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Proposition 8 and the Linguistic Fight Against Intolerance

The passage of the bigoted same-sex marriage act in California revealed the "No on Prop 8" campaign's need for better framing.
 
 
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Last week Ralph Nader wondered aloud if President-elect Obama would be an "Uncle Tom" to corporations. The comment was met with outrage from progressives and conservatives alike, landing the one-time spoiler on Fox News to get a tongue lashing from an appalled Shepard Smith.

The reason: Ralph Nader didn't have the proper cultural visas to talk that way about an African American.

The Prop 8 debate has focused the thinking parts of America on the gay-straight divide, privileged language (the perils of "queer" speak in straight circles), and the garden-variety biases that helped pass Prop 8 last week.

 
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