The wave of rappers endorsing marriage equality has ranged from actual anti-homophobia to a more libertarian "meh." Now we have 50 Cent also endorsing marriage equality but wary of gays getting getting "special" rights:
"I think everyone should be happy. I think a fool is going to go against same sex marriage at this point. The President...look how long it took him to say he was for same sex marriages. You understand? I'm up for it. If everyone else is for it, then hey, to each his own. I don't have personal feelings towards it because I'm not involved in that lifestyle. I want people to be happy. It makes for everything to be better..."
"So in process, we need organizations for straight men. We do. We need organizations for straight men in the case you've been on the elevator and somebody decides they want to grab your little buns. Times are changing. Those organizations are set up for at one point they were being attacked for those choices. Now its completely different. Obviously [homosexuality] is more socially accepted."
This is what I meant about the difference between being fine with marriage equality, and still being bigoted against gays. As sure as there were arguments against slavery that had nothing to do with an affinity for black people, there are arguments for marriage equality that still allow for bigotry against gays and lesbians.
But this is what progress always looks like. Progress is not the practice of those in the business of sweeping success. Progress overawes--but its work is slow and grim. Progress waits on people to die, and more enlightened people to take their place. Progress works even as the unenlightened abound, but find their ranks thinned and their positions exposed.
Specifically, democratic progress is not revolution and can never be the gospel of people who measures success by complete victories achieved in singular life-times. Instead it is reserved for those who are unrelenting in struggle, patient beyond their mortal coil, and willing to wage wars across generations.
If you will allow me to express this by analogy, I would say it like this: Moving from the "marrying your daughters" phase of the struggle to the "how come there's no white history month?" portion is exactly how progress works.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power