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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Racism Redux

The year 2009 marked the 50th Anniversary of the publication of the book, "To Kill A Mockingbird". It's one of those books everyone had to read in junior and senior high school, like "A Tale of Two Cities" (check), "Catcher in the Rye", (check) and "Pride and Prejudice" (check).

I confess that I haven't read it since, which is odd, because what I remember most about the book is the awareness it raised in me about racism, and the commitment it created in my heart and soul for the Civil Rights Movement.

Inspired by the anniversary and confounded by the racism inherent in the Tea Party Movement, I put it on my list of books to read again. That was last summer. I'm just getting to it. Finished it Friday night, in fact.

I thought this would be just a pleasant little stroll down Memory Lane. A little measure of how far we've come, baby. Perhaps, even a measure of how far I've come.

I'm discovering that Memory Lane is not always an enjoyable place.

Yes, I know that it was author Harper Lee's one and only book, which became an instant classic as well as a much loved movie.

Yes, I know that the book is a portrayal of Alabama in the 1930's, so it is about a specific period of time and a specific cultural attitude.

However, it also remains required reading in many junior and senior high schools, and Atticus Finch, the council for the defense of Tom Robinson, the black man falsely accused of the rape of a white woman, has become something of a role model for the legal profession.

Therein begins my problem.

Let me begin with identifying my perspective. First of all, while I am a voracious reader, I am not a literary critic. I wouldn't know how to begin to critique a great work like this, much less an article in People Magazine. So, if you're expecting an in-depth critical analysis of this work, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Secondly, I am identified in the Census as a fairly well educated Caucasian woman of middle class means who has shared her life for the past 34 years with another woman.

Because I can't separate the prejudice I experience as a woman from the prejudice I experience because of my so-called 'sexual orientation', I tend to see all oppression as being part of an interconnected web.

I am, therefore, passionate about multiculturalism which includes fighting against prejudice and oppression in all of its forms - race, ethnicity, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, class, financial status and physical or intellectual ability.

I am, therefore, highly resistant to the impulse to set up a hierarchy of oppression - as if one were worse than another.

That often causes my African American friends to wince. I understand. The sin and stench of slavery still function like the sting of the master's whip. Were I African American, I would, no doubt, have the perspective many do - that anti-oppression work begins with a full-frontal attack on the evils of racism.

I'm not and I don't. I believe it begins with the sin of the oppression of one human being by another and that collaboration among the wide variety of those who suffer oppression is the key strategy to liberation and equality.

That's my starting point and I do not apologize for it. That doesn't mean that I don't believe we should not have a full-frontal attack on the evils of racism. I do. With all my heart and soul, my mind and strength.

Indeed, whenever I see the evil of racism, I jump in both feet. You may have noticed that I also do the same for the issues that most concern me - sexism and misogyny, heterosexism and homophobia.

And that, my friends, is how it is for me. The personal is always political and structures and systems of prejudice and oppression are highly political beasts which need to be fought at every turn.

I simply don't see the benefit of establishing a hierarchy of oppression when collaborative efforts have, historically, been the most successful (See also the Quaker activism which included a dual approach to the abolition of slavery and activism for the suffrage of women - Frederic Douglass being a prime example of that strategy.)

'Sister Outsider', Audre Lorde, said that you can't dismantle the master's house with the master's tools. In other words, you can't free yourself from oppression by oppressing others - even in the most benign way. Anti-oppression work is whole cloth with many different threads. Pull on one and the whole work begins to unravel.

So, you won't be surprised to hear me say that my first response to re-reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" was to be stunned - an horrified - by the racism inherent in the book - and in confronting my own racism once again.

However, as the story unfolded, I was also horrified by the flat-out misogyny, sexism, heterosexism, and classism that worked hand-in-hand with racism to convict Tom Robinson.

I was even more stunned that I had completely missed that factor when I first read the book at age, oh, I don't know 14 or 16 years old. It even passed me by when I saw the movie as a young adult.

First of all, Atticus Finch is treated as a hero - even among the African Americans in the book - when the guilty verdict is rendered against Tom Robinson. If Finch were a Civil Rights hero, he would be brimming with rage against the unjust verdict. He isn't. He's full of accommodation, not reform.

He makes excuses for the people of Maycomb, forgiving them their sins from a "sickness" - the inability to see a black man as a human being. All men (men!) he believes, are just alike. Except, of course, when they are not.

When the subject of the presence of the Klan in Maycomb is brought up, Finch brushes it aside saying, "They paraded by Mr. Sam Levy's house one night but Sam just stood on his porch and told 'em things had come to a pretty pass . . . Sam made 'em so ashamed of themselves they went away."

But Finch does not want to deal with the existence of anti-Semitism. He wants to believe in the fantasy of Sam Levy, down the street, giving the Klan a good scolding.

Somebody cue Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?"

It's a naive statement - one known to folk across the racial spectrum - that promotes accommodation. However, it is reform, as history proves, lamentably, which is the only path to assurance of some small iota of cultural harmony through compliance with the law.

Finch will stand up to racists. He'll use his moral authority to shame them into silence. What he will not do is look at the problem of racism outside the immediate context of his relationships with people like Mr. Cunningham - the poor white farmer who leads lynch mobs against black people. Or, Mr. Sam Levy. Or, the island community of Maycomb, Alabama.

He refuses to see the structural dimensions of prejudice, much less the systemic problems of racism.

Accommodation does not change prejudice. Change the law, and hearts may follow. Or, not. But, at least there will be the law of the land and consequences for breaking that law. This is an important point to remember when we return to the Tea Party folks.

I want to talk about Mr. Cunningham for a moment because it's a fine example of how class status weaves its way into the mix.

Finch likes Walter Cunningham. Cunningham is, to his mind, the right sort of poor white farmer: a man who refuses a W.P.A. handout and who scrupulously repays Finch for legal work with a load of stove wood, a sack of hickory nuts, and a crate of smilax and holly.

Finch tells his daughter that Cunningham is "basically a good man," who "just has his blind spots along wit the rest of us."

Blind spots? Excuse me? It just so happens that one of his "blind spots" is a homicidal rage against black people. In my book, that considerably diminishes his status as "basically a good man."

This, however, is part of the defense Finch uses for his client. Robinson is the church goer, the "good Negro." Mayella Ewell, the alleged rape victim, comes from the town's lowest breed of poor whites.

"Every town the size of Maycomb had families like the Ewells," Scout tells us. "No truant officers could keep their numerous offspring in school; no public health officer could free them from congenital defects, various worms, and the diseases indigenous to filthy surroundings."

They live in a shack behind the town dump, with windows that "were merely open spaces in the walls, which in the summertime were covered with greasy strips of cheesecloth to keep out the varmints that feasted on Maycomb's refuse."

Bob Ewell is described as a "little bantam cock of a man" with a face as red as his neck, so unaccustomed to polite society that cleaning up for the trial leaves him with a "scalded look; as if an over-night soaking had deprived him of protective layers of dirt."

His daughter, the complainant, is a "thick-bodied girl accustomed to strenuous labor."

See? The Ewells are trash.

When the defense insinuates that Mayella is the victim of incest at the hands of her father, it is not to make her a sympathetic figure. Rather it is to impugn her credibility.

Finch wants his white, male jurors to do the right thing. But as a good Jim Crow liberal he dare not challenge the foundations of their privilege. Instead, Finch encourages them to swap one of their prejudices for another.

This new insight caused me to gasp out loud and burst into tears. Why hadn't I seen this before? Why hadn't there been any class discussion on this when I was in school?

This is what happens, I suspect, when you interpret the picture by looking only at the broad brush strokes of good and evil, black and white. You miss the nuance and subtlety, the subtexts and subplots - the shades of gray, as it were.

It's fairly easy to spot a bigot. They can actually become humorous to watch - like Archie Bunker - as long as you don't have to live with them. As long as they don't have any power or authority.

Watching the book's hero disintegrate into someone willing to broker class and gender for race was like watching him take his shoes off and discovering he had clay feet.

The author saves the worst for the last. Bob Ewell has become humiliated by the trial. In revenge he attacks Scout and her brother on Halloween night. Boo Radley, the quiet and reclusive neighbor of the Finches, comes to their rescue, and in the scuffle, Radley kills Ewell.

Sherrif Tate brings the news to Finch and asks him to lie about what really happened. The story will be that Ewell inadvertently stabbed himself in the scuffle. Finch buys into the story and then tells Scout, "Mr. Ewell fell on his knife. Can you possibly understand?"

See?

Forget about the good lawyer and the sheriff's complicity in obstructing justice. Forget that they told a flat out lie and engaged minor children to collude with it.

Atticus Finch had been faced with jurors who had one set of standards for white people like Ewells and another set for black folk like Tom Robinson. His response was to adopt one set of standards for respectable whites like Boo Radley and another for white trash like Bob Ewell.

That's when the mockingbird died for me.

I suspect, in that moment in the book, that it did for Scout, too. It just took longer for my innocence to die - 40 years or so, in fact - and for me to begin to understand more deeply how innocence and ignorance continue to be the seeds upon which the Evil Birds of Prejudice and Oppression feast.

So, here's the thing about Tea Party members - especially those groups of Tea Party members who call themselves Tea Baggers - the thing about Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and the rest of the good folk who, oh gosh, just want to get America back on track and give 'the land of the free and the home of the brave' back to the people of these United States.

I know there are intelligent, educated members of the Tea Party - people like Diana Reimer, featured today in this NY Times video - who were jolted into the movement when the economy tanked.

They were, by their own admission, pretty much asleep - fat, happy, and uncaring about the world of politics or the welfare of anyone else. They had theirs. Why should they worry about yours? Now they are wide awake and angry. One man in the clip calls them "The National Guard" of the political movement.

I'm sure they fancy themselves as contemporary Atticus Finches and Sherrifs Tate. You do what you gotta do. By any means necessary. Even if that means you have to lie - to others and yourself - to protect what's true for you.

The Tea Party members and Tea Baggers talk about 'giving America back to the people' but we all know that is code language - conscious or unconscious - to cover their outrage that a Black man is in the White House.

While that is odious enough, it is critically important to remember that whatever traction this movement gets will be absolutely dependent upon the complicity of issues of class and gender - as well as sexual orientation.

This is about 'brokering' the various prejudices for the preservation of the dominant cultural paradigm.

Think this can't happen? That this is just the stuff of 50 year old novels about what happened in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s?

We only need to look more closely at the "reform" of the health care insurance industry which was brokered on the backs of the reproductive rights of women of poverty - many of whom are people of color.

One of my colleagues has also discovered that, while her health insurance will still be "allowed" to be covered by her partner, who is a state employee, her partner's insurance premium used to pay for her health insurance will now be subject to tax.

Starting to get it? Perhaps you already have. Perhaps you got it years ago.

I'm still mourning the killing of the mockingbird, which, as the myth goes, is a sin.

We would do well to remember that famous quote by Martin Niemöller:
"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

29 comments:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Evil may start very small, un-noticed by us, but all the more invasive and dangerous to those targeted.

Karen said...

WOW. Just WOW. This one is going to require several readings. Way too much to take in at once. It has been many years since I read that book -- probably about the same number as for you. My high school class didn't discuss any more than yours did. Thank you. I think you are exactly right.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Cue the Twilight Zone music. Last night, at my birthday supper, the conversation turned to "What's with these Tea Partiers?" Someone at the table said, "You don't have to scratch them very hard to find a racist underneath." We talked about how to break them up is to get them to realizing they are a bunch of bigots who would eat each other alive if they got what they claim they want.

"Yeah," one of my dinner party said, "maybe as they all get heady about themselves and their "common" cause, they will discover this bunch of them over really doesn't like African-Americans and Hispanics. Or these ones are homophobes. Or this bunch over here are misogynists. Or these other ones really are Jew-haters or Catholic-haters. That's how you could get them to implode."

I thought about our phone conversation when we were talking about "people like us." I realized you meant "us" as all of us who are treated unfairly for whatever reason. I thought about how all of us "usses" want to be a compartmenalized "us" and if all of the "usses" actually could admit we are ALL in the same boat, "us" is far bigger than "them." Wow.

Liz + said...

Amazing, isn't it? I had a similar experience in re-viewing the movie. It's a sad and cynical little tale with much "white-washing" of things as they are.

Thanks for this, Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

Life immitating art.

Risk Rapper said...

Well done Reverend.

You bring it all together very nicely.

Are you suggesting the tools of liberalism are insufficient to address the pressing contradictions of the day?

This week we are reminded that they came for Jesus and he was betrayed by a kiss. This morning at St. Alban's we read the passion from Luke today as I'm sure you're doing also. During the reading I was stuck by what Jesus saw in Peter's eyes after his third denial. Liberalism or more pointedly the democrats are kind of like that. These tools (fools) just ain't getting it done.

Thanks for the great post and tying Harper Lee into a larger socio-political landscape of today.

I got to make it a point to check out one of your sermons one day. I can use a little fire and brimstone in my Anglican Sou p.

Have a blessed Eastertide beloved.

riskrapper

Elisabeth said...

My Choctaw mother married my French Jewish father and spent her adult lift passing as a light skinned Negro because it was "easier" than being Native. That was the 50's thru the 70's. Now it's 2010 and were it not for my support network, I'd be afraid to leave my home.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Rapper - Actually, I think liberals and progressives have all the tools we need to dismantle the interlocking nature of oppressive structures. We just have to use them more collaboratively.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Kirke - Here's what I think: Unless the Tea Party movement and other conservative folk begin to take responsibility for the Tea Baggers and other right-wingnuts, this is going to escalate until someone gets hurt. And then, it will be all weeping and wailing and pointing of fingers.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hey, Lis - you and I have had this conversation before. I find myself hitting my head up against a brick wall when it comes to 'collaboration'. I think we've forgotten everything we learned in the 60s as well as in the early days of the AIDS pandemic.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Goran - Prejudice is like a cancer in precisely the way you described it.

Mary-Cauliflower said...

Have you ever read any documents from the Scottsboro trials? There is another instance of oppressed groups being pitted against one another. It's an interesting look at the complexities of evil and oppression.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hi, MC - I suppose my education has been very sadly neglected. I just googled the case and I can see that the cultural atmosphere was ripe Harper Lee to write this book. Wow. Unbelievable. Thanks. I think I'm headed down a whole new track with this topic.

Suzer said...

Thanks for sharing your insights on this. It makes me think more deeply about the book, and I know I'll have to re-read it now, as it's been years since I first read it.

While not apologizing for Atticus Finch, I think we also must remember what it must have been like in the South of the 1930's, and that his courage in defending Tom Robinson was, at that time, taking quite a stand. Sure, he could have done more, but the fact that he did as much as he did was pretty rare at the time.

Interestingly, I am working on a trial at the moment involving reverse racism at the county level. I see at once how far we have come, and how much we have essentially stayed in the same place where race relations are concerning. At times, it all appears to be the same kind of tribalism that Afghanistan and much of the Middle East continues to suffer with.

Bateau Master said...

The answer to the Tea Party movement may be found in your NJ Governor, if he can get folks to realize we're writing checks we cannot cover and to act accordingly to fix the problem. That only through collective sacrifice can we achieve the fiscal footing to advance justice.

The lesson and understanding may be so generational and beyond our current entitled psyche, that we are lost and will look back on this recession as the good times.

Don't look back too much, or we won't see the tsunami of injustice that will break on our elderly and poor with service cuts because the too many became bloated on tax dollars they voted for themselves.

Examples:
=Unfunded retirement plans
=The Medicare Prescription drug plan
=Our shiny new military toys for the wars that we'll never fight
=Annual governmental pay raises & bloated Federal payrolls
=Under funded Social Security
=Health care reform (maybe, who knows - hard to tell)

The Tea Party can be scary, but don't let your opposition to its underside blind you from some of its truths.

pansyliz said...

There is something that i have mulled over in my mind for quite awhile and it is about those, yes and even more so it seems, in the church, which is about the people who live on the manna of chaos. They must create choas with those around them, therefore when the average soul who does not feed upon the manna of chaos, they struggle, they get depressed, the manna of chaos feeders then slip by and through, whereby going up another "wrung" because they have stepped upon another. These choas creaters/manna eaters might not be much different than the person who creates oppression by pitting one oppressed group against another...it is chaos. The choas, that can only be blown away by the ruach, the breath of God, and the people called to be those disciples, those warriors who work in ministry with Gods call. Thank you, EK. i have not given nor written anything as well stated as you, but it has helped me to put into a very rough draft of the words, ideas, and images i have mulled in grey matter for quite sometime. Have a meaningful Holy Week and blessed Easter.

LFS, liz

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Suzer - I don't pretend that this is not a complex issue. I was just expressing my responses after 40 years or so of this journey. Thanks for your insights.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

BM - The Tea Baggers make it very easy to be blind to any good that would come from the Tea Party movement. It is the responsibility of the members of the TPM to hold TTBs accountable for their actions and bad behavior so that their message can be heard.

When will that happen, do you suppose?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Pansyliz - thanks for your note. Please feel free to contact me - my email is on my FB "badge" on the right hand column of my blog page. Or, you can contact me on FB.

I love the image of "manna of chaos". I hope you write more on this and let me know how to find it on your blog.

Suzer said...

Please forgive the lack of clarity in my comment from last night. It was late, but I wanted to respond to your excellent post. My comment was not intended as a criticism. I just wanted to share how truly complex this issue can be, especially now as I am working on a trial dealing specifically with these issues. We all continue to muddle through the complexities of our relationships to one another, what divides us, and what binds us together.

As to the Tea Party, Tea Baggers - whatever they are called. I would have a lot more respect for their "movement" (if it, indeed, can be called that), if they had protested the fiscal policies of the last Administration as much as they are now protesting the cost of health care reform. I guess that's why their agenda really appears to be thinly veiled racism, classism, etc. If only they had spoken out against the billions (over a trillion now, I think) spent on wars in the Middle East, I might agree with some of their opinions. It seems they are not truly concerned with fiscal responsibility, but instead are just angry that their candidate did not win the last election.

It's amazing to me that people would protest health care, but not protest war. Especially if they consider themselves Christians. Our priorities are so far off track, I wonder if we will ever recover?

Jim said...

I hated the book when I first read it and I still do precisely because it excuses so much. We cannot reach the just society Jesus and Paul called us to without opening the doors to everyone. Antisemitism is not OK, nor is the common prejudice against Rom among Jews. It all simply has to go.

When I perform my folk music I always end with "Hey Nellie Nellie" and "Where have all the flowers gone?" We simply have to ask ourselves to love our neighbor without equivocation and we don't.

FWIW
jimB

klady said...

So much here, I scarcely know where to begin. First, regarding the Teabaggers, yes, I, too, have sensed deep racism not far beneath the surface, which is fueling much of the "movement" - although I think one must also recognize that there are some old-time Libertarians, of the left and right, as well as John Birch and right-wing extremists, that help give voice to the turbulent emotions rising from the newcomers. And I suspect that racism, as much as anything, is lurking behind our "Democrat" Congressman's nay vote on health care (yes, on of the four in the country). Even back during the fall 2008 campaign, Moveon.org and Obama supporters had to meet and do phone banks somewhere other than Democratic headquarters downtown until just a few weeks before the election. It was clear that local Democrats did NOT want to be associated with a black man running for President, although, of course, all they gave was vague reasons why they hadn't coordinated with the Independents and liberal Democrats who came out of the woodwork to campaign that year.

But... To Kill A Mockingbird? I have to confess first that I loved it from my youth and have long thought of Atticus as my lawyer-hero (along with John Adams), long, long before I ever contemplated attending law school. However, what I loved was the movie - I never read the book until just last year and, yes, much of it surprised me. I wouldn't say the movie doesn't have some of the same problems, but much of it is transformed by the actors (and the screen play?), the direction, and the cinematography, into something much more subtle and powerful greater than writing in the book.
OCICBW.

[... to be continued]

klady said...

What initially moved me so much as a child was Scout - as I thought of myself as the smart (sometimes too smart) young girl who always wanted to play with the boys, wear jeans (back in the late '50's and early 60's when that wasn't done - in fact I didn't then - just would have liked to). Scout asked embarrassing questions, even of her father, was quick-tempered, and ready to jump in and speak her mind. And Scout taught the adults much how to feel and behave. Her sure moral instincts taught much to all around, including Atticus, who understood that she needed and desired so much more than the role her culture had assigned her. He tried to speak to and listen to both children something like adults, while at the same time struggling to be the kind of parent and model of order and dignity the community expected of him.

Atticus surely risked his life defending Tom. And he did not just appear and speak for him, he worked and thought hard how to put on the best defense - a brilliant piece of lawyering, brought out by extraordinary acting and directing of the trial scenes. He did not "accommodate" when the verdict was rendered. Although he may have hoped otherwise, he nevertheless expected the verdict - what he had done was lay down an incredible record for winning the case on appeal. At the same time, he did manage to convince many of those in attendance at the trial, including the judge, that his client was innocent, and his words gave hope and courage to all those who valued truth and justice. [Closing argument is recorded here.]

Yes, the entire story has some disturbing classism and sexism - especially the book - but, consciously or not, it lays bare much of what is going on under the surface in that community with both insight and compassion. And for anyone who grew up with family and friends who were much like Mr. Cunningham - deeply tainted with racism but nevertheless capable of rising above it at times or even someday changing their minds about it all - cannot help but relate painfully to many of the characters in this small town bound up by racial and class animosity, covered over with a veneer of Southern respectability, especially among those, like Atticus, with both education and historical ties to the elite. For his time and place, Atticus was a straight-shooter who risked his life for what he believed was right - most of all, a legal system that would afford justice to everyone, regardless of race or class.

Probably the story would have best ended after the trial and Tom's death. The protracted end with Boo and the children seems oddly out of place -- much like the end of Huckleberry Finn. It does tie up the Mockingbird story with Boo and brings the audience/reader back squarely into the children's world (remember, the story, particularly as written in the book, is told from the perspective of a child narrator). The lies, the coverup, the use of Boo as the means to kill the evil Euell and protect the children are -- well, I would agree, pretty awful (though in the movie I think one can suspend one's belief and just get through it, though admittedly the ending is hard to take). But in my opinion it's not enough to destroy the power of the characters, the words, and the plot that comes before that.

Offhand I can't think of another movie that put a young girl at the center of the plot like this one did - where it is the girl who is smart, who garners the parent's attention, and arguably the most appreciation, and who succeeds in resisting the notion that she must wear dresses and petticoats and smile and keep her mouth shut and never throw a fist at a bully. Can anyone else think of a father-daughter relationship as good on film?

Bateau Master said...

Does the behavior of Act Up or Earth First make their message any less valid? Do you dismiss them as kooks and radicals, and dismiss their message as well? Probably not.

The small business owner and 40-hour-a-week worker is dismissed by the Wall Street Rich and the Liberal politician (heck, most all politicians). To one they are chumps, to the other a cow to milk ... and you wonder why they are shouting. For the first time in a long time, someone is listening.

Back to original subject:
Can we scorn Harper Lee for being a product of her time any more than we can scorn Paul for being a product of his?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

BM - I am fascinated by the fact that conservatives defend themselves by pointing fingers at others. Not exactly convincing, you know? Bad behavior is bad behavior and should be condemned. Although, I was a card carrying member of ACT UP. That was not about hate or race prejudice. That was what we said we were: AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. We were street theater at its best and most effective. Teabaggers are angry and destructive, hateful and racist.

I as not scorning Harper Lee. I was scorning the continued elevation of this book as an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Klady - thanks for your thoughtful posts. Lots to consider.

JCF said...

I read a fascinating book a couple of years ago, Scotch Verdict, about the early 19th c. law case that was the basis for Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour.

As in TCH, the two women (school-master) plaintiffs sued for libel, and were eventually (upon appeal) vindicated (after that, they broke up, taking the true nature of their relationship to the grave. Neither of them committed suicide though).

What was most fascinatingly DIFFERENT in the true story, than TCH, was the race of the accuser. There, in early 19th c. Scotland, the accuser was the bastard daughter of deceased young Scots nobleman, who'd gone to (and died in) "Inja".

When the appeal court found in favor of the two women plaintiffs, they did so, signficantly, because only a degenerate "Hindoo" could have invented something so ABSURD, as the notion of two women having sex w/ each other! :-0

Another Holy Week: this weary world turns on, and on, and on...

lost in texas said...

Ah yes, an underlying current of racism in the TEA PARTY movement. On someone truly wishing to minimize and insult would call them "teabaggers" Everyone on this site know what the term "teabagger" alludes to. Well, guys, my 73 year old mom and 82 year old dad are members of the teaparty movement. One of my employees, an african american is a member of the teaparty movement. One of my best friends, a hispanic attorney is a member of the teaparty movement. The only "documented" violence I have seen is two SEIU member beating the crap out of an African American teaparty member selling "Don't tread on me" flags at a rally and Harry reid supporters throwing eggs at a tea party bus in Searchlight Nevada. My question is that when left leaning american were protesting the war in Iraq, You know the one that freed 25,000,000 people, shut down the rape rooms and ushered in at least the rudiments of a civilized society) it was considered the highest form of patriotism. You simply do not get that the laughable health care reform law does NOTHING but add over two trillion with a T to the deficit. But by all means, keep it up. We are all just a bunch of neolithic troglodites who want to keep "you people" who ever you people are. away from the halls of power. You have congress and the presidency. the reason you couldn't pass this abortion of a law is that you couldn't get the democratic caucus to support it without bribes, kickbacks, and parliamentary shenanigans. Spare me the faux hysterics over a bunch of Americans asking why our government is taking over 1/6 of the economy and ruining the best health care delivery system the world has ever known. I simply cannot wait until November 2.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

And then, on Nov. 2, you'll really be lost.