First we have to tell a tale of warning. Yes, we have to fight these people and their cancerous socio-political agenda, but we also need to make sure we support our mates who are injured in battle. The enemy fights dirty - we have to fight smart. If you have a connection to a university or organization that has or is about to let themselves get mau-mau'd in to canceling a speaking appearance - push back hard.
One of our Shipmates in need of support is Robert Lopez, professor of English and Classics at Cal State-Northridge;
On August 6, 2012, I published an essay in Public Discourse, entitled “Growing Up with Two Moms.” It described my life growing up with a lesbian mother and her partner. Discussion of same-sex parenting until that point generally treated the children of gay parents as extensions of gay adults. Whatever was good for gay adults was presumed to benefit children they raised. No serious consideration was given to divergence between the children’s interests and the interests of gay adults who wanted and loved them. My point was this:You need to read it all ... but this is where it all rolled down to;
Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.There were loving things about my childhood, but it was hard. That is all I wanted to say. I didn’t argue anything about gay marriage or even gay adoption. Eventually I did come to voice support for traditional marriage laws, but here I only spoke out of my own experience.
Inside, however, I was confused.
Soon I was getting hit by writers all across the web. A piece on August 9, 2012, in Frontiers LA affixed my photograph and began with the line, “Perhaps you know Cal State Northridge bisexual professor Robert Oscar Lopez—and hence might understand why he wants to cozy up to the antigay National Organization for Marriage.”They are, in a word, fascists. What HRC and their fellow travelers have done to many people who just don't agree with 100% of their agenda should shame everyone associated with them. I know I am a bit sheepish that I shared a trench with them in the repeal of DADT. Doesn't change my position that it was the right thing to do, I just can't control the radicalism of others - and many of those people have gone full fascist.
At that time I had no connection to the National Organization for Marriage, yet as late as September 2014, the Human Rights Campaign would still claim that I spoke at NOM “March for Marriage” rallies. All of this would be jarring news for NOM, since I support gay civil unions and foster care eligibility for gay couples.
On August 14, 2012, the campaign reached my workplace in a whole new way when my dean informed me that I would have to turn over all emails from January 2009 onward that had anything to do with Mark Regnerus and his research team, Witherspoon Institute, Bradley Foundation, NOM, U.S. elected officials, the Romney campaign, Republican National Committee, and University of Texas officials.
A team of IT workers and student employees were allowed to access emails and turn them over to my off-campus accusers.
For a year, the provost’s office, dean’s office, and president’s office at Northridge were barraged with angry emails denouncing me and demanding that the university take action.
In the American Literature class, friends of the bisexual female student who was working for public affairs filed a complaint against me with the Equity and Diversity Office, claiming I was a homophobe. They even alleged I had erections while teaching. The accusations were thrown out, but not before I had to hire a lawyer for an investigative hearing with the university attorneys.
A colleague who had received emails told me that he believed in the Freedom of Information Act and sided with my accusers; he ended up serving on my tenure review panel and interrogating me about my “personal revelations.”
The grants officer of the College of Humanities tried to block me from accessing grant money that had been given to me by outside donors. The Associate Vice Provost tried to block me from bringing Mickey Rooney to campus. In one phone call the following March, after receiving an email forwarded to her by a secretary who happens to be a lesbian mother, she ranted at me for my alleged unscrupulousness and dishonesty.
After I visited the European Union in Brussels with leaders of the French family movement, Manif pour Tous, the organizers of a gender studies conference at Lille University I was to attend told me the university administration did not want me on campus. More disinvitations followed. Three other universities had invited me to speak, but canceled over the concerns of administrators over hate speech.
GLAAD placed me on their “Commentator Accountability Project.” The Human Rights Campaign classified me as an “exporter of hate.”
On the morning of October 6, I was greeted with a flurry of angry emails calling me a “bigot” and a “right-wing asshole,” plus voice mail messages calling me a “bag of shit” and telling me to perform a sexual act on myself. These emails were sent to the president, provost, and chair. I spent two days in meetings with the provost, the campus police, and my students to explain what was going on. Finally I had to resort to legal measures and had my lawyer send a letter to Chad Griffin, head of the HRC.
I doubt if anything will come of my efforts to make it stop. My appeal to the American Association of University Professors on grounds of academic freedom was dismissed with a curt note. My letter to the Modern Language Association was never acknowledged.
Going from the threatening and psycho, let's go to the patently absurd but serious. I give you Ray Mark Rinaldi, unsurprisingly the Denver Post's Fine Arts Critic; Did diversity miss the train in Union Station's architecture?
It's dangerous to assign race to people simply by glancing at their faces. Some people don't look at all like their race. Many people are a mix.Well Ray, like the final part of this post below, there are somethings that white people like to do - renovation of old buildings and then hanging out in them are one. So?
But if my recent counts of people in the restaurants, bars and shops in and around Denver's rehabbed, reopened Union Station are even close, it's an overwhelmingly white place. How can the new cultural jewel of our city — where 47 percent of the population is minority — draw a crowd that is 98.2 percent Caucasian on a bustling, buzzed Saturday night?
I would invite Ray to kick back and enjoy it, but alas ... joy doesn't seem to be Ray's thing.
t doesn't look at all like Denver in 2014. More like Denver in 1950. More like Boise, Idaho, or Billings, Mont. This is a public place, owned by all of us, open to all, but the invitation to visit was declined by many, and it's obvious who isn't showing up.Yes, Ray's comment seem that bigoted. Let's grab some popcorn and read him some more.
A few years ago, the station was a ghost town. Now it is wildly popular, and in many ways, a smashing success.OK, I have to stop and bask in that incredible ignorance on display. Where to start?
If, that is, you are white and not paying attention. Or if you think diversity doesn't matter. If you do, you can't help but feel like something is off amidst all the clinking of martini glasses in the swank Cooper Lounge on the mezzanine, or the low hum of pucks sliding across shuffleboard tables in the Great Hall.
It's easy to speculate why things are different at Union Station, though it requires some less elegant thinking about the way people of different ethnicities behave, some stereotyping.
Let's start with the building itself, the actual architecture. Union Station is a neo-classical mix of styles — European styles. The symmetry, arched windows, ornate cornice and stacked, stone walls have their roots in the glory days of France, England, Greece and Rome, in empires that were nearly absent of ethnic minorities and who felt fully at ease invading, exploiting and actually enslaving the people of Africa, subcontinent Asia and South America.
France and England had little to do with South America at all.
England was but one part of the polyglot British Empire, and were bit players in the African slave trade (that was mostly the business of others, mostly Spain, Portugal, Arabs and Africans themselves). As a matter of fact, it was the British Empire that was responsible for ending the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Google William Wilberforce for goodness sakes.
The Greek and Roman Empires? I guess he doesn't know where the root of the word "slave" comes from. In any event, the Greeks and Romans preferred European slaves, usually Slavs, Gauls, and whoever else they felt like taking. There was no such thing as race slavery ... heck, if you want to pick on the pre-British but English nation, they were gangbusters on Irish slaves in the 1600s.
I would make a few more observations, but I don't think Ray is that interested. Methinks he is more interested in trying to convince as many people as possible that he cares so much more than everyone else. He is the true anti-racist and most inclusive of all the special snowflakes out there. Yawn.
Anyway, back to the foolishness;
Yes, that's all in the past; things have changed. But the $54 million renovation of Union Station doesn't take that into account. It restores the symbols of an old world with no updates. The gilded chandeliers have been rewired, the marble polished, but there's no nod to the present, no interior walls in the bright colors of Mexico, no Asian simplicity is in the remix. There are no giant sculptures by African-American artists bonused into the lobby, no murals on the basement walls.A friendly suggestion for Ray; dude - if you are looking for a retrograde attitude towards race and ethnicity, are concerned about people who judge others simply by the way they look, then you may want to start with yourself.
History has its ups and downs, the thinking goes, and you can't blame buildings for the good or bad that happened. But a preservationist just might end up with a building that draws mostly white people — with a Union Station.
The present restoration harkens back to Union Station at its height, in the first half of a 20th century when many Americans suffered the social indignity and economic disadvantage of a segregated America.
There's no traditional Mexican restaurant, no soul-food restaurant, no sushi bar, as if no one noticed that the Mexican-American, African-American and Asian-American families that own and operate those places across the city are also our best food purveyors.
It could have let its imagination run wild and installed a basketball court or a rec center, day-care facility, museum, a theater that any group could rent, an indoor playground, or yes, a Subway.
But it chose a different path. RTD, whose buses and trains are the most diverse places in Denver, created a monster of separation. You can't keep private enterprise from doing this sort of deed, but a public entity, a common asset, might have more democratic obligations.
And now, the third part of our play.
A good friend reminded me of one of the foundation stones of this generation of Cultural Marxists Diversity Bullies, the "Progressive Stack."
Something only the patronizing, predominately white and privileged uber-left could come up with.
Enjoy another woman who you should be happy you don't wake up with after your second night on the town during Fleet Week.
Maybe Ray can count faces here too.