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  • « Give 'em hell, Barney! | Main | ENDA by the numbers »

    November 08, 2007

    The debate before the debate

    Posted by: Chris

    (UPDATE:  At the end of the post.)

    Just one day before Barney Frank and our GLB allies in Congress debated opponents of ENDA in Congress, Human Rights Campaign prez Joe Solmonese had a debate of his own, with Mike Signorile on Sirius Out Q. You can listen to the exchange here on Pam's House Blend, but here are the highlights:

    • HRC's strategy was actually to prevent the compromise ENDA from ever coming up for a vote on the House floor.  Once it passed out of Rules Committee, HRC reversed itself.  It's unclear why HRC would publicly commit itself to a strategy that depended on ENDA never making it to the House floor, something that was inevitable after Nancy Pelosi gave a green light.
    • HRC will score the ENDA vote on its congressional report card, which is pretty remarkable considering the many public pronouncements by Solmonese that HRC opposed (and then was neutral) on the compromise bill. At the same time, HRC will indicate somehow those members (it turned out to be seven Dems) who voted against ENDA on trans-inclusion grounds.
    • Amusingly, Signorile complains the internal ENDA debate "got really ugly," including "nasty comments about transgender people" online.  No doubt that happened and shouldn't have, but thus far I've only seen nasty comments by transgender people (and their allies), not about them.
    • Signorile took Solmonese to task for acting like a Beltway lobbyist and not a civil rights leader. All I can say is, "Welcome to the party, Mike." I've said many times that Joe is no doubt a talented tactician, although his ENDA flip-flops raise some doubts there as well.  But he never should have been named to lead the nation's largest gay rights group. He would have been much better suited to be political director, working for a someone who gets "the vision thing" and can inspire unity and progress in the movement.
    • Solmonese now claims he "misspoke" at a Sept. 14 meeting with transgender activists in Atlanta for the Southern Comfort conference.  "We do not support and in fact absolutely oppose any legislation that is not absolutely inclusive," Solmonese said then.  Believe it or not, Solmonese now claims HRC's position is still to oppose ENDA if it is not trans-inclusive, but only if it passes Congress in that form and is up for the president's signature.
    • Solmonese's take-away from the whole ENDA debacle is that HRC should be entrusted with more, not less, leeway to decide what's best for us. "In retrospect," he said, "perhaps the policy of HRC should be that we're going to evaluate each circumstance as it presents itself and do what we think is in the best interest of the community." Yes, he really said that.

    UPDATE:

    It will be very interesting indeed to see how HRC reacts to the chorus of criticism that seems to be coming from all directions.  From the left, the Bay Area Reporter is asking for the background info on the HRC poll that purportedly shows 70% of LGBT Americans backing a gay-only ENDA. 

    Few seem to doubt that percentage is about right, and it squares what the online survey conducted on this blog and Gay News Watch, but it is more than passing curious that HRC is thus far refusing to say who conducted the poll or its methodology and margin of error.

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    Comments

    1. Michael Petrelis on Nov 8, 2007 2:57:05 PM:

      Why hasn't HRC named the ENDA pollster?

      http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2007/11/bar-hrc-refuses-to-name-enda-pollster.html

    1. Wes on Nov 8, 2007 4:19:46 PM:

      This business about HRC having a poll is hogwash. If they had a poll, it was of the people that had formerly donated money to their confused outfit that called up HRC's switchboard and told them they were off their rockers.

      How exactly would anyone go about developing a reliable sample of gay voters to sample? HRC could argue that they sampled their membership and at least that would have some credibility. But I doubt that was the case,either. And if they did sample their membership, that would not assure that it was representative of the gay community as a whole. It would merely be a sample of just the crowd that decided to send HRC money at some point. (I think if you ever sent them $5 they would keep your name on their membership roll in perpetuity to make their membership numbers appear huge).

      The whole episode has me disillusioned with the organizations that are supposed to be moving us forward. Thank goodness for Barney Frank.

      Oh don't get me wrong. I do not doubt that 70 percent of self identified gays thought the ENDA sans T's should have been passed. In fact, I would not be surprised if the percentage is even higher--which it would likely be if you explained the issue in its entirety to those that are (or were) not paying attention.

    1. johnwill on Nov 8, 2007 4:28:49 PM:

      Shameful ,as a gay man how any reasonable GBL person can celebrate the passing of this is beyond me just remeber Karma's A B~t~h.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 8, 2007 6:49:27 PM:

      "Signorile took Solmonese to task for acting like a Beltway lobbyist and not a civil rights leader."

      Pot, meet kettle. You're both chartreuse.

      Especially since Signorile himself openly endorsed and supported politicians who bragged that they had the "same position" on gays as the Bush administration that he screams is "homophobic".

      "He would have been much better suited to be political director, working for a someone who gets "the vision thing" and can inspire unity and progress in the movement."

      Only for an organization whose primary goal is complete, utter, and absolute servitude to the Democrat Party.

      And, since that's HRC's mission and vision, Solmonese might as well be its leader. All the job takes is an unquestioning puppet who will do as the Executive Board of paid lobbyists and Democrat staffers demand to please their Democrat masters, and in that light, Solmonese is clearly overqualified for the position.

    1. Citizen Crain on Nov 8, 2007 9:45:54 PM:

      OK NDT, since you've made that same point about 500 times, I'll bite. Yes John Kerry said that, even though it wasn't true since (very significantly) President Bush pushed a federal amendment to ban gays from marrying and John Kerry only backed state-level amendments.

      Given that elections are a choice among viable options and not wishing contests, who SHOULD HRC, Signorile etc have endorsed?

    1. Lucrece on Nov 8, 2007 9:57:08 PM:

      That's a response you won't get from NDT. He is all about crapping on the mean, treacherous Democrats, but he seems reluctant to explain his party's record and potential on LGBT issues.

    1. Double T on Nov 8, 2007 11:23:47 PM:

      This is a "messy" situation. I'm sure Chris will howl when Barney publicly gives HCR credit for all the legwork( that day is coming)

      Three Cheers for Barney!!!!!

      I confess even though I disagree with your blog, I love the irony. Very entertaining.

      For example.
      You complained and complained that ENDA needed to be pragmatic. What a joke!!!!
      If you were truly pragmatic you wouldn’t lead a gay life. There are easier ways to get thru life. The “closet” is very pramatic.

      True leadership requires VISION.

      The road less traveled.


    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 9, 2007 12:03:14 AM:

      "Given that elections are a choice among viable options and not wishing contests, who SHOULD HRC, Signorile etc have endorsed?"

      That's easy, Chris.

      No one.

      Instead of pumping tens of millions of dollars to John Kerry, HRC should have put that money into state-level initiatives against the constitutional amendments he was endorsing.

      Or they should have put it into providing legal advice and aid to help gays take advantage of the existing protections for our relationships, i.e. wills and financial proxies.


      HRC is (allegedly) a nonpartisan organization devoted to principles, not to politicians.

      Why, then, is it necessary for them to give money to politicians who openly advocate for things that are contrary to their principles?

      If there is a lesson to be learned from the religious right, it should be that the quickest way to get a politician's attention is not through fealty to them....but through fickleness towards them.

      The reason HRC is perpetually ignored by both parties is simple; both parties know that there simply is no action they could take that would change HRC's attitude towards them. HRC will always find ways to rationalize supporting Democrat homophobes and to bash Republicans who are pro-gay; therefore, there is no penalty or benefit to either behavior.

      Usually the rejoinder at this point is that, if HRC withheld money from Democrats, the Democrats would stop supporting gays.

      Ask yourself, then; since Democrats are only our friends when we pay them and do their unquestioned bidding, are they really our friends at all?

    1. Lucrece on Nov 9, 2007 12:20:37 AM:

      Heh, point exactly where does HRC bash Republicans who are pro-gay? I find it amusing that you always exaggerate the scenarios of reverse discrimination and claim that it is the poor Republicans who have been scorned by gays, although the political reality seems to contradict such implications, and that straight white men are over-vilified. True, there seems to be that silly tired mantra on some leftist LGBT followings that white gay men have it easier than the others, but so far from what I've seen the ratio of vilification are rather one-sided on the Republican side.

      As for HRC's decision to fund Kerry, it is a simple answer. Funding always helps in increasing your odds. The worst Democrat on gay issues is leaps and bounds ahead of the most gay-friendly Republican; sure, there are some Republicans with a shred of consideration that are gay-friendly, but they are the exception, not the rule. Kerry may have betrayed the party's ideals; however, if he had been elected, our Supreme Court would not currently be unreceptive to gay issues as the current conservative-dominated court is, and we would not have had a Southwick appointment even held under consideration.

      Also, I'm still waiting for an answer as to your reluctance to mention your party's lackings. Only 35 of the 235 votes approving ENDA were Republican. How can you possibly redeem the GOP in light of its voting record in comparison to the Democrats. Who mainly did the work for the Matthew Sheppard Act and ENDA? Which party has been the most supportive of a DADT repeal? You seem to suffer from a desperate case of wanting to belong to a party that will not take you in the first place, sadly.

    1. Kevin on Nov 9, 2007 6:48:46 AM:

      Lucrece:

      Since when is the GOP Chris' "party"? You obviously haven't really read this blog thoroughly. He is not a Republican.

    1. Kevin on Nov 9, 2007 6:55:19 AM:

      Re: the poll. How characteristic. As we know from both George Stephanopoulos' book and Dick Morris' books, it was a poll that led Clinton to lie, then another poll that led Clinton to tell the truth in the Lewinsky scandal. I think a lot of us wouldn't have so much trouble with HRC if they actually stood for something that we didn't agree with. It's this shameless flip-flopping, driven by their own organization's interests rather than the community's, that is so frustrating and disappointing. They've had this rep for a long, long time.

      And it's flip-flopping that always defeats a promising candidate of any party. Whether you're gay or straight, you don't want to put all your faith in someone you can't trust.

    1. Lucrece on Nov 9, 2007 7:33:39 AM:

      Kevin, obviously you haven't read the comments on this thread thoroughly enough to be cognizant of the fact that I'm addressing NDT, not Chris.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 9, 2007 1:48:48 PM:

      I think, Lucrece, your problem is best explained by this remark:

      "The worst Democrat on gay issues is leaps and bounds ahead of the most gay-friendly Republican"

      So a Democrat like Harold Ford, who supports the FMA, is better than a Republican who opposes it.

      Not surprising, since that's how HRC allocates its money ( http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2007/02/lets-see-if-we-can-follow-bouncing.html ) and how it's defended by DNC staffers like Andrew Tobias.

      What that makes obvious, Lucrece, is that what the Republican Party is "lacking" is the fact that they're not Democrats; it certainly has nothing to do with their behavior, as your insistence that FMA-supporting Democrats are better than Republicans who oppose it are makes obvious. There simply is nothing a Republican can do that you would support,and nothing a Democrat can do that you would oppose; hence your rationalization for Kerry.


      As for your attempts to cite ENDA, the Shepard act, and whatnot, your attempts to bribe me with laws that unfairly grant me special privileges and protections for merely being gay that the vast majority of people do not have is repulsive to the ideal AND the actuality of equality for everyone. And as for DADT, I find it highly amusing that a community whose leadership is overwhelmingly leftist and anti-military -- witness leftist gays banning JROTC from schools and demanding that military recruiters be harassed and barred from college campuses -- is so upset by not serving in the military.

    1. Lucrece on Nov 9, 2007 10:28:28 PM:

      Way to spin things, NDT. Again, let's play the game of showing the ratio of support/opposition between the two parties. I do admit I should have clarified: Of all the presidential candidates, any Democrat is leaps and bounds better than the Republican candidates.

      "What that makes obvious, Lucrece, is that what the Republican Party is "lacking" is the fact that they're not Democrats; it certainly has nothing to do with their behavior, as your insistence that FMA-supporting Democrats are better than Republicans who oppose it are makes obvious. There simply is nothing a Republican can do that you would support,and nothing a Democrat can do that you would oppose; hence your rationalization for Kerry."

      Who said I support FMA-supporting Democrats over gay-friendly Republicans? Once again, you keep bringing up your precious straw man's. Did you miss the part where most LGBT's received the San Diego Republican mayor's behavior with admiration, even though he is a Republican? It is laughable that someone in your position would attempt to lecture me on rationalizations.

      "As for your attempts to cite ENDA, the Shepard act, and whatnot, your attempts to bribe me with laws that unfairly grant me special privileges and protections for merely being gay that the vast majority of people do not have is repulsive to the ideal AND the actuality of equality for everyone. And as for DADT, I find it highly amusing that a community whose leadership is overwhelmingly leftist and anti-military -- witness leftist gays banning JROTC from schools and demanding that military recruiters be harassed and barred from college campuses -- is so upset by not serving in the military."

      I sometimes wonder if you come here just to troll for kicks. How are these laws solely benefiting minorities? As for the military issue, you make too many assumptions about Democratic positions on servicemembers. The military is not shown hostility by gays just because they're the army; they get vitriol for placing gay men under the category of "mental defects" and "not in line with the institution's morals." I'll find you hard-pressed not to be offended by such categorization. You are also taking the historically anti-war San Francisco Californians and making them the representative sample of the gay community, which is patently false and dishonest on your part.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 10, 2007 12:57:36 AM:

      "Who said I support FMA-supporting Democrats over gay-friendly Republicans?"

      You did.

      "The worst Democrat on gay issues is leaps and bounds ahead of the most gay-friendly Republican"

      Next:

      "Did you miss the part where most LGBT's received the San Diego Republican mayor's behavior with admiration, even though he is a Republican?"

      No, I missed the part where you criticized as homophobic and hateful the FMA and state constitutional amendment supporting Democrats that you, HRC and the Democrat Party endorsed; all I saw was you saying that they were better than the San Diego Republican mayor ("the worst Democrat is leaps and bounds....")


      "How are these laws solely benefiting minorities?"

      Easy -- because they allow discrimination against majority members, such as colleges and universities granting special privileges in admission based on skin color and governmental agencies discriminating against male and white-owned companies in granting contracts, allowing them to decide on contracts based on the skin color and gender of the owner.

      "I'll find you hard-pressed not to be offended by such categorization."

      I don't generally waste a lot of time worrying about what other people think.

      "You are also taking the historically anti-war San Francisco Californians and making them the representative sample of the gay community, which is patently false and dishonest on your part."

      Not really, since I haven't seen you or any other gay organization object to what they're doing.

      And that's something I've noticed, Lucrece. You can't criticize homophobic Democrats. You can't criticize liberal lesbians like Hilary Rosen and organizations like HRC that support homophobic Democrats. And now, instead of criticizing gays who use homosexuality as their excuse for antimilitary bigotry, you attack me for pointing out the fact that they do it -- which means you can't do THAT, either.

    1. Kevin on Nov 10, 2007 7:39:23 AM:

      Sorry, Lucrece - it wasn't obvious. The comment section on this and other blogs are often not so threaded and 'you' isnt always clear, but now it is.

    1. Lucrece on Nov 10, 2007 12:50:38 PM:

      "You did.

      'The worst Democrat on gay issues is leaps and bounds ahead of the most gay-friendly Republican'"

      I clarified that statement in the previous post. It is easier to take things out of context to put your own spin on them, though, isn't it?

      Next:

      "No, I missed the part where you criticized as homophobic and hateful the FMA and state constitutional amendment supporting Democrats that you, HRC and the Democrat Party endorsed; all I saw was you saying that they were better than the San Diego Republican mayor ("the worst Democrat is leaps and bounds....")"

      What kind of logic do you resort to? So, because I apparently don't criticize such Democrats right in this blog means that I don't criticize them at all? Don't assume what my criticisms are, please lay off your precious straw man's. It may be hard for you to argue someone not based on your perceived image of them rather than on what's present in the argument, but I'm pretty sure you're old enough to at least give it a try.

      "Easy -- because they allow discrimination against majority members, such as colleges and universities granting special privileges in admission based on skin color and governmental agencies discriminating against male and white-owned companies in granting contracts, allowing them to decide on contracts based on the skin color and gender of the owner."

      This is not affirmative action. Again, ENDA has nothing to do with establishing job quotas or any other affirmative action-esque functions. I even wonder if you've bothered to read the wording of the legislation. It offers NEUTRAL protections. The categories are NEUTRAL. No majority will be discriminated against because white is as much a race category as black, as is male to the female, as is heterosexual to homosexual. This is one paranoid and pitiful case of erroneous extrapolation.

      "I don't generally waste a lot of time worrying about what other people think."

      Apparently, you do, judging how you so smugly design blog categories such as:

      " Blogs On Which Mentioning My Name Will Get You Banned, Too

      * Americablog
      * BlogActive
      * Joe.My.God
      * Pam's House Blend
      "

      That, among your paranoid claims that minorities are out to discriminate against you, do seem to buzz off on that big lie of yours.

      "Not really, since I haven't seen you or any other gay organization object to what they're doing."

      Yes, wonderful, it must be the other case since YOU have not taken the time to look for those who have criticized. Move along, folks; there is nothing to see here but a blatant appeal to ignorance.

      "And that's something I've noticed, Lucrece. You can't criticize homophobic Democrats. You can't criticize liberal lesbians like Hilary Rosen and organizations like HRC that support homophobic Democrats."

      What do you mean you can't criticize? Everybody can criticize last I checked; there wasn't a button to press on people that turned off their ability to criticize. Just don't expect the criticism to be one-sided; it would be a naive thing to believe.

      " And now, instead of criticizing gays who use homosexuality as their excuse for antimilitary bigotry, you attack me for pointing out the fact that they do it -- which means you can't do THAT, either."

      Yes, anyone who disagrees with your circumspect logic must definitely be attacking you! I merely pointed out the key aspect that you're missing in taking the perspective of many gays about the military into account. Excuse? Come on, you know better than to pull that on me. Gays do not reject the military because they are the military; they do so because the military would rather take convicted felons into their ranks above well-disposed gay members, which are derisively categorized. Of course, this psychological aspect does not serve your argument well, so it's better to omit it.

    1. Steve on Nov 10, 2007 12:56:13 PM:

      Mike Signorile is a truly disgusting individual. Joe Solmonese and HRC had been pressured by the "LGBT - We Know What's Best For All Of You" Nazis to remain neutral on gay/lesbian civil rights. When HRC finally returned to its senses and discovered that equal protection under the law for gays and lesbians was, in fact, a very good thing (duh?), he gets nailed by Signorile.

      Mike was perfectly aware of all of this. It is a sad day when our own gay reporters "muddy the waters" for sensationalism.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 11, 2007 2:57:57 AM:

      "So, because I apparently don't criticize such Democrats right in this blog means that I don't criticize them at all? Don't assume what my criticisms are, please lay off your precious straw man's."

      And again another spinning leftist gets tripped up by their own hypocrisy.

      "That's a response you won't get from NDT. He is all about crapping on the mean, treacherous Democrats, but he seems reluctant to explain his party's record and potential on LGBT issues."

      "I even wonder if you've bothered to read the wording of the legislation. It offers NEUTRAL protections. The categories are NEUTRAL."

      So does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

      However, numerous Supreme Court decisions have established that the "neutral" language of Title VII fully allows and empowers discrimination on the basis of race and gender against whites and males -- such as in the area of college admissions, where white students are forced to reach higher academic qualification while black students do not, in the awarding of government contracts, in which governments may discriminate against white- and male-owned businesses, regardless of performance, in favor of less-qualified and lower-performing minority-owned ones, and in employment, where employers may discriminate against more-qualified white and male employees in favor of less qualified black and female employees, in order that "racial and gender balance" may be achieved.

    1. Lucrece on Nov 11, 2007 12:02:34 PM:

      "And again another spinning leftist gets tripped up by their own hypocrisy.

      'That's a response you won't get from NDT. He is all about crapping on the mean, treacherous Democrats, but he seems reluctant to explain his party's record and potential on LGBT issues.'"

      Talking about spinning hypocrites. What you see there is an observation, not a flat out statement that asserts that Democrats are not to be criticized. Nice try, though.

      "So does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

      However, numerous Supreme Court decisions have established that the "neutral" language of Title VII fully allows and empowers discrimination on the basis of race and gender against whites and males -- such as in the area of college admissions, where white students are forced to reach higher academic qualification while black students do not, in the awarding of government contracts, in which governments may discriminate against white- and male-owned businesses, regardless of performance, in favor of less-qualified and lower-performing minority-owned ones, and in employment, where employers may discriminate against more-qualified white and male employees in favor of less qualified black and female employees, in order that "racial and gender balance" may be achieved."

      You said it, Supreme Court interpretations, which is more of a fault on the judicial side than on the legislation's design. Furthermore, I'm sure those decisions were concerning the legality of affirmative action, which , as I have said before, is unrelated to the protections ENDA will provide.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 12, 2007 1:14:05 AM:

      "You said it, Supreme Court interpretations, which is more of a fault on the judicial side than on the legislation's design."

      Not at all.

      As California's Proposition 209 has shown, the easy way to make it clear that the law's intent is not to allow discrimination of any form is to put it there.

      Why, pray tell, was that language left out of ENDA? Is it because that would have undercut completely the Bonnie Bleskacheks of the world, who used gay "affirmative action" in state ENDAs to protect themselves from being fired even after gross workplace sexual misconduct?

    1. Lucrece on Nov 12, 2007 10:18:39 AM:

      "Not at all.

      As California's Proposition 209 has shown, the easy way to make it clear that the law's intent is not to allow discrimination of any form is to put it there.

      Why, pray tell, was that language left out of ENDA? Is it because that would have undercut completely the Bonnie Bleskacheks of the world, who used gay "affirmative action" in state ENDAs to protect themselves from being fired even after gross workplace sexual misconduct?"

      Oh, please, of all things, gay affirmative action? My, do we love to exaggerate beyond measure. Gays and lesbians are far from being treated or perceived the same as blacks and women.

      And the wording is just fine. It says that no discrimination of any kind will be tolerated, as pointed by the "sexual orientation" category. It doesn't say it's intent is to ban discrimination against "homosexuals." It applies to both heterosexual and homosexual, although I find your exaggerations on the event of straight men being fired because they're straight rather amusing, as it simply DOESN'T happen nearly as much as its inverse.

      Besides, it is time people should stop being so lazy and expect the legislative branch to cover them, when they should be paying attention and participating in the evaluation and shaping of all branches, the judicial branch included. I am quite sure that if enough people were involved in judicial branch affairs, the appointment of Leslie Southwick would not have come into existence, or else there would be hell to pay. You would get constituents bellowing out their outrage at the appointment of a racist judge (though the anti-gay part is okay; only race is an issue, who gives a damn about gay people, that a lesbian mother was deprived of parental rights because of her sexual orientation).

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Nov 12, 2007 3:46:06 PM:

      "Gays and lesbians are far from being treated or perceived the same as blacks and women."

      LOL....if that's the case, why did you demand the same privileged position as they have?

      "Besides, it is time people should stop being so lazy and expect the legislative branch to cover them"

      Well, since it's the branch that is EXPECTED to most closely mirror their opinions and act accordingly, why not?

      "You would get constituents bellowing out their outrage at the appointment of a racist judge (though the anti-gay part is okay; only race is an issue, who gives a damn about gay people, that a lesbian mother was deprived of parental rights because of her sexual orientation)."

      The reason Southwick went through is because the people calling him "racist" were the same Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton coterie who were screaming that the Duke lacrosse team was guilty because they were white, or who have been defending the Jena 6 thugs who attacked and brutally beat a white student because of his skin color.

      In short, being called a racist by people who are themselves patently racist means nothing.

    1. Lucrece on Nov 12, 2007 7:07:11 PM:

      "LOL....if that's the case, why did you demand the same privileged position as they have?"

      Flawed logic through and through. If you don't get it by now, it is because you refuse to, not because you can't. I won't bother with these antics, much less by a statement that starts with "LOL..."

      "Well, since it's the branch that is EXPECTED to most closely mirror their opinions and act accordingly, why not?"

      Judicial appointments are the extensions of those opinions. Contrary to the general populace's idea, the other branches are as equally important and should be guarded and evaluated with equal zeal as the legislative branch.

      "The reason Southwick went through is because the people calling him "racist" were the same Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton coterie who were screaming that the Duke lacrosse team was guilty because they were white, or who have been defending the Jena 6 thugs who attacked and brutally beat a white student because of his skin color.

      In short, being called a racist by people who are themselves patently racist means nothing. "

      There is no other character interpretation of someone who says that a white person, not of today's white hip-hop generation, calls a black person a "nigger" and uses it with positive connotations. Furthermore, how convenient of you to ignore the last part of my paragraph. He removed children from a mother in a legal battle just because she was a LESBIAN, proceeding to equate her with drunkards, drug addicts, or other morally/medically deviant categories. This does not paint the fine picture of victimized, impartial judge you would seem to advocate.

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