe.
This is stupid, ugly conduct, but it’s found all over our tribe. It’s amazing how often we liberals will castigate southern whites in the most aggressive ways for holding views which may be widely held within parts of our own coalitions.
We love to drop bombs on southern whites (and on northern “right-wingers.”) We often seem to be too dumb to know that many people within our own tribe may hold the same darn views.
Hence our invitation! Please come to Baltimore, and bring the whole board. We know a supermarket where you rubes can drop your bombs all around.
If we might express ourselves musically: To the tune of “Please Come to Boston:”
Please come to Baltimore for the spring time.
There’s a Motel 6 on the Beltway,
They've got lots of rooms.
You can sell your judgments on the sidewalk
By a cut-rate supermarket where we’ll be shoppin’ soon...
Rosenthal loves to drop his bombs. But only on the other tribe! And only when they’re not present!