Guest post by Myristic Mystic:
I know I’m super late with a post on Caitlyn Jenner, but it wasn’t until today that I came up with the idea for this post. As almost everyone knows, the former Olympian known as Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner, forcing the transgender issue out in a way that it has never been before. As one would expect, the way the public has responded to Jenner is divided on cultural lines, with progressives saying, “You go girl!” while conservatives insist, “She’s a MAN, baby!” (I won’t get into the reaction of TERFs — trans-exclusionary feminists — which is a whole other kettle of fish) Since you already knew that, I want to examine the reaction to Jenner from an economic perspective.
Special guest post from Myristic Mystic:
Back in 2001, I was a senior in high school in an institution that had a progressive pedagogy and an unusually reactionary student body. There entire school had about 120 students from three to eighteen, and there were never any more than twenty-two students in the entire high school at any given time. This meant that if you didn’t like those twenty odd people, you were pretty much SOL in terms of having a social life. One of those students was a boy I’ll call Z, who was a self-identified redneck, though he came from a well-to-do background. Z liked to wear t-shirts from a company called Dixie Outfitters that often had the Confederate battle emblem on it. I complained about it on more than one occasion, including during the weekly class meeting when these sorts of inter-personal issues were supposed to be hashed out, but Z kept wearing them. When I complained to a (white) teacher for the umpteenth time about it, she said, “You need to stop complaining about Z and his shirts, because he knows more black people than you and they’re okay with it.” I wish I had replied with, “I don’t care if Z is besties with Nelson Mandela, he will never have to live in as a black person in a white society,” but unfortunately, I just became upset and left the room in tears. The main lesson I learned from this experience — other than the fact that my high school was peopled with horrible individuals — is that for many Southern white people, racism is not a problem, but complaining about racism is. This brings me to yesterday’s AME church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.
Most of the coverage surrounding the Rachel Dolezal controversy stems from the perceived notion that she was engaged in a 24/7 blackface routine or that she was misappropriating blackness out of some kind of deep-seated sense of confusion or emotional inadequacy. Frankly, none of that interests me. What’s incredible to me is that no one is asking how American racial politics enabled Dolezal to pull off her scheme, because in no other country would she consider her to be black, whether in her youthful Caucasian phase or in her current racially ambiguous disguise.
Almost nine years ago, a deranged man took hostages in a one-room Amish schoolhouse, and eventually shot ten girls before turning the gun on himself. After the tragedy, the Amish community reached out to the shooter’s family to tell them that they forgave him for the destruction he had wrought on them, with thirty community members even attending the man’s funeral. While many commentators were amazing by this act of forgiveness on the part of the Amish, others noted that it made no sense to forgive someone who showed no remorse for his actions. Similarly, I would say that this gesture wasn’t that impressive, given that Amish culture forces community member to offer knee-jerk forgiveness to an offender, whether they want to or not. This raises the question of whether forgiveness is always a virtue, or whether it can be a vice in some circumstances.
Yesterday, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar took to the airwaves to defend their decision to sacrifice their daughters’ well-being, so their eldest son wouldn’t have a ruined “testimony” or whatever. It was a scene with enough fake crying, fake tanner, and vacuous Jesus talk to make Jimmy Swaggart’s infamous “I have sinned!” speech seem like an understated Shakespearean reading: