Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halal Soup Will Poison Our Daughters

Muslims are defined in America as the Other. Recognising their common humanity, even to the extent of marketing to them, is simply Not On. This springs from exactly the same source as the appalled reaction from the nativist right whenever Spanish enters the public sphere, even as a result of private action on behalf of customers.

Why, one might even argue that opposition to halal soups--not, incidentally, reformulated in any way, the fact merely stated--and commercial use of Spanish is an interference in the workings of the free market.

But, then, it's never been about the free market, really. I'll be cleaning unicorn poop off my lawn before I see a free market, anyway. It's about a black president, a female speaker of the house, a gay House Banking Committee chair, three women--two unmarried; the horror, the horror--on the Supreme Court. It's about change, and the resistance to change. It's about self vs other, denying a common humanity, dehumanizing, delegitimizing; it's about aggrandizing power for self and clients, and denying it to others.

The opposition to repeal, or court rulings against, 'don't ask, don't tell', and a woman's right to choose, arise in part, of course, from homophobia, sexism and religious dogmatism, bigotry and acceptance of cruelty towards the Other. But I don't think they can be fully understood without considering their threat to the previously unquestioned power and prerogatives of what the right understands to be Self. The parade of closeted righty homophobes, of increasingly bizarre righty women proving their legitimacy by being even more batshit than most on the right, goes right along with this.

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