I Was Born This Way!

I wasn’t born a poor black child in Mississippi; but had I been, I’d be one angry black man. While marchers chant “Black lives matter!” and young African Americans work toward assuming the mantle previously worn by the likes of Rosa Parks  and Martin Luther King, Jr., all seem oblivious to the fact that their cause has been hijacked and co-opted; stolen by thieves who choose to be oblivious to the obvious significance of their genitalia.

Consider for a moment the heavy lifting that Africans and African descendants did during the colonial decades leading up to the Declaration of Independence – independence of European colonials from their European overlords that is. Imagine, if you can, being the brunt of the continued brutality and inhumanity of chattel slavery that ended with the Civil War. Add to your contemplations the persistent injustices of American apartheid meted out during the Jim Crow era on a significant portion of our population for no other reason than who they were born to and what their skin color was.

water fountain

Such reflections are necessary, particularly if you happen to be white; doubly so if you happen to be a white conservative. The marchers of the 1960s risked life, limb, and their limited liberties to confront institutionalized racism that presented real disadvantages to people of color. In so doing, they pushed our culture closer to the true spirit of its founding ideals.

African Americans living in 21st century America are much better off than their grandparents were in the 20th century, but the work is far from done. Even though we have a black president, ruminate for a minute how it is that selling cigarettes illegally in New York, not paying child support in South Carolina, or making eye contact with law enforcement officers in Maryland can be a death sentence for a black man. Then think about a wedding cake denied to two grooms or citizens who demand their “right” to a government funded sex-reassignment surgery. Is it really the same? No, nowhere near. Regardless, the LGBT lobby has successfully co-opted our culture’s expressed abhorrence of prejudice that black people bled and died to build. They have done this by asserting that their condition is a matter of biological determinism. In other words, they were born that way.

Sex is a straightforward, biological reality. It is a reality that has been readily understood by mankind for millennia. We know this to be true even if we didn’t have history books. Our very existence is evidence of it. I was born as were you. We each had parents who recognized the purpose and ultimate potential of their reproductive organs and used them accordingly. Without such knowledge, there would be no human race. To make babies requires a man and a woman. Men don’t birth babies, women do. Men are men and women are women down to the cellular level. Women do not have Y chromosomes, men do. Simple.

Sex is a matter of birth. I have a copy of my father’s birth certificate. Under “SEX OF CHILD”, “Male” has been typed in. My father was born in California in 1931. I have a copy of my youngest child’s birth certificate. Printed in black for all posterity to see are the words “SEX: MALE”. Though he was born seventy-two years after his grandfather, identifying the sex of a baby is a skill we successfully carried into the 21st century.

Racial classification in America is historically tied to ancestry. There was a time in the United States when a single black great-grandparent made one black and unable to legally marry a white person. It mattered not at the time how lily-white the other seven great-grandparents were.[1] This refusal of marriage was a true injustice imposed upon people simply due to the conditions of their birth.

Neither the transgendered nor the same-sex oriented suffers from a condition of birth. But both groups have foisted this lie on a public ready to embrace it and gain an easy entrance into the halls of the socially enlightened. Privileged whites and affluent blacks too young to have made their mark in history during the glory days of the civil rights movement gleefully jump on the bandwagon of same-sex “marriage” advocacy[2] with all the fervor of a freedom marcher and none of the risk. In so doing, they divert focus and energy away from true tragedies of social injustice still prevalent in our society.

1280px-Kinsey_Scale.svg

In 1948, Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues developed the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale based on interviews with people about their sexual histories. Often referred to as the “Kinsey Scale”, it is a seven-point scheme in which zero means exclusively heterosexual and six means exclusively homosexual. Following is the description of each level in the scale:

0- Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual
1- Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2- Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3- Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4- Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5- Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6- Exclusively homosexual

Even in 1948, Kinsey recognized that the level of homosexual inclination and expression could vary over a person’s lifetime.[3] His observations have been substantiated through later studies. A 1970 study found that 75% of all homosexuals had at one time or another been sexually aroused by the opposite sex. A 1983 study found that over half of all people who had ever been homosexually aroused were currently heterosexual. A 1992 study found that more than 90% of Americans who had had any same-gender sex since puberty had also had opposite-gender sex.[4]

Same-sex orientation, unlike its proponents would have us believe, isn’t an “always on” unavoidable condition of birth. The elasticity of behavior among those who identify themselves as homosexual testifies to the hypocrisy of their claim. Homosexuality, like transgenderism, isn’t a matter of biology but of psychology. In selling their fraud of biological determinism, they would have us see straight and gay water fountains as symbols of their cause instead of understanding that their attack is really on the sex-appropriate signs of public restrooms.

restrooms

Transgendered people who undergo sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) are perhaps the most extreme and tragic examples of a fight against reality. Consider Lynn Conway, a transgender female who completed her transition from man to “female” in 1968 and has been a transgender activist since going public in 1999. Prior to surgery, Lynn was married to a woman and fathered two children. In 2002, Lynn married a man.[5] Any serious thought about this history is sure to hurt the head, but think we must.

Even though SRS is commonly referred to as a “sex change” operation, sex change is biologically impossible. A transgender female isn’t a woman, he is a feminized man.[6] He has been castrated, his penis has been mutilated, and its skin has been turned outside in. But he is a man nonetheless. Every cell of his body will attest to that fact even if his mind won’t accept it and the results of his plastic surgery cleverly hide the truth. Any sex he has with males will be homosexual even if his partner is unaware of his true biological gender.

Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, made an elegant defense for reality when he stated “policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention. This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder…the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken—it does not correspond with physical reality… Claiming that this is [a] civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”[7]

Of course, policy makers and the media have every incentive to embrace the LGBT cause. Politicians can gain easy applause for their pro-diversity stance without addressing the real problems of disproportionate poverty, fatherlessness, and incarceration of blacks while the media makes millions on the next installment of the newest Kardashian female intent on throwing his javelin away for another round of gold.

[1] Dorothy Roberts, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, (New York: The New Press 2011), 19.
[2] For one such example, see the post “Another Black Robed Bandit Buys the Lie”.
[3] “What is the Kinsey Scale?”, http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/research/ak-hhscale.html, accessed 5/10/15.
[4] Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, (Nashville: Abingdon Press 2001), 418-419. The studies cited were: Bell and Weinberg (1970), Family Research Institute (1983), and the National Health and Social Life Survey (1992).
[5] “Lynn Conway”, http://www.gendercentre.org.au/resources/polare-archive/archived-articles/how-many-of-us-are-there.htm, accessed 5/10/15
[6] Paul McHugh, “Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution”, http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120, accessed 5/10/15
[7] Ibid.

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Executing the Innocent: Genetics and the Death Penalty

Most meat-eating Americans pursue their prey down supermarket aisles, oblivious to the primal requirements that transpire prior to the packaging of the cold flesh they’ll soon call supper. Hunters, ranchers, and farmers know better.

Joshua was the convict’s name. We were told he was a young one, so we figured it wouldn’t be difficult. Then the farmer pointed him out. Joshua had left being a lamb many moons before and was well on his way to ram status. My son looked at me and said, “I told you we should have brought the gun.” It took us nearly an hour to get him corralled away from the flock and situated for slaughter.

Joshua perched peacefully atop the galvanized pipes we had placed under his shoulders and hindquarters; which elevated him slightly above the ground, making it impossible for him to run away and unwilling to try. I whispered kind and gentle words to him behind his ear while I petted his head. And then, ever so calmly though my heart beat rapidly inside its cage, I raised his muzzle and ran the butcher knife deeply across his throat. The air escaped from his lungs in a rush as his blood splashed down to the ground. It was then that Joshua decided it was time to run. But it was too late. With no possibility of survival, he fought for life anyway; thrashing atop the poles and nearly trapping me against the makeshift barricade.

We pulled the pipes out from under him and laid him down on the ground. Though it felt like hours, it only took a few moments longer for him to expire. All the gutting, skinning, and carving that I did for the next couple of hours couldn’t compare to the difficulty of that first cut. Killing is hard. Life doesn’t die easy.

On April 29, 2014, Clayton Darrell Lockett died in writhing distress as the state of Oklahoma attempted to administer a lethal injection. His lunges against the restrains and the moans of his pain were evidence that he was no more willing to die than Stephanie Neiman; whom he beat, shot twice, and buried alive while she fought for her life. It is unclear as of yet whether the drugs or the trauma of them being delivered subcutaneously caused his heart attack. Regardless, his pain and suffering once again raised the issue of whether lethal injection qualified as cruel and unusual punishment and as such should be deemed unconstitutional. Based on the plethora of our medically supervised industrial infanticide facilities and the level of violence in our movies, one would think that Americans had a stronger stomach for killing. But alas, most have never seen their meat come from anywhere but the market.

The idea that executing anyone could be painless is fanciful at best and delusional at worst. Lethal injection was supposed to resolve the question of the executioner’s cruelty. Death row inmates could go gentle into that good night; the rest of us could sleep comfortably, swaddled in our humane dreams. But lethal injection has the highest botch rate of all execution methods used in the U.S. since 1890.[1] The usual mistakes involve missing or blowing a vein which causes the death-delivering cocktail to burn and push its way through muscle and fat. Even so, the damage and pain caused is a far cry from what the Framers considered “cruel and unusual”; having in mind as they did the English spectacle of being hanged, drawn, and quartered.[2]

But botched executions are the least of death penalty’s problems in America. Due to the serious nature of the sentence, death row cases cost nearly four times as much as criminal cases where the death penalty isn’t sought. And death row inmates are much more expensive to house. The costs are so exorbitant that it is cheaper to give them life imprisonment without parole.[3] And then there is the matter of innocence.

No one was in doubt of Lockett’s guilt, least of all Lockett himself. But since 1973, 144 death row inmates have been exonerated after having wasted a total of 1,485 man years in prison. Nobody knows how many innocent people have been released from death row via the execution chamber, but chances are that it is not a few. Of the 144 exonerations mentioned, only 18 of them were due to DNA evidence. DNA testing, it turns out, plays a more sinister role in conviction than it does a benevolent one in exonerations.

Under the DNA Identification Act of 1994, our federal government has amassed the largest collection of seized genetic profiles in the world.[4] The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is a program run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Federal, state, and local participating forensic laboratories supply CODIS with DNA samples collected from convicted offenders, arrestees, and detainees.[5] Though DNA evidence enjoys the myth of being infallible, the reality is that neither the science nor the personnel handling it is. With arrests and detentions being disproportionately employed against minorities, the warrantless retention of their genes for continual questioning relative to any unsolved crime only adds to the weight of possible injustice. When false positives occur, which they can do from sheer coincidence, it can make defending the accused nearly impossible.[6]

The greatest indicator of the racial disparity in our justice system is the fact that those accused of murdering whites are more likely to receive the death penalty than those who murder blacks.[7] Simply put, our justice system places a higher value on its white citizens. Since 1976, twenty white defendants have been executed for the murder of black victims. In the same time period, two hundred and seventy-one black defendants have been executed for the murder of white victims.[8] I leave it for the reader to discover if these numbers in anyway represent the demographic of our nation.

I believe in the death penalty as a tool of justice. I don’t believe in it because it is cheaper. It isn’t. I don’t believe in it because it deters crime. It doesn’t. I believe in it because it is right: a murder’s life should be forfeit, not extended in incarceration. But the problem arises in its application. We in this country have had a difficult time applying it justly. And the dual specters of racial injustice and the possibility of executing the innocent should give us great pause. I only know of one execution carried out under those conditions that ever turned out to benefit society at large. But that Lamb wouldn’t keep to his grave.

[1] According to a study done by Austin Sarat of Amherst College as cited by Death Penalty Information Center about 7% of all lethal injections are botched. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/5772, accessed 6/8/14.
[2] https://www.rutherford.org/constitutional_corner/amendment_viii_cruel_and_unusual_punishment, accessed 5/26/14.
[3] http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29552692/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/execute-or-not-question-cost/#.U5UXwvldXLl, accessed 6/8/14.
[4] Dorothy Roberts, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (New York: The New Press, 2011), p. 264.
[5] http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/biometric-analysis/codis/codis-and-ndis-fact-sheet, accessed 6/9/14.
[6] Roberts, p. 272-274.
[7] United States General Accounting Office, Report to Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary, “Death Penalty Sentencing”, February 1990.
[8] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976