A seemingly innocuous Twitter hashtag Wednesday revealed that no one has any idea what equality means.
June 29 was jokingly #HeterosexualPrideDay, and the only reason you’d know that is because it reached the top of Twitter’s trending list, a spot I would have imagined to be filled with news about the 43 dead and hundreds wounded in an Istanbul airport terror attack Tuesday.
People threw Istanbul aside and instead raged that the hetero hashtag was everything from gay discrimination to “heterosexual privilege.”
What it actually is, is equality.
The end goal of this equality is that nobody’s special: When people choose to celebrate their sexual orientation, no one cares, because all orientations have the same value. When people raise a fuss, it reinforces inequality — it tells people there is still a negative difference.
Perpetuating that perception automatically places being straight on a pedestal. The angrier people get, the more entrenched perceptions of inequality become.
The outpouring of vitriol showed something actually interesting: People don’t want equality, they just want a different kind of inequality, they want recognition, and they want to compete for suffering.
As the unending litany of tired and well-trodden arguments show, they think heterosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate their orientation because they haven’t suffered the way gay people have. This line of bitter thinking has spread across all equality movements.
The University of Connecticut, for example, is building a residence hall to intentionally segregate black students from the rest of the student body. The desire for equality has become so twisted that the school is resorting to Jim Crow-era racism so black students can have a “safe space,” and in turn, other students can experience the historic oppression of being unable to go somewhere because of the color of their skin.
The University of Oklahoma (OU) created a segregated gay student lounge, because, according to OU student David Martin, “Having a safe place will help students be themselves, and provide the opportunity to reduce harassment.”
Black activists at the University of Missouri intentionally segregated white students to create a “black only healing space.”
Segregation was once used as a tool of oppression and harassment, and today, these movements have become actual parodies of themselves. When they’re not segregating, they’re actively and aggressively harassing any element of humanity that is not of their own kind.
Each one of these instances is built on the idea that white people, or straight people, are incapable of love and acceptance. In the truest sense, it’s saying they’re incapable of even sharing the same space with colored or non-heterosexual people. It’s laid bare in the source of #HeterosexualPrideDay, an online joke from a black man explaining why straight people show up to gay pride events:
At the appointed time, two weeks later, there wasn’t “support,” only outrage.
Perhaps what all these movements believe is that equality means paying reparations in the form of oppression. There’s no longer an end goal for equality movements of “a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” as Martin Luther King Jr. put it, there’s only people “devoid of the power to forgive.”
Maybe they’re looking for equality in pain.