Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A visit from Sheriff Steinberg


     My apologies in advance for this, perhaps best read aloud, or not read at all, particularly if you are in the habit of writing outraged emails to newspapers, bitterly complaining that your sensibilities have been offended. As the following tries to illustrate, it’s a big world, with many people other than yourself in it, alas, and sometimes the world makes accommodations for them. This is one of those times:
     Welllll friend, I’d say what we have here is a situation.
     Alabama, a state we all thought was a member o’ the You-nited States ah ' merica, has succeeded once again, with the venerable chief Judge Roy S. Moore — he of Ten Commandments in the courtroom fame — announcin’ that fed’rall court rulings are more gentle suggestions, more like helpful hints, as opposed to binding orders, at least when it comes to the subject of quote–unquote gay marriage.
     And if Alabama probate judges, drawing ‘pon the guidance of their own hearts, and the fine Suth’n tradition of oppressin’ folks who have always been oppressed down theh, well, if those judges prefer to ignore those federal rulin’s, say, and not ish-eh marriage licenses to ho-mo-sekshul Alabamans, whale, that’s just fahhhhhhn.
     And Mundeh, when it were to have been legal, had the United States of America authority actually extended down that fah, 52 of the 67 Alabama judges decided that Judge Roy S. Moore was rahhhhht.
     So in honah that, in honah Judge Roy S. Moore — don’t ya justlove that name? — I’m dippin’ two fingers in a pouch o’ Red Man, drawin’ out a generous chaw o’ tobaccah, insertin’ it with practic’d skill, settin’ back in mah chair, and revivin’ a heretofore vanished American stereotype: the grinnin’ Suth’n sheriff.
     O-fensive? Why sure it’s o-ffensive. That’t the point, frind. What you have to ask yerself is, “Am I o-ffended ’cause I’m ‘gainst classifyin’ groups ah people, all groups of people, in an unfair and derogatory fashion? Or am I o-ffended’ cause I just don’t liiiike it when it happ’ns t' me?”

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22 comments:

  1. advocate of the anti-ChristFebruary 11, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    Personally, I draw the line at Republican marriage. It offends me and is considered an abomination by the Great Pumpkin, the Lord of us all.

    I heard that some folks down south are questioning the impact of divorce, like if they divorce their spouse, will they still be brother and sister?

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  2. Mr. Steinberg, I don't care for many white southerners myself, but how dare you compare what happened to Afr. Amer, to gay marriage. When gays get killed in the south or lynched for being "uppity" or beaten up for wanting to go to school ( I don't mean a few here and there but en masse), get beaten up or killed for voting, or looking at a white person, or for demanding to vote, or get bombed in their school or bus, then you can talk. You have trivialized the Civil Rights movement , "sho enuff.
    "

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    1. Exactly how many more than "a few" are required before we can make any analogies? And when it cfomes to the denial of the right to be married, isn't it just as "en masse"? (That said, I do think gay right supporters sometimes are a little tone-deaf when analogizing to the civil rights movement even when the comparison is legitimate).

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    2. Matthew Shepard and many other who, unfortunately, do not make national news.

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    3. Calm down. Comparing situations that have clear points of similarity is not the same as equating them.

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  3. And when do young gays get bombed right in their church?

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    1. Don't be brash, Mr. It's beneath you. It's illogical to jump to the conclusion one is against gay rights because they think someone else had it worse. I suppose next you'll compare bashed gays to victims of the Holocaust. (or maybe not)

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  4. Anyone ask Judge Moore if us states are allowed to pass gun control laws that overturn the Supreme Court's 2nd Amendment jurisprudence? Anyway, I'm just glad he isn't a great composer or this might have been a very different column.

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  5. I bet that Laura Washington, Mary Mitchell and John Fountain don't like you much, Mr. Steinberg.

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    1. Those are columnists at the Sun-Times that are Afr. Amer.

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    2. I know who they are. What baffles me is your assertion that they don't like Neil, or more likely, your projection of your own dislike onto them.

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    3. As a rule, columnists don't like each other, so that really isn't a meaningful comment. I certainly like Mary. You'd have to ask her whether she likes me. The other two I don't really know.

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    4. Mr. Bitter Scribe, stop brown nosing. Mr. S. doesn't need a verbal body guard.

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    5. He also doesn't need someone taking meaningless shots at him. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

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  6. This column seems to have struck a nerve, based on the irrational and overwrought replies. On a different note, reading your southern dialect sounds just like listening to Willie Wilson talking.

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    1. Really? I thought it sounded like Bruce Rauner talkin'

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    2. I wouldn't vote for Wilson for mayor unless someone threatened me with a gun. He sounds like he dropped out of 3rd grade.

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  7. Seems to me that this column is like something that Mark Twain might have written, were he around today. And I don't know that he'd have done it any better.

    I'd just point out two things that strike me, whatever their significance. "True, this gay stuff come on mighty fast." Verily. Southerners had had almost a century to wrap their heads around the idea of legal equality for African Americans by the time the civil rights movement was finally achieving some of its goals in the '60's. But when a guy as smart and thoughtful as Obama figured, just 7 years ago, that it was politically expedient for him to oppose gay marriage for religious reasons, and only publicly supported it in 2012, that hasn't left a whole lot of time for even reasonable people to *evolve* in their thinking, let alone Southern county judges. ; )

    Also, it's ironic to me that, while African Americans were the targets of Sheriff Steinberg's colleagues' intolerance back in the 60's, today the religious African American demographic is disproportionately on the same side of this battle as the recalcitrant Alabama judges.

    Gotta say, though, I thought there'd have been dozens of comments on the ole EGD today. Just wondering, Neil, are you taking more flak via e-mail and/or Facebook?

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    1. Very little flak, Jakash, thanks for asking. People don't fire flack at columns -- it's a Twitter phenomenon lately -- ire seems to move from platform to platform, like a cold. Your reference tot African-Americans failing to see their common cause with gays is a reminder that prejudice knows no color line. You can be black and be a bigot, just as you can be Jewish and a bigot. All it takes is a warped view of reality.

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  8. Off topic but a shame the JRW team got it's title stripped. Some of the boys were with divorced parents or living with a grandma and got grandfathered into the team. Not really cheating as if they were using 15 yr olds. Read the good Mary Mitchell column in ST Wed. This was some jealous, white racist in Evergreen Park behind it. That's all these boys had, it will be disheartening.

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