Let’s Be Supportive

Are we too extreme? That is the question that can be debated in multiple ways. In an article in the Emory Report entitled “White male heterosexual wants freedom of speech,” a student on campus discusses the freedom to support as well as criticize those that deal with different issues in society. Being a heterosexual, he felt he should be able to speak on homosexual issues without backlash. Many find problems with those that support an issue that does not directly have to do with them. They label those who support LGBT as being “a little gay” or in the past, those that supported the Civil Rights Movement as “colored lovers.” Can we not be supportive of those trying to have the same rights as “normal” people?

4 thoughts on “Let’s Be Supportive

  1. The opposition to most progressive movements throughout history have often used derogatory terminology to refer to their progressive counterparts in order to demoralize the opposing force and also to create a facade of the issue for the undecided members of their communities. In many ways, it seems illogical that society in general would fall prey to such immature tactics and yet the fear of being rejected by one’s own community is often a barrier for the acceptance of others.
    It’s interesting that they decided to focus on the most traditional opponent for this article. “White male heterosexual[s]…” are often on the forefront of the opposition to LGBT rights and social media often portrays these men as the least likely to be comfortable around gay men.
    Concluding that heterosexual men who support LGBT rights are “a little gay” indicates the negativity that is propagated by opponents and shows how they use fear to dissuade increased community support.

    • J thinks: I’m not sure I agree that white straight men are the sort of “most homophobic.” I think plenty of women and folks of all races exhibit overt homophobia.

  2. Simoneh: I think you point out an interesting opposition between “freedom of speech” and “hate speech.” How do we honor someone’s right to think and feel whatever they want by alsoreconizing that words have power and can be violent? Also, does how the speaker connects to structures of power matter?

    • I believe that someone can have their own thoughts and feelings, but if they are directly harming someone by acting on their feelings, then that is when intervening may be needed. It is a very thin line to keep from crossing, especially when we as Americans have the freedom to say our feelings.

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