29 April 2013

Yes, We Are All Individuals

I'm glad Jason Collins can self-identify himself to his own identity in public. Good for him. Of course, a couple of generations ago — maybe as little as a generation ago — his skin color would have been an equally significant barrier. Then, in some parts of the country it would have been a problem last week.

The real problem is fear of difference. That could be skin color, or sexual orientation, or religion, or anti-intellectualism, or even just political opinion. I acknowledge Collins's courage in proclaiming himself Other. It pisses me off that his simple statement is considered an act of courage... and that's not his fault, because it really is an act of courage, even though it should take no more courage than stating one's name. It's our fault, collectively, more than his courage. More particularly, it's the fault of those who would divide and conquer for their own advantage — especially, but not only, religious fundamentalists of all religions (and that includes everyone, not just reprobate Yanks). It's rather ironic that the military and Congress have been more open about sexual preferences than US professional team sport... but really not that surprising.