Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You're Being An Idiot If You Think Joe Salazar Is Going To Be Our Todd Akin

Conservatives have a superficial understanding of bigotry and women's issues. This whole situation with Joe Salazar reminds me of a time when in third grade, I said somebody was a sexist, and a girl in my class told me she didn't like me anymore because I said "sex".

Republicans are latching onto something said by a Democratic state representative who was arguing for banning concealed carry on a college campus. They're making it out to be insensitive about rape, and anti-woman or something. They're trying to elevate it to the level of Todd Akin's scandal, which I became a minor part of. Here's what Salazar said:

"It's why we have call boxes. It's why we have safe zones. That's why we have the whistles, because you just don't know who you're going to be shooting at. And you don't know if you feel like you're going to be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop... pop a round at somebody."

Whether the feared crime is rape or murder, he wants fewer innocent black men like Trayvon Martin, and innocent people in general, getting shot by scared people with guns. You have to distort his comments a lot before you get something like pundits are claiming he said.

It's disheartening how little control he has over how people are interpreting and distorting his statement, even with the truth on his side. So now he's had to go into damage control mode in order to try to keep the non-scandal from being elevated even more, and to avoid being dumped by the Democratic Party.

Here's something conservative media and politicians don't seem to understand: Acknowledging that we live in a society where rape is a real, everyday fear for women and that walking around at night and passing by a man when nobody else is around is scary, is not bigotry.

Conservatives can't even begin to grasp these issues, so any time a non-minority says something that acknowledges how bigoted our society is, they immediately try to call him racist for it. They think the "race card" is a real thing that explains every call of racism from progressives, and that conservatives are just evening things out by playing the race card back against the Democrats.

When Joe Biden says something awkward that is essentially about how our racist country is only willing to accept a black candidate who fits their narrow criteria, Republicans immediately start saying "See?! He's racist too!! He called Obama clean and articulate!" They don't care what he actually meant. They have a superficial understanding of the idea that those words are inappropriate to use to describe black people, and they have no interest in going beyond that in the discussion of racism.

And finally, Salazar's just a state senator. In the past week I've read maybe eight stories about various conservative state senators who've said absurd things about abortion and other issues. Todd Akin was a U.S. congressman who was a major party's nominee for Senate. If we really gave a shit what state legislators said, all these stories about absurd bills being proposed by crazy Republican state legislators wouldn't just be small blips on politicalwire.com. Just today there was a story about a Republican introducing a bill that would make it a felony for a legislator to introduce any kind of gun control bill.