Emma Goldman: History Lesson

Here is a one hundred year old history lesson which seems just as timely today as it did then.

I caught part of a PBS documentary on Emma Goldman Sunday night. Goldman died in 1940, before I was born. I had never heard of Goldman before. She had been tarred by her association with various “anarchist” movement figures in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Her actual contribution to modern American thinking seems to have focused on improved working conditions for workers, abortion rights, and equal rights for women (“feminism”). How awful!

image from WikipediaI switched off KSCM-TV at 11PM and turned in. I resolved to Google the topic in the morning. What piqued my interest was an extraordinarily visceral hatred of Goldman by certain interest groups in the United States, including the FBI. This woman appeared to promote a politically and economically secure labor force, women’s rights and, more generally, civil liberty. As a civil libertarian and card-carrying ACLU member, I already know that taking liberty and justice “too seriously” is a sure-fire way to arouse the ire of conservative ideologues.
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The Tinky Winky Conspiracy

A Jerry Falwell Fairy Tale

A stunned world learned earlier this week that: Jerry Falwell’s National Liberty Journal had published “Parents Alert: Tinky Winky Comes Out of the Closet,” alleging that the Teletubby Tinky Winky is intentionally being presented as a gay role model.

The “Alert” included such brazenly obvious “gay clues” as:

  • “He is purple – the gay-pride color”
  • “his antenna is shaped like a triangle – the gay-pride symbol”
  • Tinky Winky, who is played by a male with a male voice, carries a red bag described by Falwell as a “purse”

In our household, we were both absolutely floored at Falwell’s latest. In my wildest dreams, I would never have dared hope for such a huge PR gaffe on Falwell’s part. Continue reading

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“The Ad”

The Christian Coalition’s strategic insertion of their 1998 convert-a-queer ad

The great masses of the people … will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one. – Adolf Hitler

 Why does this keep happening? What happens next? How do we reconcile this story with another one? Where’s the consistency? Who’s the constituency? Who’s getting hurt? Who benefits? What happens if this policy gets implemented consistently? And, most of all, is it right? 

“There is a very old mathematician’s and logician’s paradox concerning the logical analysis of the following statement: “I’m a Talking Crow, said the talking crow”. If the crow did indeed say that, then the statement is true. But if the crow did not say that, or if the crow lied, then the logical truth or falsehood of the statement may be argued forever.”
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