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LETTERS Review of 'Review'; Bruce's bias
2014-06-11

This article shared 2785 times since Wed Jun 11, 2014
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To The Sun-Times:

A writer for the conservative National Review, Kevin Williamson, has created a firestorm of liberal opposition in response to his recent Sun-Times column in which he attacked the gender identity of actress Laverne Cox as well as categorically attacked all transgender people as "delusional" and "anti-rational." The angry opposition to Williamson and the Sun-Times is completely justified.

However, no one should be surprised by the National Review's bigotry. This is the same outfit that in 1957 editorialized that the white community in the South was the "advanced race," and thus was entitled to "prevail, politically and culturally."

This is the same rag that, as recently as late 2012, was still at odds with the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 decision to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder.

In its 2012 piece, the Review asserted without argument that "there is not a shred of scientific evidence that people are simply 'born that way' [that is, with same-sex attraction]." Then it huffed indignantly—again, with no evidence provided and lots of evidence to the contrary—that the APA's 1973 decision was not the result of "careful scientific deliberation" but instead resulted from the Association caving to "rambunctious and constant protest of gay activists." ( We wonder what theReview would have made of political protest, if there had been any, against German "race science" in the 1930s or against the powerful eugenics movement in the U.S. in the early 20th century. )

In any event, Williamson's bias against transgender people is both snide and demeaning, couched as it is in the supercilious, pseudo-intellectual rhetoric typical of the National Review. He's also dead wrong on three counts:

—He conflates the terms "transsexual" and "transgender";

—He mistakenly reifies sex as "biological reality," as totally fixed and concrete, despite the many indeterminate cases at birth that doctors honestly attest to when they "assign" sex; and,

—He insists on the politically tendentious and highly dubious fact/feeling distinction when he asserts that biological "facts" always trump gender identity, which involves an individual's innermost, deepest sense of self.

Yet, in conclusion, we should also ask why many liberals are so selective in their angry, outraged support for some transgender people and not others?

After all, targeting National Review and its hacks plays it safe. The Review has been a longtime, favorite whipping boy for liberals, and deservedly so. But where was widespread liberal support last July for Chelsea ( nee Bradley ) Manning when Obama's Justice Department railroaded that courageous Army intelligence whistle-blower to prison for 35 years? You didn't hear a peep!

Roger Fraser

Gay Liberation Network

Chicago

Bruce's bias

Dear editor:

Now that marriage equality has taken effect throughout all of Illinois, we now have gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner suggesting a referendum to revisit the issue.

Why don't we put Rauner's own basic rights up for a popular vote instead—how would he like that? Does Rauner not know his civic education in which our country's founders warned against the tyranny of the majority in these type issues.

It is quite obvious Rauner is trying to walking the fence and cater to the extreme elements of his party, but there are some issues, such as equality, that are human principles and rights and should not be used as political footballs. Voting on marriage equality is not like voting on a new redistricting map. The lack of integrity by Rauner to use marriage equality as such demonstrates a lack of character.

Sincerely,

Scott G. Burgh


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