How did Justice Scalia become a bigoted homophobe?

In this post Jack Balkin asks that question:

at what point in history did (or will) Justice Scalia become a homophobe? Balkinization

I think I have a piece of the answer.  I believe that Scalia’s bigotry came about in much the same manner as my own.  We were born at a time in America when bigotry was rampant in our nation.  The KKK was active in many parts of our country and it was an everyday thing for adults to spew their specific bigotry in public and private, with family, with friends, with children, with business associates, at social events, conventions and etc.  There were few places in America where one did not hear cruel bigoted comments on a daily basis.

In my part of the country, northern Wisconsin, we had few African Americans, but we had the local Native American Indians and they were generally treated like dirt. Anyone thought to be homosexual received equal treatment.  So I learned, and I suspect Justice Scalia did also learn, all of the wide array of profanity used by bigots.  How could we not, we heard them on a daily basis and as youngsters it was common for us to use these terms on just about any occasion.

Mother f**king, C**k s**king, ni**er loving, pig f**king wh*re is one I learned to say at a very early age.  Men said that when they dropped a tool while working or when they were discussing someone they disliked.  And they never thought twice about it unless there were ladies present and even then when someone would call them on it they would probably curse out that person as a c**k s**king, mother f**king, qu*er.   As a result, both Justice Scalia and I learned our bigotry from our elders and peers.

But I began to change in my mid teens.  I had made some friends that were Native American, I had spent summers in Chicago where I met a few African Americans.  In my early 20’s I worked side by side with gays and lesbians.  With many of these individuals I found nothing about them to dislike, things to admire and some things to envy.  I began to be very embarrassed by my behavior when the curse words I had learned still flowed from me.  It has been difficult, but gradually, over many years I have used those terms less and less.  But, when angry, even today I find myself saying them about someone I dislike.  When I do even alone at home by myself, I want to eat those words.  But sadly, it seems I may never completely disconnect those terms from my brain for I have been very well trained and I believe so has Justice Scalia.

Scalia seems to have learned, in his adult years, to publically couch his bigotry in a more politically acceptable terms.   But it appears quite evident to me that unlike myself Justice Scalia is not the least embarrassed by his training as a bigot and a homophobe and seems to embrace it.  His rulings on the bench would appear to demonstrate that he delights in his bigotry and has designs to spread that bigotry across our nation.

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One Response to “How did Justice Scalia become a bigoted homophobe?”

  1. Racquel Says:

    Your struggle and internal conflict shows that you are a thoughtful person and that you want to be “better”. Better than those that taught you the despicable hate strewn language that you have worked so hard to overcome. You must have done something right because in the midst of my own troubled childhood, one message came through to me from you and also from mom, to judge people on the “content of their character, not on the color of their skin”. I strive to be tolerant of those with different lifestyles, beliefs, and cultures. I learned that from you.

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