Takei vs. Thomas

Old News #9, Monday, July 6th 2015

This Old News installment is based on what was reported in this video.

Did you watch that? Okay. I will attempt to clear up some of the issues I have noticed people have had with this Hollywood vs. Supreme Court battle.

Was that Racist?

What George Takei said was racist and can be interpreted in many different ways.

But that doesn’t make him a racist.

What Judge Clarence Thomas said was also racist and can be interpreted in many different ways.

But that doesn’t make him a racist either.

As Jay Smooth has, at least once, eloquently pointed out, you can’t know 100% if someone is a racist just because they say a racist thing. Being racist is a state of mind, and it is hard to know what is truly in people’s minds. Everyone is capable of saying something racist, regardless of their race. But words alone don’t make you a racist.

That Was Definitely Racist

I am very surprised that some left-wing media have completely ignored the fact that what Takei said about Judge Thomas was racist. It was the first thing I thought of when I heard the comment.

Here’s what Takei said about Thomas.

“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court.”

To me, that was definitely racist. I won’t give George Takei a pass on this, no matter who he was defending. I won’t make excuses for him. But let’s be honest, his racist comment is not the subject at hand. Let’s not attack a straw man here. The subject at hand is Judge Thomas’ bigoted and racist comments. And the fact that Takei said a racist thing does not invalidate his criticism of the judge.

The valid part of what Takei was trying to say is that Judge Thomas’ opinion is bigoted toward homosexuals (it’s also racist against African Americans, but that’s another story). The invalid part is Takei’s racist implication that an African American man should be on the side of homosexuals because both “groups” have been historically deprived of freedom. Clearly this is wrong, because both homosexuals and African Americans can be conservative, racist and bigoted. These “groups” are no more heterogeneous in their beliefs, culture or opinions as any other “group.” Everyone is equally entitled under the constitution to the freedom of speech–no matter how wrong they might be.

Truthfully, I don’t think that Takei expressed himself very well, and he was angry at the judge’s astoundingly ignorant comments. And I do think Takei’s comment implied that you are not a real African American if you do not support gay marriage. This is wrong to me. I think he was attacking a bigoted comment with another bigoted comment. And that’s wrong too.

Much of the backlash against the racist portion of Takei’s message is 100% valid for me. He was wrong to say it. However, I also believe that Judge Thomas was wrong as well. And his being a Supreme Court Judge makes his mistake much more dangerous than Takei’s.

I believe that part of Judge Thomas’s comments ignores the fact that the constitution does, in fact, protect gay marriage. To me, it’s simple logic. Please correct me if you feel I am wrong.

Judge Thomas’ comments about how the government is supposed to protect the freedoms of its people paired with his stance to allow gay marriage bans shows that he is blind to his own self-contradiction. He says:

“…liberty has been understood as freedom from government action.”

If he truly understands liberty in this way, than he should be pro-gay marriage. Why?

Because if liberty is freedom from government action, then federal, state and local governments should not be allowed to ban gay marriage! If they were allowed to ban gay marriage, then homosexuals would not be free from government action! Therefore, they are denied liberty by such bans, and denial of liberty is unconstitutional. Is it not?

If Thomas followed his own logic, he would come to this conclusion as well. But I believe he is blinded by his bigotry toward homosexuals. So, he has come to another conclusion, which I believe to be wrong.

The Dignity Question

The media uproar about the judge’s “dignity” comments is irrelevant to me. Anyone who focuses on those comments is missing the truly unjust idea he supports. The government’s ability to grant or take away your dignity is irrelevant to protecting gay marriage and civil rights. Thus, I will not make further comments on that.

But just for the record–a government can absolutely treat people in an undignified manner. The government can absolutely abuse people. The government can absolutely rape, torture and murder. And when the government takes away your life, they absolutely take your dignity. Because once you lose your life, you lose everything. Just for the record.

 

Thanks for reading this blog post. As a reward, here is some fiction to read!