CLEAR, Civil Disobedience, Homosexuality and False Equivalencies That Aren’t False
Author: James Collins
CLEAR, or more importantly Peter J. Immafuckingdrunk Reynolds, doesn’t believe in civil disobedience. They believe that only “good behavior”, blind obedience to the state, and begging for scraps from our masters table will work.
Recently CLEAR has been reposting an article written, rather poorly, by Peter on the subject of public smoking events. He believes they are bad. He makes a lot of references to “naughty children” and the like, sounding more the Victorian-era aristocrat than any kind of activist. His language and mentality is so dated it was actually stale when he was born. Peter likes the era of tight neckties and silly hats though, so he pretends to be from a time and a culture that was the realm of fiction by the time he drew breath.
A recent Twitter posting makes the rather ridiculous statement that homosexual equality has not risen from civil disobedience, rather it was the result of civilized lobby efforts. Apparently Peter has never seen a Pride parade. Shaking your naked ass in nothing but a pair of fringed leather chaps is actually a form of civil disobedience. The law forbids such actions in public, but when you have a whole parade of guys doing it in leather hats the authorities just have to give it a pass and pretend it didn’t happen.
That leads to normalization. This is the slow process where people become accustomed to an idea by continual exposure. Gay was so much in everyone’s face that we all got used to it. Now the sight of two guys holding hands doesn’t seem odd to any but the most backwards and bigoted members of our society.
Normalization comes after civil disobedience though, if you look at your historical precedents. What am I referring to?
Let’s start with Stonewall. The Stonewall Inn was a place where gay men in New York City used to go to pick up other gay men. It was exactly like any heterosexual bar, where men go to drink enough beer that the aging divorcee at the end of the bar becomes attractive before closing time. Gay people, shockingly enough, do this same thing.
The trouble was that in the 1970’s homosexuality was still classified a mental illness and criminalized in many jurisdictions. This led to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn the backlash of which gave the gay rights movement the momentum it needed to make real progress in the coming decades. They didn’t protest, they didn’t write letters; gay men in New York had themselves some bona fide riots and it got the conversation going.
That’s right – they engaged in mass acts of violent civil disobedience. Crowds of gay men engaged the police in melee combat and came out on top. From that point on the gay community was not to be ignored in New York, and now in a growing number of places gay marriage is legal. See how that worked?
The same thing occurred in the 1960’s in America when African Americans had enough of oppression and segregation and decided to take action. They rioted. They burned cities. It got really out of hand for about six years, and many people were afraid the entire nation would be dragged into a state of civil war.
What happened in the end? Civil rights happened. Legislated equality for black Americans finally became a reality. They didn’t ask, they didn’t beg, and they didn’t plead; African Americans and their supporters left their houses and made it happen by whatever means necessary.
Fast forward to today with cannabis and put it in the context of the CLEAR campaign. By their logic Rosa Parks should have sat at the back of the bus. By their logic homosexuals in New York should have taken their lumps, suffered their criminalization and keep going back to the master of the orphanage with their gruel bowl to ask for more. According to CLEAR we should all just know our place. According to CLEAR the “stoners” belong at the back of the bus.
CLEAR claims that gay rights and cannabis rights are entirely different. They claim some kind of magical non-protest campaign by homosexual rights activists. The fact is it went down in exactly the way they claim it didn’t. Gay rights didn’t happen because of people being polite; it came on the heels of a wave of physical outrage. The same with civil rights, and slavery, and the independence of India … for crying out loud, all progress is the result of civil disobedience.
Peter pretends to be an educated and wise individual, but he isn’t. He has no historical perspective, his arguments are based more on his own fantastical interpretations of events than any established set of facts. His attitudes are self-serving to the extreme, more representing his own unwillingness to engage the public than any real belief against protest. He will cripple the movement for his own ego given the opportunity.