Lincoln Ho

September 2000

Hi everybody, sorry once again Jeff, I’ll try to get the next one in on time…

Anyway, if I didn’t hand this in late, I wouldn’t have such a… hot column… Most of this column of mine will be not what I wrote, but of what responses were to something that I posted on the "Survivor" newsgroup. Here’s what I posted…

Think here for a moment, you guys are the most advanced in almost everything except that you still haven't come to terms with accepting people of a different kind.

Do females really have the same benefits as males?

Look at your wages, your insurance fees...

Is racial discrimination really gone?

"Hmm... we might have a black president in the future, but I'm not gonna vote for them..."

Do you still bash gays in your daily conversations?

"Richard... that gay fag"

Just read some of the headings of this newsgroup... Think America, think. Even if you are one of the people that believe in equality, the countless idiots are ruining it. You've come a long way and for your society to continue to advance, you must also advance in your social ways.

Now, this has become perhaps one of the hottest threads of the newsgroup in the past day since I posted it… here’s what some people had to say:

1.) Cluef*cked foreigner who gets his information about America largely from the media. Thanks for playing.

2.) America's strength is our diversity. We come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. There will always be bigots. That's the mentality of America. Usually hear this from people who have had limited higher education, or that's what their parents taught them.

3.) At least we can say so in public, and not have to resort to the Internet.

4.) You Brits are not immune! Your points about there being a great deal of discriminatory and bigoted attitudes in the U.S. is spot-on, however I would not use Usenet as some kind of barometer about that issue. You cannot address "America" with your comment, merely a select few Internet kooks who frequent the Usnenet group you are posting in, and the even fewer number of those who will actually read your post. America (the U.S. anyway--Canada and Mexico are also part of America the continent) is a vast nation, with a large and diverse population—much larger and diverse than that of the U.K. which incidentally is a collection of islands where people still shoot each other for being Catholic vs. Protestant, Irish vs. English, and regularly bashes it's own native subcultures as well as others.

5.) You're obviously from America because if you were European you wouldn't be so uptight about people voicing racial slurs. You're just another American kid trained to be politically correct. Bark three times FIDO and be a traitor to your own kind.

Then I wrote back with this:

Actually, I am from Canada. My actual point was to point out that you do have a great ethnic diversity. Celebrate it like we do in Canada. We even have a heritage minister for crying out loud. We have on our media ads to educate the citizens to what racism is and how it affects us all. Sure, we may still be very close to what I pointed out, but we are trying to fix the problem instead of just pushing it aside.

I do not only take my opinions off the Internet, look at movies, look at everything else around you. There is the so-called "Black Music" where, if you're not black, you're not in OR even in movies, how many movies do you see that are an all white or an all black cast? Or scouts (I dunno if it still is), they kick people out for being gay. Then there are services like fire fighting... where there is a noticeable difference of the male/female ratio. Sure, maybe it's the physical aspects that are required, but there can always be tasks that can be done and needed to be done. Canada Fitness tests are set by age and sex.

I'm speaking to everybody of every nation here, people were born to have rights, not specifically equal, but they do have a right to be treated fairly and be respected as another human being. We are living in the year 2000 for goodness sake... we have the high technology, the inventions, the everything that we've ever dreamed of.

My point wasn't to blame America, but to blame us all for creating this situation itself. Religions will still be able to continue by itself. Why shun people away and create a war that separates the two forces even further. Missionaries are supposed to reach out to all walks of life. If one way doesn't work, try another. For you gay people, it's the same thing. Try to listen for a while and see from the other perspective. I only used America because the people most likely to be watching an American show would be from America.

I am a male, 17, gay, Christian, British with a Chinese heritage. I am a minority that is trying to speak to a wave of people. I hope my ripple will someday make a wave that will continue on to spread. and BTW, I will not practice my homosexuality and I don't care if anyone calls me a fag. It's just a given fact that I am one.

The rest of the responses were:

1.) Oh for crying out loud that explains it. You're not European just like I said. I never thought of Canada. I just lump Canada in with America, they're both the same culture only Canada is more brainwashed with Socialist rhetoric than America. Actually Canada is so brainwashed that it's citizens are scared stiff to even talk about racial differences. They just go on about their daily business pretending everyone is born equal at birth regardless of race or sex. La la la la. That's one dumb Country. During the last thirty five years Canada has destroyed it's future. Used to be almost entirely white now it's almost as black as the good old USA. Won't be long now till Negroes will be rioting in the streets. Give them another twenty years. So how old are you, 15, 20 years old? Something like that. You are a very naive kid. Come here FIDO, fetch for the socialists. Bark bark.

By the way, I hope you Canadians like your 65 cent dollar bill. Even the poorest Americans earn more money than Canadians once you factor in the exchange rate and taxation. Only two Canadian provinces have a higher standard of living that Arkansas (one of the poorest American states); Ontario and Alberta. This is what Socialism has down for Canada. If the trend continues, Canada is going to be the first developed nation to slide back into the third world.

So please, listening to a Canadian pontificate on the subject of ignorance is like listening to an AIDS infected fag give advice about safe sex.

Canada is going to be poor, bankrupt, and filled with racial ghettos because Canada has squandered it's future.

Btw, you know how stupid Canadians are; they think that if they wear a Canadian flag on their arms while traveling Europe, Europeans will treat them better because they have deep respect for Canadians. What a bunch of nincompoops Canadians are. They'll believe practically anything their government tells them. It must be a real shocker for them, when they find out that most of the world has no real knowledge or even interest about Canada.

Gee, I can't wait to hear from all the dumb Canadians. They'll rant and rave like children about how important and just their country is compared to the big bad USA. Frankly, Canadians are their own worse enemies only they're too stupid to realize it.

2.) "Anti-'fill in the blank'", and "homophobic" are trite jingoism's constructed purposely to pull on the emotional strings of naive and illogical people. I'm not Anti Canadian, I'm only criticizing Canada and I don't have a homosexual phobia but I do think that the thought of having anal sex is gross. Racist is a fair accusation but I'm not prejudicial and I think it's ridiculous to assume that all groups of people are born with equal capacity for development. As far as "red-baiting" is concerned; I've never heard that one before; did you make it up in your sleep or did you pull it from an old dusty book somewhere? Fact of the matter is that I do bait people from time to time; why should reds be excluded? Anyway, I think you'll need to get rid of all your PC terminology if you want to be taken seriously.

3.) It's not a matter of pulling emotional strings, it's civility and common decency. Most of the members of this group can disagree peacefully and even flame each other without resorting to attacks based on race, nationality, sexual orientation, etc.

4.) I definitely think that attacks on Richard based upon him being a homosexual are unwarranted. Richard never made his homosexuality a problem. He was respectful and mindful of the wishes and preferences of the majority. I admire him for that.

5.) I wonder how much you've actually traveled in your sheltered life. I'd guess not much, from your posts. Yet, with the arrogance that only certain Americans seem to be able to cultivate, you have the 'wisdom' (read: ignorance) to talk comparatively about all kinds of societies, including ones you have no real first hand experience with. Sophomore=wise fool.

6.) If you want to get technical, the behaviors Rich exhibited that he had to curtail to be "respectful and mindful of the wishes and preferences of the majority," had to do with nudism NOT homosexuality. By the way, from my experience, Rich represents more of the gay people I know than maybe the more visible stereotyped highly vocal minority. but I don't fault the second group either, because they pave the way for greater understanding and acceptance for all of us.

7.) I cringe when I hear certain GLBT friends say things like "Why can't those flamer types and leather boys tone it down for the Pride parade so we don't all get painted that way on TV?" For some people that IS their reality, and those who advocate being "straight-acting" for the cameras or in general are just reinforcing anti-gay sentiments that ultimately affect everybody. Drag queens need to remind their less accepting brothers and sisters that it was they who kicked off the modern movement with Stonewall!

8.) For some gay people, it is NOT an overarching identity. They are lawyers and

doctors and teachers who are gay, not gays who are lawyers, doctors and teachers.

9.) I see myself as happening to be gay, but it's not my only identity. And I've rarely had any problems with that in making friends with a wide range of people.

But I'm often reminded of the slow process of acceptance and progress that you mentioned, Jeff. I've even been told by friends that if I were a, how do you put it, queeny gay guy, that they would have a harder time with that. But because I'm otherwise 'normal' (in quotes, actually I'm fairly off the wall <g>), it's a lot easier for them to accept this part of me as interesting and okay.

That's good for me, but actually some gay guys really are just naturally kind of, well, effeminate or fabulous or whatever. And they're told that they're throwing it in people's faces. Now, if you're posing that stuff, it's different. But if that's just who you are, then not fair. It's like, "I like black people fine as long as they donut ACT, you know, too black." It's even been mentioned by very understanding family members that you don't want to throw anything in people's faces about, for example, a relationship with a boyfriend. If I even did 1/10 of what any normal heterosexual couple does in public with my boyfriend, there would be riots in the checkout line at the grocery store.

I guess my point is, the progress happens slowly, and it's kind of frustrating, but, hey, that's life. For the most part, people's acceptance of gay men, for example, is often limited to them being either: 1) campy/funny, but basically asexual; or 2) the dying martyr/angel. as soon as it moves from an abstraction to a reality, it becomes hard for people, which I can understand.

I agree, Alex, that it's not an overarching identity for everybody, and not for me, despite what the posts may seem to say about me. I am a lot of things. Being gay is just one of em, but it is part of who I am and it does help to shape me. Having to sublimate that too much still kind of gets to me. It is part of who I am.

The personal is made political for any gay person in this country, not because they make it so, but because being gay is political by nature in our society. How we choose to engage that varies person to person.

10.) I wouldn't say "good little homosexual". That phrase sound demeaning, as if someone is mocking the fact that Richard is gay in a nasty sort of way. I don't want to come across in this fashion because homosexuality of and by itself isn't enough for me to attack someone even though the thought of having anal sex or kissing a man seems repugnant to me.

I have great faith in people, that's why I am strongly in favor of democracy and that means that the majority sets the standards of acceptable behavior. Not all people feel this way of course but this is what I favor.

Anyway, when in Rome, as the saying goes, do as the Romans do. Not that people are not naturally tolerant to some degree but there are limits and most people get turned off by certain things, a couple of them being an annoying flaming gay personality and gay activist politics. I'd bet most gay men would have fit in with the majority just as Rich did simply because it is in their nature to have a pleasing and respectful personality and ethical character. There's a time and place for everything, a time for voicing political opinions and a time for just getting along. Right?

11.) You know the phrase "the empty can rattles the loudest". I'm starting to think that the most ignorant ppl make the greatest ease at citing at what they see to be ignorant. Sorry pal, but since you bring it up, it's not me that's being ignorant, you've been brainwashed by your government.

Now, I only posted 2 messages on the newsgroup and within 24 hours, people are fighting with each other in a kid manner. A lot of my message was posted because people were basking the "Rich" Rich guy with gay insults. That was my point all along… now my question is, why do some people still believe they are right to bash people and yet say that they have nothing against them?

Take a time to think, really think. I hope you all have a great school year.

Lincoln Ho




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