Monday, November 24, 2008

Richard Rodriguez on Prop. 8 and the aftermath

In Latino activist circles, Richard Rodriguez has always been the black sheep of the family... even among Latino LGBT activists... even after he came out...

The (current? former?) NPR commentator and PBS News Hour panelist drew ire for arguing that Latino immigrants should learn English upon arrival in the US and for defending his allegiance to the Catholic church. But deeply, secretly, I have been such a fan.

Weird. I have to say that I am not a religious person. And that I also have been supportive and in awe of ACT UP's daring (and still controversial) action at St. Patrick's Cathedral back in 1989 (something that Rodriguez doesn't share).

But tonight's piece ("Why churches fear gay marriage") is such a snapshot at why Prop. 8 opposition failed among some Latino Californians that I'd be remiss if I didn't share.

An excerpt:
...the real challenge to the family right now is male irresponsibility and misbehavior toward women. If the Hispanic Catholic and evangelical churches really wanted to protect the family, they should address the issue of wife beating in Hispanic families and the misbehaviors of the father against the mother. But no, they go after gay marriage. It doesn't take any brilliance to notice that this is hypocrisy of such magnitude that you blame the gay couple living next door for the fact that you've just beaten your wife
The full read is illuminating. Click on the link above to read it.


Unknown said...

I'm with you, Andres -- I have a real love/WTF!? relationship with Rodriguez, but he nails some things to the wall in this piece. Even when I disagree with him, I appreciate seeing how he thinks and frames his arguments

momo said...

I have come from being very angry with RR to appreciating his contrariness. Maybe because I think Brown is a brilliant book, and in this piece pone el dedo en la llaga: I think he might not call what he's doing feminist thinking, but it sure sounds like what a lot of feminists have been thinking about for the last thirty years! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Ron Buckmire said...

Richard Rodriguez work is always infuriating AND stimulating.

I actually hadn't kept up much with him since his "pocho" days except for a few WTF moments at his NPR commentaries.

I didn't even realize he had come out (or maybe I was just sublimating the memory!)

Anyway, I agree with the commenter above that one could really call Rodriguez thoughts on reasons for Prop 8's salience in the latino community as "feminist" in nature.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! Although, Rodriguez may not think so.