Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

The Envelope: Identity politics and the gays that perpetuate them by being irresponsible with money

Benjamin Garcia

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Ever notice how if you critique a certain aspect of a culture that is not your own, you’re a bigot? It brings to mind the Voltaire quote: “To learn who rules over you, notice who you cannot criticize.”

Besides that, minorities such as the LGBT+ community are actually not in power, so why is it that outsiders or people who are seen as outsiders (members of the community who “assimilate” to the public at large) cannot speak even an ounce of critique of some of the more questionable or downright toxic aspects of the very culture that we belong and contribute to?

For example, as a good communist and outspoken member of the queer community with a generally low-energy voice and a sense of style that has been called “less than fruity” when I say something like “gays are possibly more enslaved by the corporate overlords than heterosexuals,” some simple, white lesbians might just get offended.

Since when is it prejudiced to say that a group who will really buy absolutely anything with a rainbow on it — from fast food to clothing, gasoline, soda, alcohol and Disney merchandise?

Conservative, capitalist, corporate institutions (ah, I am redundant) profess “support” for queer rights in a ploy to tap into a demographic with money.

Ask yourself why Disney has Gay Day but not days set aside for Black, Latino or Immigrant Pride.

In return for social inclusion (rainbow Walmart signs at pride parades), conservative members of the community (Anderson Cooper and Dave Rubin) are allowed to be successful, are allotted certain legal rights and (most of all) become capitalism’s sassy, gay best friend.

These token queers are then used as talking heads to spread the ideals of nationalism; particularly homo-nationalism — which is the concept that, because western nations support (an abridged version of) “gay rights,” they are superior to nations (especially Muslim ones) that do not.

This concept flies in the face of incidents such as so-called Peace President Barack Obama bombing seven countries; killing more than 50 civilians in Yemen alone — and statistically, 1.9 of these civilians were queer — Obama, who took a term and a half to decide that he was in favor of same-sex marriage, was definitely not in favor of the basic human rights of the queer people he killed overseas.

There are much more severe forms of double-dealing in the name of homo-nationalism.

The slave-driving corporate cesspool of unchecked capitalism known as Disney donated $2 million to a super pac known as Conservative Solutions which raised more than $16 million for the 2016 presidential campaign of Republican Marco Rubio.

Rubio has been an outspoken proponent of:

All of these issues either directly or indirectly apply to the LGBTQ+ community (don’t forget to be inter-sectional, kids) — and therefore implicates both Rubio and Disney with homophobia and transphobia.

Of course, it is not right to not fight outward oppression any more (or less) without questioning our own actions to determine whether or not we are committing self-sabotage or perhaps paying for conservative candidates of office to commit human rights abuses.

To quote a Lana Del Rey tweet, “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.”

Obviously we do not vote for people or give our business to industries for their reputation (instead of their character) — but by researching where we put our money, and for starters you can take all your money out of the three dozen banks that funded the Dakota Access Pipeline, including:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Citibank
  • Comerica Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Bank of America
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Deutsche Bank

And putting it in a credit union, which is basically a co-op for money.

Speaking of respectable grocery stores, why not shop at one like Trader Joe’s that pays it’s workers well (about $13 an hour), sources produce locally, keeps it’s money out of politics (donating only $30,452 in the 2016 election cycle, their biggest donation was to comrade Bernie Sanders) and donates a portion of its products to food banks. In 2013, over $260,000,000 worth of foodstuffs were given to help fight hunger.

You’re poor? Try Costco!

Snopes.com reports:

  • Costco’s average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam’s Club.
  • Costco CEO Jim Sinegal’s total yearly compensation as a Costco company executive, including salary and bonuses, was only $629,000.
  • Analyst Bill Dreher of the same Deutsche Bank that funded the Dakota access pipeline, complained last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder;” and an angry capitalist is always a good thing.

Need clothes? Try local thrift stores and small (preferably family owned) small businesses.

Buy used, D.I.Y or at least inexorbitantly.

People seem to think it’s inconvenient, unaffordable or unattainable to be a communist. Quite the contrary, as long as you’re not a purist. Contradictory to reason, people think it’s unsociable to be a socialist — to which you ask why they think being compassionate is antisocial.

Remember: As long as Citizens United stands and companies like Goldman Sachs and Disney put millions of dollars into politics (and to conservative candidates at that) — so too must we vote with our money. We must be more responsible.

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
The Envelope: Identity politics and the gays that perpetuate them by being irresponsible with money