A bizarre article appeared this morning on The Advocate's website, by gay conservative James Kirchick, denouncing LGBT affirmative action.
The first thing that's bizarre about the article is that it's denouncing LGBT affirmative action. I don't know anyone who's proposing that, any municipality that's discussing an LGBT affirmative action program, or any school or business thinking about doing that. We can't even get ENDA passed, so no one's thinking about affirmative action. So weird.
Then Kirchick spends about 400 words discussing Aiden Quinn, a bus driver who had an accident while texting in Boston who also happened to be trans. The link to affirmative action?
"[Quinn] was initially hired as a minority and used her [sic] transgender status,'" an MBTA source told ABC News. The MBTA rebutted that charge, saying that Quinn was hired through a job lottery, although the T does advertise itself as an "affirmative action employer."
That's right, an anonymous, unconfirmed source, who doesn't explain how they know what they know or how the MBTA would go about determining whether someone is transgender. This is countered by the agency, on the record, presenting a perfectly confirmable and believable fact: that they, like many government agencies, use a job lottery for hiring qualified people.
But is it not fair to at least raise the question of whether Quinn would have been treated differently were he not transgender?
Well, that's not the question at all. The point of the story is proof that LGBT affirmative action would have negative results, not whether we can speculate as to why Aiden Quinn was hired.
So that's the second weird.
The third is the diatribe against affirmative action that he goes on, assuming that "affirmative action" means only "quotas," one of the worst paranoid fantasies of the right during the 70's and 80's, turning quickly into a diatribe against the civil rights movement (and ignorant, too, considering he doesn't seem to know that MLK supported affirmative action programs, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 wasn't the last piece of civil rights legislation, or that racism exists):
A look at the history of the African-American civil rights movement is instructive. It began as a struggle firmly rooted in the American ideals of personal liberty and equality before the law. It was the courageous actions of Freedom Riders, bus boycotters, and other activists who helped, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., to slowly bend the moral arc of the universe toward justice. With passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the dream of full legal equality for black people was finally realized.
Yet what started as a campaign to end government-sanctioned discrimination turned into a self-perpetuating industry of grievance, victimization, and the institutionalization of government handouts. The Great Society agenda of the 1960s, in which social programs were vastly expanded, created a devastating cycle of dependency. The welfare system grew into a massive bureaucracy that, rather than incentivize work, encouraged the poor to remain indolent and unwed mothers to have more children.
(Now, where have I seen a similar history of the Civil Rights Movement?)
Where is The Advocate when it comes to fact-checking any of this? Is it really a matter of opinion to say that "the welfare system[...] encouraged [...] unwed mothers to have more children"? It seems like that sort of libel against Black women should at least have been checked with a history book before being published by the LGBT paper of record.
Anyway, that's the third weird, but also probably the entire reason Kirchick wrote this piece for The Advocate. Ask about LGBT affirmative action even though no one's talking about it, use the Aiden Quinn story as a bridge between "LGBT" and "affirmative action," and then you're free to write a diatribe against affirmative action in The Advocate.
Consider how he wraps up:
But the worst aspect of minority preferences isn't the harm they do to those not deemed "disadvantaged," but to their intended recipients. Regardless of how qualified they are, racial minorities on elite college campuses and in high-powered jobs inevitably become subject to the suspicions of some small-minded white peers that their station in society is, at least in part, attributable to the color of their skin.
Yes, James Kirchick, those small-minded white peers are such terrible people. I sure hope that none of them go on to write in LGBT papers because those LGBT papers have affirmative action programs to make sure that they fill their conservaqueer quota....
But, no, I'm not really worried that if LGBT affirmative action passed people would think that any LGBT person hired for a job is only their because of their identity; we don't even have the ENDA yet and James Kirchick is already speculating that unqualified queer hires are crashing buses.