The Tyranny of the Minority

I heard about something today that got my blood seething and I am concerned by that sense of seething.

JPMorgan Chase (a major bank here in the United States) conducted an internal employee survey designed to gauge employee satisfaction. Well and good. Any large organization that I have worked with does this, from the private sector to the government sector. However, one of the questions Chase asked was:

“Are you: An ally of the LGBT community, but not personally identifying as LGBT.” (LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)

Think about that for a moment.

The original story was reported by Brietbart, followed by The Washington Times. The employee, who originally spoke about this poll, said:

“This survey wasn’t anonymous. You had to enter your employee ID. With the way things are going and the fact that LGBT rights are being viewed as pretty much tantamount to the civil rights movement of the mid 50s to late 60s, not selecting that option is essentially saying “I’m not an ally of civil rights;” which is a vague way to say “I’m a bigot.” The worry among many of us is that those who didn’t select that poorly placed, irrelevant option will be placed on the “you can fire these people first” list.”

 

The problem with those who want change is it is never enough. I remember talking with my brother-in-law who was openly gay and my ruefully saying, “The gene pool is losing some of our best, brightest and most beautiful.” Not to mention talented. The LGBT community comprises less than 5% of the population, depending on what survey and date taken. Gallop had two articles in 2012 regarding polling statistics. The first stated that U.S. Adults Estimate that 25% of Americans are Gay or Lesbian (May 2012). In fact, best guess was 3.8% of the population was gay or lesbian. In October 2012, Gallop conducted a more pointed survey asking:

“Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?”

Out of 120,000 adults survey, 3.4% identified themselves as LGBT.

I said above that the LGBT population was talented. And well-organized and well-funded. My point is this: When is enough enough? Are we interested in restitution or retribution? People are getting fired for not holding the right viewpoint, companies are being punished if they do not actively support the LGBT community. Mozilla Firefox’s CEO was terminated for having contributed to the anti-gay marriage fund back in 2008. And, now, Chase is asking its employees if they are an ally of the LGBT community.

To be clear, my position is I do not care what your sexual persuasion or preference is. In fact, I don’t want to hear about it. It is irrelevant. I do think when it comes to benefits that require a beneficiary, one should be able to name anyone regardless of relationship. The benefit belongs to the employee, though the benefit be offered by a company or government. Key word is “offered.” Benefits are not the same as a right. And, personal beliefs should not be a test for employment.

28 thoughts on “The Tyranny of the Minority

  1. I was retired from my position in favor of younger women of color. I was a minority and I was discriminated against. and if it had protested, I would have been perceived as a bigot and racist. Sometimes the majority is turned into a minority and that minority has not rights.

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  2. “People are getting fired for not holding the right viewpoint”
    I’ll need a reference for that. So far, it’s just Breitbart whipping folks into a “what if?” frenzy with click-bait, which is their business plan.
    “Mozilla Firefox’s CEO was terminated”
    No, he resigned.
    “I do not care what your sexual persuasion or preference is.”
    It’s not a persuasion or preference; those are dog-whistle words. It’s an innate orientation.
    “In fact, I don’t want to hear about it.”
    This is self-entitled disingenuousness at best. Every time I hear “my wife and I went to dinner last night” or see a family picture on a desk, someone is advertising their orientation. Why do I have to hear/see it multiple times daily but not the heteros? Who’s doing the tyrannizing again?
    What I hear: “I wouldn’t mind gay people, if only they pretended they’re not gay!” Are straight folks really that fragile?
    The sooner full equality is realized, the sooner we’ll all shut up, stand down, and live our lives, which will include referring to our spouses and having pictures on our desks. We only squeak when we’re squeezed.
    Welcome to EqualityLand! 😀
    The above submitted with great respect, of course, but in this case, I hope you’ll reconsider.
    Cheers,
    Maggie

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    • Thanks, Maggie, for pushing back and getting me to review my statements. I spent about six hours on Sunday following various rabbit holes and I learned a great deal. Short of writing another piece, I’ll answer some of your points here:

      “People are getting fired for not holding the right viewpoint”
      I’ll need a reference for that.

      Google with “termination for anti-gay.” There are over 5 Million hits and excellent coverage on various lawsuits. For the record, some of those firings I agreed with.

      So far, it’s just Breitbart whipping folks into a “what if?” frenzy with click-bait, which is their business plan.

      Actually, no. I cited two sources, Brietbart and the Washington Times, which essentially repeated the story quoting Brietbart. However, on Brietbart’s link, there is a link to the origination of the story from the website, Mirror of Justice. Robert P.George, the original writer of this story, has a rather impressive bio, located here: http://lapa.princeton.edu/peopledetail.php?ID=306. In fact, also noted in the Brietbart story was the second source coming forward to corroborate. That story is here: http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2014/07/that–1.html.

      “Mozilla Firefox’s CEO was terminated”
      No, he resigned.

      He had been the CEO for a total of two weeks, having been a co-founder of Mozilla, at the time of his “resignation.” Two days before he resigned, he did an interview and was quite clear he intended to stay. It was also quite clear he believed devoutly in the Mozilla mission. On April 3, he resigned, but at those levels, that is a euphemism for being forced out. Here’s the interview: http://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-ceo-gay-marriage-firestorm-could-hurt-firefox-cause-q-a/.

      “I do not care what your sexual persuasion or preference is.”
      It’s not a persuasion or preference; those are dog-whistle words. It’s an innate orientation.

      I had to go look up “dog-whistle words.” And I am going to call you out on this. “Dog-whistle words” are words that are spoken or written that mean one thing on one level and a secret message on another level only privy to those with ears to hear (most often in political speech). Wikipedia has quite a page on it. Let me be more clear here: I do not care what your innate orientation is.

      “In fact, I don’t want to hear about it.”
      This is self-entitled disingenuousness at best. Every time I hear “my wife and I went to dinner last night” or see a family picture on a desk, someone is advertising their orientation. Why do I have to hear/see it multiple times daily but not the heteros? Who’s doing the tyrannizing again?
      What I hear: “I wouldn’t mind gay people, if only they pretended they’re not gay!” Are straight folks really that fragile?

      “Self-entitled disingenuousness…?” I have no idea what that means. Followed by a complaint about dinner plans or pictures on a desk and equating that with advertising someone’s orientation. Now, this is dog-whistling. How you can misconstrue and feel marginalized by this is beyond me.

      The sooner full equality is realized, the sooner we’ll all shut up, stand down, and live our lives, which will include referring to our spouses and having pictures on our desks. We only squeak when we’re squeezed.

      But in the meantime, anyone dissenting should shut up and sit down.

      All this because I felt and wrote that less than 5% of the population was receiving an outsized amount of attention and the right of dissent (First Amendment) was rapidly being squashed, jeopardizing employment.

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  3. Huntie – You are so right on this subject. Newsweek identified the Transgender population as the next openly civil rights movement. Their article, although somewhat guarded, reported the basic facts and that’s basically what I look for in Newsweek. If they reported more than facts, someone would run them out of business.
    You aren’t the only one steamed under the collar. I’ve spent the weekend working on government white papers for 3 separate issues. Each issue lights a fire under me each time it’s mentioned and give me three at one time and I’m exploding.
    (1) Undocumented Immigration – I don’t care what age they are, we can’t afford them.
    (2) Guns – No one needs a semi-automatic or automatic weapon. Get them off the street and do it now. The statistics are against you if there’s a gun in your home and no one ever threatens you – it’s enough to make me crazy!
    (3) Medicare or any other government health initiative will kill you.
    It’s so nice to have you back. I kept checking your blog and wondering. Welcome home. Sheri

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    • Yes, I read material on transgender issues while researching my response to Maggie above. In fact, Vice President Biden stated that transgender discrimination is “the civil rights issue of our time” back in October 2012.

      I’m am so sorry you spent the weekend on three white papers on issues that leave you exploding. I spent six hours today and that was more than enough for me!

      I disagree on the guns issue. I have a semi-automatic and I chose it after very careful deliberation. On the other two, I think we’re probably right on the same page. Grin.

      Once again, thank you for missing me! Huntie

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      • No, Huntie. I didn’t mean you. Somethings should be private, personal no matter what your difference in the world. Surely Big Brother isn’t entitled to every little thing about us. And another question,”What happened to democracy?”
        I just read about the article about the company who decided not to allow the pill to women in health benefits. What is happening. Is nothing sacred anymore?

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        • Oh, Tess! Are you speaking of the Hobby Lobby case? That is a big deal here. Obamacare insists that 20 types of birth control be made available. Four of which are designated to cause an abortion (or the possibility), i.e., the morning after pill. Hobby Lobby has always provided 16, but rejected the last 4 on religious grounds. Any woman can still purchase, but she would have to pay for it herself.

          Funny you should mention sacredness. I had intended to do a post on keeping a sense of the sacred, but got distracted. 🙂 Still forthcoming.

          As to what has happened to democracy? Good question. It has been very effectively eroded.

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  4. IRRELEVANCE is indeed the word.
    We might as well be discussing heterosexuality in the same vein. I wonder how long it’s going to take to reach that happy time when sexuality is an issue of the same important as … oh, I dunno: maybe, where you buy your shower-curtain …?

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  5. Huntie,

    This is exactly the type post I have been missing from you. A no non-sense question, that makes people open their eyes, ears, and brain. I have clearly been supportive of the LGBT community for as long as I can remember, but equally fortunately for me that question has never been put to me. Retired for 5 years and having spent my entire career working for the Fed’s protected me from answering that type of question. But yes it has a fire me 1st aspect written all over it. Clearly this is yet another form in discrimination, in a country the proudly claims it’s non-discriminatory nature. Which is finding more and more ways of being hyper-discriminatory, as it speeds down the high way to hell. I could rapidly go right into a rant about benefits. But will save that for another time. Please take care, Happy 4th, 5th and 6th to you. Take care, Bill

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    • Hey there, Bill, glad you liked and commented on this piece. To be honest, I would write a lot more on issues, but I can’t stand the invective that comes back. (Oops, did I say that out loud?) But, I am finding that it is important to speak up, whether anybody listens or not.

      I too have been supportive of the LGBT community. I think much of what they want is reasonable. I just don’t like their tactics.

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      • Huntie, I would agree I support the community, but not the tactics. As for the invectiveness of the responses, I do have 2 comments to make, 1) they are allowed to say what will in a reasonable manner, 2) but if they choose to be assholes F…. them. Take care, Bill

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        • D’accord, Bill. I did have one comment from a new visitor, “Are you proud of what you wrote here?” A bit snarky. I went to check his website before determining whether to approve and was shocked to find it filled with hate. Sent him to spam. 🙂

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  6. The only thing worse than insensitivity, is hyper-sensitivity. There is no doubt that adults can get along, and that often children need guidance to understand what good manners are. So, could adults just behave as adults?

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  7. I agree with you Huntie – someone else’s sexual orientation is of absolutely no interest to me. They shouldn’t be to anyone else either, unless you’re interested in dating the person.
    One of the reasons I made it clear to my 2nd hubby that I wanted to get married, rather than just live together, was to make it easier for estate planning & questions about who gets what should something happen to either of us. Isn’t that an awful reason for wanting to get married? I mean, I loved the guy & everything, but went through a ceremony to make it easier on both of us for benefits, etc.

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    • And, Benze, that is exactly the critical point where I agree with the LBGT – they were not allowed to name a beneficiary of their choice and not allowed to visit their partner when he or she was in the hospital. That is abhorrent to my mind. I was wholly in favor of civil unions provided they came with streamlining the benefits and the hospital visitations, etc.

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