Some time ago a Chinese-Canadian friend of mine said something very offensive. I immediately said to him, "Do you have any clue as to what a racist statement that is?" Without pause he responded with complete seriousness and conviction: "Ummm, what do you mean? I can't be a racist, I'm not white."
I wish I were making that up.
Fast forward to the "Dear Prudie" piece I just read. I've posted it below. Any regular readers of my blog know that I have very strong opinions, especially about the serious political issues of our modern age. They're not inflexible though. But they are the result of a lot of reading and a lot of thought. More often than not though, I'm ostracized in social situations in the Left Coast Canadian City where I reside, should I dare to voice my opinion.
Now take a look at the question & answer:
My partner and I are having our condominium remodeled. We have worked well with one company and asked them to bid a second phase of the job. The person who showed up to bid the job wore a cap with an angry bald eagle on the front with multiple American flags sewn onto the rest of the cap. When I was obviously startled at the hat, he acknowledged, "Guess I should have worn my company hat." I replied, "I would be more comfortable if you had because I can't support much of what the country is doing right now." This led to his reply, "Just so we all support America." My partner and I are gay and feel assaulted by the right wing. We are also horrified by the war in Iraq and so many other issues that our patriotism is very low. That hat was a sickening reminder of my childhood in rural America. I feel that perhaps my money should be spent in a more socially conscious fashion, but I don't relish starting my own campaign of reverse discrimination. Am I making too much of this incident? The company has done a good job for us so far.
When did an American flag come to mean, "I want to assault gay people"? You know nothing about this man's views except that he feels patriotic. Since you are the one who provoked the discussion, do you really want to require that the person building your breakfast nook pass your political litmus test? (And yes, if I were to get a letter saying, "I went to a potential construction job this morning and the owners of the condo were obviously gay. I think homosexuality is abnormal and I hate the idea of gay marriage. I don't know whether I should go ahead and submit a bid," I would find that letter just as objectionable.) We are lucky to live in a society in which one doesn't have to belong to a government-sanctioned party or avow a list of beliefs in order to make a living. I know too many people who say they could never be friends with people who have different political views from theirs, and that's unfortunate. But the economy will crash if every service person is required to agree with their client's world view. Do you know how lucky you are to find a remodeling company that does a good job? Let the guy with the American flag cap get to work.
I fully understand why some Americans do not support their current administration. But the hypocrisy of a gay American making the comment s/he did is so thick you could spread it on toast from a thousand foot long loaf of bread! It sickens me that such a person doesn't bother to acknowledge that "Mr. Baseball Cap" is exactly the kind of American who has fought in countless wars to ensure that they can be openly homosexual in a free society. This "take it for granted" mentality is surely destroying us!