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The Limits Of Progressive Solidarity

A Pennsylvania reader writes:

Progressives have a terrible problem in Pittsburgh. And it’s spelled LGBTQ+.

The white, five-term Allegheny County District Attorney has run unopposed for several elections. This despite the fact that there have been numerous cases where black men have been roughed up or gunned down by cops. So there was widespread progressive celebration when a prominent African American defense attorney threw his hat into the ring. Until he admitted being a Christian. Whoops!

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: [1]

An Allegheny County district attorney candidate’s views on homosexuality and affiliation with a Wilkinsburg church has prompted calls for him to drop out of the race from members of the region’s LGBTQ community.

The outrage over alleged statements made by Democrat Turahn Jenkins — in which he called being homosexual or transgender a sin in a meeting with activists — culminated in a pointed statement by the LGBT-friendly Stonewall Steel City Democrats on Sunday night requesting his departure from the race.

“We are deeply disturbed by the beliefs of Turahn Jenkins, recently announced candidate for D.A., and equally so by his direct verbal confirmation of those beliefs to an assembled group of leaders from the LGBTQ+ community,” the statement read.

Here’s a long Facebook post in which Jenkins promises to treat everyone fairly. [2] But he doesn’t renounce his belief that homosexuality is sinful. That is not good enough for his critics:

change_me

PA reader continues:

Note that the two politicians calling for him to cancel his candidacy are Lee and Innamorato, two upstart Democratic Socialists who both ousted longtime, establishment Democrats in the primaries.

So the guy they are calling on to step down is a super solid guy on race and a host of other issues. His only crime was to express the traditional Christian view on homosexuality. He said nothing about treating them differently under the law. There are no charges of discrimination levied against him, despite an extensive career as an attorney.

But. He’s got to go. They’d rather have the incumbent, I guess, than tolerate bigotry. Look. Here is the GLOWING endorsement Innamorato gave to Jenkins just last week, prior to his crimes. Now he’s not fit for office.

63 Comments (Open | Close)

63 Comments To "The Limits Of Progressive Solidarity"

#1 Comment By a spencer On July 10, 2018 @ 11:17 pm

Its part of a Great Sorting, isn’t it, that’s been going on for some time and, perhaps, accelerating now? My brother and I left our opposite party allegiances roughly the same time for the same reasons: we couldn’t stand the party anymore. Seems in bold relief now that parts of the right can’t stand conservatives and parts of the left can’t stand liberals.

As an example, I’d use three women who have been published on this very website.

Elizabeth Bruenig holds to her Catholic upbringing on abortion, yet she and her husband are to the left of virtually everyone reading this on everything else. She gets vilified for it in some quarters, yet remains popular on Twitter, for what its worth.

Eve Tushnet. Isn’t Eve a Jewish-raised Lesbian converted to chaste Catholicism? That’s unusual! Someone will correct me if I’m wrong and I apologize in advance.

Sharmine Narwani immediately gets accused of being Nasrallah’s mouthpiece on these pages, yet judging from her Twitter feed and those in her Syrian/Lebanese Empowered Women On New Media cohort – Rania Khalek, Rana Harbi, Sarah Abdullah – clearly despises Hillary Clinton. But would any of them vote for a Republican? (Maybe – Justin Amash comes to mind.)

#2 Comment By Ron Chandonia On July 11, 2018 @ 9:54 am

Very like the case of our Atlanta fire chief who lost his job for publishing a Sunday School text in which he took issue with homosexuality.

#3 Comment By KD On July 11, 2018 @ 11:28 am

I hope Jenkins wins.

#4 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 11, 2018 @ 12:33 pm

But Life is way more complicated than that.

Pete from Baltimore gets it all in a nutshell.

Very like the case of our Atlanta fire chief who lost his job for publishing a Sunday School text in which he took issue with homosexuality.

Except that was an administrative decision. Tuhran Jenkins is running for an elective post. The chattering classes can call for him to withdraw, but they can’t make him. If he has a spine, he will find that most black voters will still support him, a lot of white working class and middle class voters will be reassured by his church affiliation, without caring much about the specific of sexuality, and the infatuated white liberals ain’t all that. Thinking in terms of cold hard numbers of votes, how many divisions does LGBTQWERTY really have anyway?

#5 Comment By Old West On July 11, 2018 @ 2:44 pm

MKW writes: “So, I take it that were the shoe on the other foot you’d feel the same way.

For example, say a Republican DA candidate were running against a five term Democrat who had run unopposed since time immemorial. The Republican has no history of showing animus to others, is praised as being fair-minded to all, but was heard saying that it is his personal belief that Christian traditionalists are delusional and sick.

Is it your story and are you sticking to it that you’d put that aside and still support him, and that the Religious Right wouldn’t just detonate in righteous outrage? Really?”

My, my. To quote the professor in one of the Narnia books, what DO they teach them in the schools these days?

In order for this analogy to work, you’d have to have the Republican be conservative in every other way, and also be some sort of “protected/privileged identity group” within conservatism. We don’t have exact equivalents since identity politics isn’t our shtick, but let’s say the Republican is a mom of 5 who is strongly pro-life, supportive of religious liberty, gets no-platformed by hysterical antifa types when trying to speak at college campuses, and is a strong advocate for across-the-board tax cuts.

Nope, I’m not worried about the religious right throwing a hissy in any kind of numbers, especially when this hypothetical woman Republican promises to continue to act, in office, in ways that are not hostile to Christians.

Now, have HER say something negative about a specific slice of religious people that comprises, at most, 10% of Republican voters.

That’s your analogy. And it would produce a yawn.

#6 Comment By wmwa On July 11, 2018 @ 3:28 pm

Wouldn’t you oppose a candidate who said your views re: gay couples were sinful?

[NFR: Not necessarily. Why should I? — RD]

#7 Comment By Hound of Ulster On July 11, 2018 @ 4:05 pm

This is what I have been talking about, and it seems hard-core ‘White’ nationalist right-wingers still refuse to see…there are lots of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and other non-‘whites’ who are conservatives of a wide variety of flavors, but who vote Democratic because the Democratic Party does not give oxygen (see GOP candidate Seth Grossman, who got caught sharing racist articles online. The seat has been triaged by the NRCC) to people that see non-‘whites’ as sub-human, much less than fully American.

If you want non’whites’ to vote conservative, stop hating them.

#8 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 11, 2018 @ 9:50 pm

JENKINS FOR D.A. !!!

#9 Comment By EngineerScotty On July 11, 2018 @ 9:51 pm

Another thought experiment:

What if this were a gay public official, running as a Democrat overheard (and generally advocating for the Democratic platform) saying that e.g. blacks wouldn’t make it without affirmative action or something similar, prompting the NAACP to withdraw its endorsement? It’s not hard, after all, to found upper-class white gay men, who are Democrats or Dem-leaning due to perceived GOP hostility to their sexuality, that nonetheless hold racially suspect views.

And this blog frets daily about politicians who express any scintilla of hostility to Christians.

This is dog-bites-man. He hasn’t been driven out of the race, but if someone insults gays or blacks or Christians it’s not surprising that advocacy organizations for any of those groups might decline an endorsement, or revoke one previously given.

#10 Comment By EngineerScotty On July 11, 2018 @ 11:15 pm

We don’t have exact equivalents since identity politics isn’t our shtick, but let’s say the Republican is a mom of 5 who is strongly pro-life, supportive of religious liberty, gets no-platformed by hysterical antifa types when trying to speak at college campuses, and is a strong advocate for across-the-board tax cuts.

Of course identity politics is the GOP’s schtick.

Difference is the Republicans have one predominant identity whose politics are promoted, whereas the Dems coalition includes several minority groups whose interests occasionally collide, especially when defined by orthogonal issues like race and sexuality. There are, of course, racist gays and homophobic blacks. (And some of these can be found within the GOP even).

There are a few Republican fault-lines to be found, mainly around religious squabbles (lots of Evangelicals were hesitant about voting for Mitt Romney in 2012 due to his Mormon faith). But by and large, the GOP electorate is more homogeneous than the Democratic one.

#11 Comment By Hibernian On July 12, 2018 @ 12:08 am

“I guess that your use of the non-standard ‘POC’ for ‘People of Colour’ indicates that you don’t know much about the English language.”

It’s a widely used abbreviation.

LOL

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 12, 2018 @ 10:47 am

What if this were a gay public official, running as a Democrat overheard (and generally advocating for the Democratic platform) saying that e.g. blacks wouldn’t make it without affirmative action or something similar, prompting the NAACP to withdraw its endorsement?

The two circumstances are not remotely comparable.

Belonging to a church which teaches that active homosexual affections are sinful, and who affirms that yes, I adhere to the confession of faith I made when I joined my church, says absolutely nothing in and of itself about public policy.

Jews consider consuming the flesh of swine to be an abomination, but they don’t advocate that Jews, much less gentiles, who eat barbecued pork should be subject to special taxes, imprisoned, fired from their jobs, or executed. You might have a closer analogy when it comes to Baptists condemning consumption of alcohol… but we’re past Prohibition now, and we know better, even most Baptists do.

Sinners do not relinquish their civil rights by committing their sin of choice. As long as Turahn Jenkins understands that, his religious beliefs are irrelevant.

“Blacks wouldn’t make it without affirmative action” is all about public policy. Race is an issue because some opportunistic mercantilist pirates found money in teaching everyone that “race matters.” The only reason blacks as a class matters is that racism makes them (artificially) into a class. Saying that homosexuality is sinful does not, contrary to popular misguided rhetoric, treat anyone as a class, as a matter of law.

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 13, 2018 @ 9:27 pm

I must add that this appears to be a tiny tempest in a very small teapot. Other than the original article in the local daily, this does not seem to be stirring up much attention or comment. I can hardly find Tuhran Jenkins in any online search — the algorithm keeps offering me Tehran Jenkins. No word that he’s in or out of the race, or that any particular public pressure is building up over it. Not sure the voters really care at all.