Out of Another Dark Age of American Society

Black folk had their day emerging from a dark age when they came to some realization of their freedom from official discrimination. But they left behind, and moved on past the white folk who continued their dark-age mentality. The blackness those white folk so hated continued to haunt their minds, and they continued in the dark age.

Of which there have been several. The one after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire is the most prominent in my thought. Followed later by a reawakening through industrial invention, after the “re-birth” called the Renaissance. The rebirth is continued in our day, in the remark of old codgers sitting on a park bench, watching the youth parade go by with all sorts of new gadgets, “What will they think of next?”

Women had their day, rising up from a dark age when the were permitted to vote. In WWII, they managed the heavy tools of industry to assist the war effort. Remember, “Rosie the Riveter!” Then again, more freedom with the pill.

Way back when, people of a “flat-Earth” belief underwent an agonizing re-orientation when Columbus’s ship actually did not fall off the edge of Earth when he navigated to the discovery of a new world. The dark of mind were emancipated from another of their dark ages.

Now we have a whole class of people living in a demographic category of sexual orientation awaiting another whole class of people to emerge from another of their dark ages, that of discrimination. I, myself, am rather ambivalent about this one. I wonder what skin off my nose is it if gay men or lesbian women marry? I heard one old lady say that it would do something bad “to my marriage”. It sounded to me like she thought her marriage would be devalued.

How would I be hurt by their orientation? Where did that orientation come from? It constitutes about 20% of the population, last I heard. It used to be about a 49-51 breakdown of the population between males and females; that is, for every 100 males born there are 101 females being born. I could see that difference. But “looks-like” is no longer obviously the fact of the matter. “They” want recognition and the right to marry. They are living in another dark age, yes, but whose is it?

It is ours, we “straights”. Why should I, and many others, stand in their way? Again, what skin off my nose is it if they attain the recognition they crave for getting “married”? Am I hurt by that? Is my marriage, or anybody else’s, diminshed in any way? Do they somehow “desecrate” the bonds of holy matrimony by their entering into marriage as homosexuals?

Marriage can be spoken of as “a marriage of music and dance”, or, “a marriage of ideas”, and other ways of putting two things together. Does that lessen the meaning of marriage as “matrimony”? The important thing is, married couples take vows against promiscuity. For what that’s worth, the way some people behave! But at the very least, that pledge is there to take potential promiscuity out of society to some degree that would not exist if the marraige was not there.

Equality increases freedom, in the land of the free. “With liberty and justice for all.” Does that have any meaning, though we still say that by rote in the pledge we all mouth?

Therefore, I have to conclude that, if homosexual couples want to marry, they have that right, and it should have all the legal status that heterosexual couples have.

A Long Post Script, in response to one comment on my article above, follows:.

On September 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm lista de email said: Can you explain more about your post? Actually, i cannot understand it fully.

MY Reply

On September 6, 2012 at 12:11 am John F. Deethardt II said:

“Dark Age” in history refers to the period of time between the fall of the Roman Empire, or classical antiquity, and the time of history called the Italian “Renaissance”, which means “re-birth”. That was a period of intellectual darkness lasting many hundreds of years. Emerging from the “Dark Ages”, civilization had an explosion of art and science and a new rebirth of intellectual discovery.

But “Dark Age” seemed to me to be a time of extreme ignorance about anything and everything, before science. The only intellectual life people had was the experience of the ceremonies of religion. That’s how I see it. Not much “interesting” happened for many hundreds of years.

I have carried that expression, that term over to our present time of general ignorance of race relations and other discriminations of a cultural nature, such as our fear and intolerance of the phenomenon of homosexuality. It is prejudice, an unwillingness to recognize and respect differences, especially of racial skin color, sexual orientation, female aspirations, the many physical handicaps, and other categories of cultural ignorance and prejudice.

I call it a “dark age” when the minds of a large segment of the population of a society like American society hold certain cultural differences, such as sex, sexual orientation, race, physical handicaps of many kinds, age, jobs, among others, as categories of people to look down on because they are believed to be inferior and to have some trait that deserves to be marginalized and discriminated against. To me, those acting superior in that way, if they constitute a very large segment of our society, mark this period of our history as a repeat of the dark age recognized by historians as the medieval period following the fall of Rome.

There may be an age, yet to come, in which there will be the age of cultural enlightenment when those differences will be understood and no longer subject to intolerance, discrimination, hateful responses, ultimately finding understanding and acceptance as natural occurrences beyond the person’s control and that must be accomodated intelligently in human society.

Until then, I must question the existence of intolerance, and the intolerant individuals who are still too numerous in our society. It is appropriate here to say, with Edwin Markham, (in his poem, The Man with the Hoe), “Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?” The brains of all those too many people, whole classes of them, are still living in, and contributing to, a cultural “dark age” of intellectual ignorance and prejudice. Homosexual people want to marry in this “dark age” of intolerance against them. Tolerance will eventually become fact, and done, and widely accepted. It is inevitable, in a democracy. You do like democracy, don’t you? Totalitarians in our society are the hate-filled. Good thing they are not in charge.

Black people are more widely recognized these days, but there are still white people who are afflicted with hate, an unconscionable hate greatly exceeding all bounds of reason. I feel certain that eventually, intolerance of certain demographic characteristics will lessen substantially. Presently, we are working our way out of the era of racial and sexual and other demographic categories causing intolerant discriminations.

Who blew out the light within those brains and darkened those minds with hate of differences that will, and must, be accepted. That darkness will eventually become enlightened, and we can say it is past, and gone forever. What will that society look like? I can hear you thinking: “Oh, they’ll always find something!” Yeah, that’s what you hear walking along the road toward “the more perfect union” Democracy is the only form of government that can perfect a union.


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. can you explain more about your post? actually, i cannot understand it fully.

  2. Perfectly indited content , appreciate it for information .

  3. great post. thank for sharing.

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