April 09, 2012

Hypocrisy alert, Glenn Greenwald division

Greenwald has spilled cyberink in more than one Salon column, bemoaning that he and his Brazilian boyfriend can't get married in the U.S.

Well, behind the gay rights push in that same Brazil is a rising wave of homophobia, homicidal at times. I had no idea that conservative evangelical Christianity was also on the rise there.

Now, for Greenwald to not talk about this might be more ironic than hypocritical.

But, even more hypocritical?  Noted civil libertarian and free speech advocate Greenwald has never written about Brazil's attempts to criminalize homophobic speech.

And, Greenwald can be black-and-white on civil liberties issues, even ones where there's a LOT of gray, such as deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.

Therefore, it's not hypocritical on my part at all to say that, if Glenn's going to be black-and-white elsewhere, why can't he be on Brazil trying to criminalize hate speech?
I know the U.S. isn't perfect on gay rights, either de jure, or de facto, as a Tyler Clementi or Matthew Shepard shows. But, it sounds like we might still be ahead of Brazil overall. And, on "hate speech" issues too.

On Brazil and gay issues, I'll also venture that other factors are involved. The homophobia probably splits somewhat on class lines. And, Brazil definitely has bigger socio-economic class divides than the U.S. It probably, sweetness and light aside, still has bigger racial class gaps, too.

And, for new readers here, this isn't the first time I've "called out" Greenwald on civil liberties issues. I have a long post here about other blind spots of his, especially re the ACLU and its selective support for civil rights, board purges and more, as documented here.

That's not to say Greenwald doesn't do a lot of good stuff. His latest column, about documentary filmmakers becoming deliberate U.S. government snooping targets, allegedly as part of the War on Terror, but really as part of the War on Leaks, is great. That said, just once, I'd like to see him reference the Center on Constitutional Rights or some other group in addition to the ACLU.

It's like the environmental movement. The ACLU is the equivalent of the Sierra Club or some other "Gang Green" group. Glenn has a platform to give attention to newer, sometimes fiestier groups, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights. And he won't. I know, because I've emailed and tweeted him about it. I don't know WHY, but he won't.

And, at the same time, one should remember another thing about Greenwald. Good progressives should note that he's still an economic libertarian at heart, as his ardent love for Ron Paul shows. It's very relevant to link this year, because as I noted, Greenwald's love for Paul didn't mention Paul's strong antigay history. That his libertarianism usually trumps all, even with a weird twist like this, doesn't surprise me, from what I know of him, which is more than you see in his columns and books.


indianabob said...

SocraticGadfly has spilled cyberink in more than one column on his blog talking about former Cardinal Manager Tony LaRussa.

Well, behind the immigrant rights push that SocraticGadfly supports is a Cardinal Manager who supported Arizona's anti latino laws. I had no idea that LaRussa was such conservative in this regard.

Now, for SocraticGadfly to not talk about this might be more ironic than hypocritical...

You get the picture.

Go Cards!

Gadfly said...

Actually, IIRC, I did mention his politics in connect with Glenn Beck's nuttery rally in DC last year.

And, on immigrant rights in general, I'm probably a "centrist." I'm OK with reasonably tight border control, BUT ... if you want U.S. citizens to do a lot of "those" jobs ... you better pay them more and give them better working conditions.

Q the Platypus said...

This is a classic Tu quoque fallacy/attack http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque can't we have better quality of conversation on this topic?