Educating Shepard Smith

Shepard Smith likes to close his shows with “From the Journalists at Fox News”, a comment that is obviously designed to mark the distinction with prime time commentators. This tag line would not disturb me if it weren’t so obvious that his reporting is skewed, not expressly liberal mind because that does not bother me as I’m used to it. It’s his pompous,smug demeanor in presenting the “news”.

At the start of his 3pm show he reported President Obama’s flip flop on gay marriage. As he went into the commercial break he said this: “The President Is Now In the 21st Century”. Of course one could interpret the decision as tossing thousands of years of human civilization under the bus, but that might be considered a commentary lacking in journalistic objectivity. Of course Shep Smith lacks objectivity especially if history seems to contradict his personal sensibilities.

It is his latter comments the are annoying as provided in the link at Mediaite.com. In a back and forth with Bret Baier at least the latter remained objective and balanced. It was his allusion to gay rights and marriage being at a place similar to that of the Civil Rights Movement. He also commented  on  “States Rights” derisively, of course. I’m tired of this ignorant parallel. It’s time for Shep Smith’s “teachable moment”.

Let’s start with States Rights. The rights of the states are clearly stated in the 10th Amendment. In layman’s terms whatever powers are not provided to the Federal Government is the province of the states. Throughout the annals of human history, laws have always been abused. States Rights was a claim used to deprive African Americans of their freedom,then their rights and often their lives. It is the darkest chapter in American history precisely because law was used to perpetuate real hatred and bigotry. But, and there is a but, this chapter in our nation’s history does not invalidate the legitimate function of the 10th Amendment in its application to American life,culture and society.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the Federal Government empowered to oversee marriage as a function of its powers. Therefore, it falls to the states. The history of the struggle for Civil Rights does not strip the proper function of the 10th Amendment regardless of its unjust application by precedent. One of the lessons we learn from the Civil Rights Movement is a respect for the original intentions of the Constitution.

For Shep Smith, a native Mississippian, a state that has come a long way in half a century to make a comparison with the plight of African Americans and that of Gay Marriage demonstrates an ignorance of American History in context. There are no shortage of race hustlers preaching victimization in the African American Community, but the history is appalling and Gay Marriage as an issue and Gay Rights as a movement cannot remotely begin to approach their struggle to realize Constitutional principles as a positive force in their daily lives.

There is a tragic history to gays and lesbians in this country. Has there been hatred?, bigotry?,violence and discrimination? Yes there has. I have never understood why anyone would express hatred towards anyone much less be driven to physical violence, but the struggles of gay and lesbian American men and women do not equal slavery. It does not equal Jim Crow. Matthew Shephard was murdered brutally for being gay, but his murderers were brought to justice. Those who lynched black men and women? You know the answer.
Don’t like that gay men and lesbians can’t get married? Well, how about being kidnapped from your home,shipped across an ocean into servitude? How about your marriage if you could get married could be annulled by your master by selling your spouse?

Shep Smith should know better than to make this false analogy. As we are all human,we are all imperfect, we are all sinners. I do not presume to understand all the mysteries of life and a little humility in such matters I believe is essential. We all have struggles no matter who we share our lives with, but the true story of America is that no living American is suffering in a manner consistent with the ugliest chapters in our nations history. Whatever the struggle gay and lesbian Americans face today, it cannot be measured against that of the Civil Rights Era.

Shep Smith may think he knows his history,but he does not understand its application in providing perspective to the contentious issues of the day like Gay Marriage. The Tenth Amendment is not invalidly asserted and States Rights is not a dog whistle. It is the pretentiousness of the Shep Smiths of this country that deter a functional and civil discourse on the subject at hand. So much for the “journalist” at FOX NEWS.