Alex Blaze

Things I'm not worried about: LGBT affirmative action

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 09, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Aidan Quinn, bus, bus driver, James Kirchick, LGBT, mbta, texting, The Advocate, transgender

A bizarre article appeared this morning on The Advocate's website, by gay conservative James Kirchick, denouncing LGBT affirmative action.

The first thing that's bizarre about the article is that it's denouncing LGBT affirmative action. I don't know anyone who's proposing that, any municipality that's discussing an LGBT affirmative action program, or any school or business thinking about doing that. We can't even get ENDA passed, so no one's thinking about affirmative action. So weird.

Then Kirchick spends about 400 words discussing Aiden Quinn, a bus driver who had an accident while texting in Boston who also happened to be trans. The link to affirmative action?

"[Quinn] was initially hired as a minority and used her [sic] transgender status,'" an MBTA source told ABC News. The MBTA rebutted that charge, saying that Quinn was hired through a job lottery, although the T does advertise itself as an "affirmative action employer."

That's right, an anonymous, unconfirmed source, who doesn't explain how they know what they know or how the MBTA would go about determining whether someone is transgender. This is countered by the agency, on the record, presenting a perfectly confirmable and believable fact: that they, like many government agencies, use a job lottery for hiring qualified people.

He asks:

But is it not fair to at least raise the question of whether Quinn would have been treated differently were he not transgender?

Well, that's not the question at all. The point of the story is proof that LGBT affirmative action would have negative results, not whether we can speculate as to why Aiden Quinn was hired.

So that's the second weird.

The third is the diatribe against affirmative action that he goes on, assuming that "affirmative action" means only "quotas," one of the worst paranoid fantasies of the right during the 70's and 80's, turning quickly into a diatribe against the civil rights movement (and ignorant, too, considering he doesn't seem to know that MLK supported affirmative action programs, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 wasn't the last piece of civil rights legislation, or that racism exists):

A look at the history of the African-American civil rights movement is instructive. It began as a struggle firmly rooted in the American ideals of personal liberty and equality before the law. It was the courageous actions of Freedom Riders, bus boycotters, and other activists who helped, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., to slowly bend the moral arc of the universe toward justice. With passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the dream of full legal equality for black people was finally realized.

Yet what started as a campaign to end government-sanctioned discrimination turned into a self-perpetuating industry of grievance, victimization, and the institutionalization of government handouts. The Great Society agenda of the 1960s, in which social programs were vastly expanded, created a devastating cycle of dependency. The welfare system grew into a massive bureaucracy that, rather than incentivize work, encouraged the poor to remain indolent and unwed mothers to have more children.

(Now, where have I seen a similar history of the Civil Rights Movement?)

Where is The Advocate when it comes to fact-checking any of this? Is it really a matter of opinion to say that "the welfare system[...] encouraged [...] unwed mothers to have more children"? It seems like that sort of libel against Black women should at least have been checked with a history book before being published by the LGBT paper of record.

Anyway, that's the third weird, but also probably the entire reason Kirchick wrote this piece for The Advocate. Ask about LGBT affirmative action even though no one's talking about it, use the Aiden Quinn story as a bridge between "LGBT" and "affirmative action," and then you're free to write a diatribe against affirmative action in The Advocate.

Consider how he wraps up:

But the worst aspect of minority preferences isn't the harm they do to those not deemed "disadvantaged," but to their intended recipients. Regardless of how qualified they are, racial minorities on elite college campuses and in high-powered jobs inevitably become subject to the suspicions of some small-minded white peers that their station in society is, at least in part, attributable to the color of their skin.

Yes, James Kirchick, those small-minded white peers are such terrible people. I sure hope that none of them go on to write in LGBT papers because those LGBT papers have affirmative action programs to make sure that they fill their conservaqueer quota....

But, no, I'm not really worried that if LGBT affirmative action passed people would think that any LGBT person hired for a job is only their because of their identity; we don't even have the ENDA yet and James Kirchick is already speculating that unqualified queer hires are crashing buses.

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Jamie Kirchick just annoys me. He's one of those conservafags who espouses right-wing views for the sake of appearing contrarian and ends up doing little more than providing cover for bigots, all the while making an ass of himself. Yawn...

Jamie Kirchick doing his usual best to pull the ladder up after him to make sure that no other LGBT contaminates his exclusive club....too late Jamie, some of the Lesbians made it in and they are sneaking the trans people in with them...

I am having a bit of trouble putting my finger directly on it due to being a little distracted tonight but if I can I want to go back later and tease apart the subtleties of the post. What I intuit so far is an anti-trans sentiment expressed so very indirectly, for instance by specifically mentioning trans people and a hypothetical (or even false) affirmative action and then going on about how gay men have never had the need for such a thing, preferring to rise to the top instead. Pure conjecture of course regarding only the very most cynical individuals of an otherwise fine and altruistic subgroup of the LGBT umbrella...I can't help but wonder if all the recent talk about transsexuals having a bona fide medical condition to which one could apply both compassion and certain legal protections is the root of the issue. Too much was said about "pink money" and other displays of privilege that have as of late turned out to be monopoly money...

Yeah, I agree that it can come off that way. The negative way to read it seems to be "he picked a trans person to pick on in the beginning, someone to call a whiner and perpetual victim, and then moved on to how gays have used their money to advance their agenda."

The more optimistic way is: "I want to write about affirmative action in the Advocate. Let me search for some kind of link... *googling for half an hour* Ah! here we are!"

Conservatives seem to have an overwhelming need to lift themselves up while tearing others down. This is no exception.

As I read this posting I had a number of thoughts on individuals in the workplace who are LBGT. Being in the workplace
since the 1970's, I can remember the years of discrimination experienced by many individuals simply because they were
LGBT. Personally I have seen employment applications which asked the question if one that had a homosexual experience.
There was a time when certain job which required background checks which if the issue of homosexuality appeared, one did
not pass the background check and could not be qualified for the job. I also remember times of going to a variety of
social situations with LGBT individuals and the majority of the present individuals had been fired from a job at one time of the other.
As I am stating this, there was always some other reason (other than there being LBGT) that they were fired.

Over the years, I have seen the progress LBGT individuals have made. It is truly sad to read/hear of this bigotry.

I'm going to write an article about affirmative action for douchebags. It promises to explain how Kirchick got into college and hired for these "jobs."