Class act

Posted: 27 March 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Class act refers—sarcastically, of course—to Bill Clinton’s decision during the 1992 campaign to execute a condemned Arkansas prisoner to show he wasn’t “weak on crime.” (That’s one of the major reasons he didn’t get my vote that year.)

It also refers—again, sarcastically—to Clinton’s signing of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, whose constitutionality is being debated in the Supreme Court today. (My sense is the Supreme Court is going to try to find a way of sidestepping the issue of gay marriage, even as Americans have quickly moved in support of legalizing gay marriage and offering equal rights to gay couples.)

Finally, it refers to Matt Miller’s observation that, while we may have “evolved” on gay rights, the issue of class itself remains mostly taboo.

When every economic and social class shares in the experience of injustice or intolerable wrongs, things change faster. If only poor people were gay, does anyone think our political leaders would have “evolved” at this pace? Likewise, if we had a draft, does anyone think our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have proceeded as they did? . . .

As Martin Luther King Jr. learned near the end, securing legal equality turned out to be the easy part. Nobody had to write a check. Equal opportunity and economic justice are entirely different matters, requiring a nation to take even bigger leaps of empathy and imagination.

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