In his essay “You Will Get Punched and Others Have Rights Too” Erick Erickson excuses (he says he is explaining) virtually any type of reprehensible behavior you can imagine with a single paragraph, claiming that if you make people uncomfortable, you have to accept responsibility what you get:
“You know, I’m really damn tired of all the people running around making other people extremely uncomfortable then screaming about their rights and privileges when called out,” he complains without a hint of irony.
Oh gods, how we get that. We really do.
He goes on to whine that,
“If you want to go around making people uncomfortable, you’ve got the problem, not the rest of us.”
What has Erickson’s goat is gay men thinking (how dare they!) they have a right to go anywhere a conservative he-man would go without the expectation of abuse:
“It all starts with Mike Enzi who has enraged the BLT&GQ community by declaring a simple fact. If a guy walks into a bar in Wyoming, he’s probably going to get punched.”
O Where O Where have we heard this before?
Oh, that’s right. Black kids thinking they had a right to go to school too. Or to a movie. Or to drink out of a water fountain. Or take any seat on a bus.
Erickson draws on that long tradition of conservative intolerance when he explains that,
“Enzi said the person would deserve it, which he apologized for, and the guy would not deserve it. But it is probably going to happen and yes, the dude wearing the tutu shoulders some of the responsibility. He should have known better.”
Hmm… Where have we heard that before?
This is so much like the conservative message to women that if you look sexy or provocative you deserve to be raped that I find myself not at all surprised.
The gay man was asking for it. The woman was asking for it. This is such an appalling misapplication of logic that I scarcely know where to begin.
Erickson seems to think that,
“I know liberals in their coastal bubbles of homogenized whiteness and skinny jeans think everyone else has to think like them — not does, but has to — but the reality is we don’t.”
Notice how Erickson has placed liberals in a reality bubble rather than conservatives. That’s funny coming from a guy who lives inside the Fox News bubble.
The accusation that liberals think everybody “has to think like them” is kinda funny too coming from somebody who comes out of the whole Tea Party mantra of ideological purity scene. The very essence of liberalism is that we don’t expect everybody to look like us.
As Thomas Jefferson said in his autobiography, and as conservatives reject, the whole idea behind his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was that it was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
Isn’t that what conservatives are always complaining about, after all? Diversity? Not just in appearance but in thought. You know, as in not all white folks and not all Christians. There are dark folks, there are Muslims, there are Hindus. There are even Heathens like me.
By the way, Erick, diversity means everybody is different. You know, “diverse,” as the dictionary explains, “showing a great deal of variety; very different.”
That kinda precludes your whole “everybody is the same” theory.
If you think we all think alike, you aren’t paying attention. We all think differently. The comparison to be made is between the demanded ideological purity of the Republican Party and the diverse (again I must stress that word) groups of liberals willing to work together to achieve a common goal of equality for all.
Nobody deserves to get punched for how they look, any more than journalists deserve to get attacked for what they write or women (or gay men) for what they wear. And by the way, why do you think gay men wear tutus?
Yes, others have rights. And the rights of others don’t abridge the rights of gay men or of women or for that matter, of Muslims or others who might dress differently.
“If you want to keep pushing boundaries and making people uncomfortable, don’t be surprised when people try desperately to revert to cultural norms.”
You know, like stealing land from the Indians or enslaving blacks or using women as objects of sexual gratification.
I suppose that would include the expectation that everybody to be heterosexual white Christians, and women and minorities do not get uppity at being treated like second class citizens.
Because it’s only okay for white males to take offense. You know. Those kinds of norms.
Because Erickson isn’t saying intolerant white males have rights too because if they have the right to respond violently to you simply on account of your appearance, you don’t really have any rights at all.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.