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Thursday, April 25, 2013

If you don't scream at 'Homophobia', you must be a 'Homophobe'

Earlier this week, a student posted a picture of GP notes from her JC as an example of "homophobia". Naturally, this got heated responses:

I Will Survive:

"Shocking example of homophobia (& dreadful grammar) in the lecture notes for General Paper (GP), from *** Junior College (***) for 17 - 18 year-old students, dated 2012:

"To protect the rights of children, it may be necessary to restrict the rights of the homosexuals."

"A government may also justify discriminatory policies on ground [sic] of social order and stability."

"In fact, under the law Section 377A, homosexual acts are considered a criminal offence although this law has not been enacted [sic].""

This person is not the only one to decry this example of "homophobia".

It seems that many gay activists are so blinded by their pro-gay ideology and hatred of "homophobia" that they are unable to distinguish between description and endorsement.

Let us look at the context (such as it is) of the offending lines:

"*** JC1 GP Notes — Prejudice & Discrimination 2012

- Walmart have also created affirmative action programmes for hiring and selecting supplies at their own initiative. According to Economics Professor Rick van der Ploeg, the policy has been relatively effective in creating a large African-American middle-class. Four decades after the introduction of the policy, the percentage of black households earning over $50,000 a year more than tripled from 9.1% in 1967 to 27.8% in 2001. More people of colour hold top jobs in the public and private sector than anywhere else in the world, although a large black underclass remains.
- Another possible objective is to alleviate social and economic inequality, which may not have been caused by discrimination. For example, under the ‘Bumiputra’ Policy in Malaysia a special quota for the bumiputras or "sons of the soil" is set for places in the university in business enterprises and in public service to help them catch up economically with the other races. (Refer to Poverty Package Pg 59-60)
- Both cases are examples where a particular group receives special treatment favours or opportunities.

2. Discriminatory policies by governments or organisations to safeguard the welfare of the vulnerable. A government may feel obligated to support the kind of family living that it believes is the best.
- For example, in Britain, applications from homosexual couples to adopt children will not normally succeed since it is believed to be in the interest of a child to grow up with two parents of opposite sex. To protect the rights of children, it may be necessary to restrict the rights of the homosexuals.
- Another example could be the upper age limit for women receiving IVF treatment. One key argument by clinics for refusing women above 50 the treatment is the ability of an older mother to care for her child In advancing years. Many argue that it is unfair on the child to have a parent who may die when they are still very young. Clinics that reject older women argue that the welfare of the child is being lost amid the efforts to push the scientific boundaries ever further. Moreover, medically IVF in older women as not without its risks and the older a woman the higher the risk of her developing complications during pregnancy and childbirth. (Note: Supports of IVF for the over 5Os argue that youth is no guarantee of life expectancy and the most important thing is that the child has a loving home, Moreover, women with other traits, such as alcoholism and physical disabilities, which could jeopardise their child’s well-being are not denied motherhood.)
- A government might also justify discriminatory policies on ground of social order and stability. For example, in Singapore, there is no legalisation of homosexual marriages. In fact, under the law Section 377A, homosexual acts are considered a criminal offence although this law has not been enacted. A repeal of the law has been rejected by the
government ground that the relatively conservative and multi-religious society is not ready for the change, and that the government needs to heed the sensitivities of its people.

E. WHO are discriminated against: TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION

1) Discrimination based on race and ethniçity
- Racial discrimination is often called racism, a term coined in the 1930s primarily as a response to the Nazi project of making German judenrein, or ‘clean of Jews’.
- The other group is often viewed as 'worse' than..."

All this puts me in the mind of history texts. Let us take one example:

"In Mein Kampf, [Hitler] explained race as the most important principle of human life, and he tried to show that since the beginning, history was a story of the conflict between the Aryans and the Jews. "The racial question," he wrote, "gives the key not only to world history, but to all human culture." Therefore, civilizations rise and fall depending on how they take care of the "racial preservation of the nation." "In the blood alone resides the strength as well as the weakness of man," so the "resurrection of Germany" depends on "the clearest knowledge of the racial problem and hence of the Jewish problem."

"The "Aryan" race was the champion of "human cultural development." By their nature and their "blood," the "Aryans" were chosen to rule the world. The whole existence of human civilization, then, depended on safeguarding the purity of the "Aryan" race."

--- Hitler's War Against the Jews - The Holocaust: A Young Reader's Version of the War Against the Jews: 1933-1945 / Lucy Dawidowicz

Clearly, this is a vile example of anti-Semitic, racist, Neo-Nazi propaganda. Hell, it even quotes Hitler in his own words approvingly. We must burn this book forthwith! Never mind that Lucy Dawidowicz was not just a Jew but a famous author of books on modern Jewish history, especially on the Holocaust.

Going back to the original GP notes, we can see that the author (and thus, by extension, the school, the Ministry of Education [MOE], the Singaporean government and everyone in Singapore) is also endorsing, besides 377A and the restriction of gay rights:

- Affirmative action in the USA
- The bumiputra policy in Malaysia
- Older women who want to have children
- Anti-Semitism

Nevermind that the sort of people who would endorse affirmative action would most likely be for gay rights - the mere fact that discrimination against homosexuals was mentioned but not immediately excoriated means that the notes are endorsing it.

By now, it will be clear to the objective reader that the JC GP notes in question are written in a very objective, matter-of-fact manner, describing the rationales given for discrimination. Indeed, I would wager that the first page of notes read something along the lines of: "We think that equality is good and that discrimination is bad. However, in some cases people justify discrimination. Let us look at some examples".

This is what comes of the hysterical activism that equates non-condemnatory communication about homosexuality with homophobia.

You're either with us, or against us.

You're either an anti-gay activist, or a homophobe.

Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

Of course, this sort of Manichean logic gets condemned when George W. Bush voices it, but in the cause of Virtue, it is justified. Nevermind the complexities of the real world, or giving students the facts instead of trying to brainwash them.
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