Enough Already

01.29.13

The Boy Scouts and the South

More evidence for my thesis below, about how Democrats now represent regular Americans while Republicans are a bunch of cranks, is the very fine news this week that the Boy Scouts of America are going to admit gay troop members and leaders. Yes. Bravo. To most of America it is not a big deal anymore.

But someone is upset, and look who: It's the Southern Baptist Convention. I heard one of their number on NPR muttering something about this making it impossible for Southern Boy Scouts to attend national jamborees and so forth.

There is a long and appalling history in this country of the rest of us having to act like bigots and enforce bigotry because of the South. It has existed in legislation--the GI Bill had to be written in such a way that it wouldn't benefit blacks too much, or the legislators of the South said they would kill it. Before that, much of the New Deal legislation had to be written in the same way.

It's existed in sports, with college bowl games down South that wouldn't take Northern teams that had dirty negroes. It's existed in rock and roll, when integrated road shows couldn't go down there. It existed on television in the 1960s, when Ed Sullivan had to very careful about how much black and white entertainers could mix on his show because sponsors and affiliates from a certain region of the country would howl. Sullivan was very courageous on this front, but variety shows led by hosts less powerful than he had to dumb their shows down to the Southern level.

As I've written previously, we are past the point in this country now where one's views on homosexuality can be called a "matter of conscience." No. Being against equality here isn't a matter of conscience anymore than having been against racial equality in 1955 was. It is just bigotry plain and simple. Enough. Piss off. Go form your own Boy Scouts. Go form your own stupid country. You aren't America anymore.