Over the past week or so, the U.S. Supreme Court has been busy handing down rulings on social issues. Several months have passed since the court upheld fascist-style “show me your papers” laws that are plainly meant to marginalize and intimidate Latinos, and then allowed Republican-controlled states to further harm the poor by denying them access to the Medicaid expansion package in the health care reform law. Now the court has gutted the Voting Rights Act—allowing states that already have marginalized minority populations to marginalize them yet further in order to maintain white supremacy—and refusing to uphold the University of Texas’ “8 percent” rule, intended to diversify the university by making the top-8 percent of each high school’s graduating class automatically eligible for admission to the university or its branches.
That case was brought forward—as other education-related cases before it—by a white female who claims discrimination; given the fact that white females represent by far the largest demographic in colleges and universities across the nation, this would seem the height of hypocrisy, greed and arrogance; but being white, female and a “victim” is always a hot seller with the media. The plaintiff in this case only finished in the top-12 of her high school class, but why work harder in class when you can always claim “white privilege”? Instead of ruling immediately in favor of such a lame plaintiff (who was admitted to LSU, where one former student, David Duke, occasionally wore a Nazi storm trooper outfit) , the court sent the case down to force the lower courts to revisit the case and rule more “appropriately.”
In the other social issues case, one “minority” group did benefit: The gay and lesbian community, when key parts of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” passed in the 1990s was struck down as unconstitutional, essentially giving same-sex marriages federal recognition. As I noted before, the news was greeted with banner headlines in newspapers all over the nation, unlike the tepid response to the Court’s actions that negatively affect racial minorities. One can’t help but to observe that images of the celebrants over the DOMA decision seemed to be universally white. Of course, white people don’t have a lock on the lifestyle, but let’s consider one fact: being white and gay is quite a different situation than being, say, black and gay. If being gay can be “hidden” or not readily apparent or is a particular “problem” unless someone is purposefully trying to be offensive, a complete stranger would never guess that the person was anything other than a privileged white person in this country.
The fact of a person’s race overrides all other empirical considerations. The color of one’s skin, of course, cannot be changed, and thus is a permanent “affliction.” I readily concede that if we truly live in the “land of the free,” that includes who you choose as a life partner. There are a great many things that people don’t like, such as paying taxes, going to the dentist, or dying; people also have different tastes in art and music, and sometimes their opinions can relatively violent; but in a country that tends to leap before it looks, the erosion of “traditional” mores has become a landslide in the last few decades, and it cannot be stopped without being judged a hypocrite.
No one need invent reasons why the media has in the main been in advocate mode in regard to gay and lesbian rights. Many in the media—especially women of the gender advocate and feminist stripe—see the issue as an extension of their own anti-patriarchal and self-empowerment agenda. Also into play is, as mentioned before, is the fact that this has largely been a “white rights” affair framed by educated, successful “victims” for whom the personal “indignity” of not overturning the one seemingly sacrosanct social tradition—that “marriage” is the union between a man and a woman, if for no other reason that it defines what a higher life form such as humans consider the “natural” process of procreation and raising of young—is as much a matter of politics, ideology and power. And who is better positioned to control that message than a media both white-dominated and sympathetic? Certainly in regard to minority concerns, the reaction has been more muted, since whites in the media see no benefit for themselves of their friends.
In an increasingly we-have-ours-screw-you turnabout, white privilege is making a comeback at the expense of what was largely the pretense of a desire to see minority advancement in this society. Yes, we have a black president, but his agenda has largely been derailed or neutered. The same-sex “rights” issue is just another aspect of this movement.