Who Has “Absolute Moral Authority” on Locker Rooms and Jim Crow?

 

A few days ago, we were told that we dare not object to Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s charge that girls who’d rather not be naked in locker rooms with naked men are like little Bull Connors.

Cruz_Lynch_Anderson

The comparison is ridiculous. But it’s even more ridiculous to contend that a speaker, particularly a cabinet-level federal official, is immune from counter-argument in the public square because someone else has arbitrarily decreed that the speaker possesses fully-vested, impenetrable Absolute Moral Authority (AMA).

But what happens when someone whose claim to AMA is even more compelling enters the row?

The Charlotte Observer — infamous for its naked anti-HB2 mouthpiecery, especially for its recent “little girls just need to learn to love seeing naked men and naked men seeing them naked in locker rooms” face-plant editorial — to its credit published yesterday “I fought for civil rights. It is offensive to compare it with the transgender fight.” by Civil Rights hero Clarence Henderson.

Henderson

Clarence Henderson.

Henderson writes:

Let us be clear: HB2 cannot be compared to the injustice of Jim Crow. In fact, it is insulting to liken African Americans’ continuing struggle for equality in America to the liberals’ attempt to alter society’s accepted norms.

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch compared HB2 to Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws were put into place to keep an entire race positioned as second-class citizens. HB2 simply says that men and women should use the restroom of their biological sex in government buildings and schools. This comparison is highly offensive and utterly disrespectful to those families and individuals who have shed blood and lost lives to advance the cause of civil rights. I take this as a personal slap in the face because I was an active participant in the civil rights movement.

In 1960, I participated in the sit-in at the Woolworth Diner in Greensboro. As a student attending North Carolina A&T University, I experienced the cruel, vicious reality of segregation first hand.

Mic drop follows:

During the Jim Crow Era, we stared down the nozzle of firehoses, felt the piercing bite of police dogs, dangled from trees after being strung up by an angry mob, all because of the color of our skin. Our businesses were burned, churches bombed, communities destroyed, all because of the color of our skin. We had to drink at separate water fountains, shop at different stores and even had to sit at the back of the bus, all because of the color of our skin. All this and more took place after enduring 400 years of arguably the most heinous crime in history – slavery.

In comparison, transgender individuals do not have to fight dogs, can shop anywhere and can use any water fountain. They are free to work, shop and ride the bus. And to my knowledge, they have not experienced 400 years of slavery and the ongoing fight for parity 151 years after emancipation.

This point is very similar to one I have made in at least two places. Here at Ricochet in “The Opposite of the Civil Rights Movement”:

Civil rights marchers were met with police batons, fire hoses, and tear gas. Pride parades get Fortune 500 sponsorship, celebrity grand marshals, and gushing media.

African Americans were systematically dehumanized. Gay activists are lionized by every powerful cultural institution and wealth center in America.

The civil rights movement came up from under, and was won with blood. The campaign to redefine marriage and elevate sexual license over constitutionally-protected freedoms is a product of the elites in entertainment, government, and the Ivory Tower.

And more recently this week in a Vice News piece (language warning if you follow the link):

the opposition to girls’ and women’s locker room privacy includes the full force of the $4 trillion federal government, nearly the entire roll call of Fortune 500 companies, Big Media, Big Entertainment, and Charles Barkley, among others.

The point is, the power imbalance was clearly tipped in favor of a vicious government regime that dehumanized God’s image bearers in the decades — even centuries — leading up to the Civil Rights movement. Today, government and every other powerful political, corporate, and cultural force is aligned with the activists who are demanding that men be given free and unchallenged access to the most intimate settings reserved for women who simply want privacy.

So who wins? The Harvard lawyer who holds the most feted position in the American legal profession who says HB2 is Jim Crow 2.0? Or a man who literally risked his life during the height and heat of the Civil Rights movement who says it’s not even close?

Well, neither, based purely on “experience criteria.” When we are talking about a free and open public debate, the person who is telling the truth wins.

Demanding a newly-invented “right” to observe naked people of the opposite sex is objectively unlike asking to not be hanged on a public walkway for voting or getting a drink three yards in the wrong direction.

The person telling the truth is Clarence Henderson. Mr. Henderson wins.

There are 11 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    liberalism

    • #1
  2. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Mr. Henderson is inconvenient, and will now be quietly discarded. It doesn’t matter whether the causes are comparable. What matters is whether someone with contemporary credentials identifies the causes as comparable.

    • #2
  3. Greg Scott Contributor
    Greg Scott
    @GregScott

    James Lileks:Mr. Henderson is inconvenient, and will now be quietly discarded. It doesn’t matter whether the causes are comparable. What matters is whether someone with contemporary credentials identifies the causes as comparable.

    Exactly right, James.

    • #3
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Greg Scott: All this and more took place after enduring 400 years of arguably the most heinous crime in history – slavery.

    Not to distract from the larger issue here, but…

    Slavery existed for thousands of years (and still exists in some parts of the world).

    With regard specifically to Europeans and Africans in North America, I keep hearing this “400 years of slavery”.  That number makes no sense.  Earliest references I can find indicate first Africans arrived in North America in 1619.  Slavery was abolished by 1865.  By my math that’s 246 years.  Which is nothing to be proud of, but it’s 154 years short of 400, which is a pretty wide margin.

    • #4
  5. Inwar Resolution Inactive
    Inwar Resolution
    @InwarResolution

    Miffed White Male:

    I keep hearing this “400 years of slavery”. That number makes no sense. Earliest references I can find indicate first Africans arrived in North America in 1619. Slavery was abolished by 1865. By my math that’s 246 years. Which is nothing to be proud of, but it’s 154 years short of 400, which is a pretty wide margin.

    But who’s counting?

    Not criticizing – just love people who can’t abide sloppy math.

    • #5
  6. Greg Scott Contributor
    Greg Scott
    @GregScott

    With regard specifically to Europeans and Africans in North America, I keep hearing this “400 years of slavery”. That number makes no sense. Earliest references I can find indicate first Africans arrived in North America in 1619. Slavery was abolished by 1865. By my math that’s 246 years. Which is nothing to be proud of, but it’s 154 years short of 400, which is a pretty wide margin.

    Hey Miffed — I pulled the quote from the piece by Mr. Henderson. Maybe he used the oft-used “400 years” in reference to the entire history of the transatlantic slave trade or maybe he traces it to the earlier accounts of the Portuguese taking African slaves. Not sure what he’s relying on, but the point is the same…that what Lynch dishonestly equates is not comparable.

    • #6
  7. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but my response to Eliel Cruz is, “No, an American is going to tell an American what is or isn’t appropriate to compare to Jim Crow.  You need to lose your racist and sexist sewage.  K?”

    Eric Hines

    • #7
  8. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    The bathroom accommodation issue has nothing to do with sex, gender, gender dysphoria, gender identity, transsexualism, sexual predators, parents duty to protect children . . . or anything else but this:

    One political party seeks electoral advantage by promoting a narrative which invokes past racial discrimination.  Whether that past racial discrimination actually bears upon the narrative is utterly beside the point.

    Mr. Henderson might wish to reflect upon which political party is promoting this narrative.

    • #8
  9. Nick Baldock Member
    Nick Baldock
    @NickBaldock

    I’m trying to come to terms with Eliel Cruz. Is it therefore permissable to argue that someone cannot understand, let alone comment upon, an intellectual matter because the intellectual parameters are subordinate to other factors relating to the biographical data and/or subjective response of a participant?

    If this is true, does it not shatter the notion of comprehensible, communicable discourse?

    If this isn’t true, who is Eliel Cruz and why is he allowed out in public without a minder?

    Forgive me if I’m late to the party. I didn’t realise things had gotten quite this bad.

    • #9
  10. Greg Scott Contributor
    Greg Scott
    @GregScott

    Nick Baldock: Forgive me if I’m late to the party.

    You came right on time. And you brought the good stuff.

    • #10
  11. Solar Eclipse Inactive
    Solar Eclipse
    @SolarEclipse

    God bless Clarence Henderson for saying what needs to be said.  It amazes me that more people can’t see this, especially the Left.  It’s liberals who treat Jim Crow and the real Civil Rights Movement as the defining moments of our modern history, the most recent manifestation of our racist original sin, who elevate Martin Luther King, Jr. to sainthood, who insist that past injustices should always be at the forefront of our collective consciousness.

    You would think, then, that they would be the first to recognize some rather important differences between the struggles of southern blacks under Jim Crow, and that fraction of a percent of people who want access to opposite-sex locker rooms.  But they don’t.  It’s almost as if they’re motivated by something other than a heartfelt desire for equality, justice, and social harmony.  But surely that couldn’t be…

    • #11

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.