Feb. 8, 2017

Link: Impartiality or diversity. Pick one. | Fusion

This article strikes at the heart of what many people within the evangelical community do not understand. Impartiality is no longer a pre-requisite–or even a possibility–for political discourse. Indeed, for many people groups such as the African American community, it never was. But through a broader understanding of sexuality, gender, and an increasingly ethnically diverse and interconnected populace, the number of folks who are concerned about these social and political issues grows larger every day.

A second point: everything now has a political dynamic. If you are against same-sex marriage or believe homosexuality is wrong, that is making a value judgment on a person. Those judgments lead to harsh policies that affect a person’s life in real, tangible ways.

The key quote from the article: 

Impartiality, meanwhile, is an ideal whose time has gone. Imagine a political debate, perhaps in an old-fashioned chamber like Britain’s Houses of Parliament. Facing each other across the aisle are two middle-aged white men, wearing suits and ties. You can look from one to the other and back again, and have no real idea what they believe in, what they stand for. Then they open their mouths, and lay out their respective political agendas, in a back-and-forth exchange. Up in the press gallery, a third middle-aged white man, also wearing a suit and tie, might privately agree with the man on the left, or he might be more partial to the arguments of the man on the right. But when he reports the debate, he puts his personal opinions to one side. He simply reports the facts of the debate, along with whatever facts on the ground might be germane. That man, up in the press gallery, is being impartial.

That is not the world we live in.

Today, the personal is political; identity politics is politics. Political stances aren’t just something that we choose to express when we open our mouths in a certain way; they’re a way of living in the world. If I am a gay Yemeni immigrant, or a black trans woman, or a Muslim trans man who’s a survivor of sexual assault, then to be open and unapologetic about my identity is to be a partisan in the most urgent political debates of the day.

— Felix Salmon, Fusion

Finally, one more quote for the cishet white men like me: 

These issues are largely theoretical for straight white cis men like myself. Sliding behind a veil of journalistic impartiality is no great hardship for us–in fact, it’s something we have a tendency to quietly congratulate ourselves on. Just look at how we rise above the fray! We are safe in our unthreatened identity. For us, being self-effacing is a little bit of a humblebrag: we get to bask in our privilege without calling any particular attention to it.

For our colleagues who are female, of color, and LGBTQ, however, the calculus is very different. For them, being self-effacing is to deny the fact that their own faces, their own bodies, are politically valent. Impartiality, for anybody but a white man, is literally self-defeating.

— Felix Salmon, Fusion

I urge you to read the article, and consider this point of view. I am not impartial. Neither are you.