Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Thots & Thoughts is a column in which musings on dating, sex, race, religion, and politics all come together—from a bird’s-eye view.

I like Bernie Sanders enough that I made the recent decision to donate an amount equivalent to the cost of catfish dinner to his cause. Do I think he’s going to win the nomination? I find that as likely as Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian recording a cover of “The Boy Is Mine” and winning a Grammy for Record of the Year. Yes, Sanders scored a “virtual tie” in Iowa last night and will likely win the New Hampshire primary; still, when it comes to states like South Carolina where the Black vote largely determines the victor, Sanders has his work cut out for him.

I had long advised Sanders to let Killer Mike continue to do his thing, but he should also call Charlie Wilson and Ron Isley to perform at a few rallies. It’s not the Kendrick Lamar vote he needs to win, but more so the Frankie Beverly and Maze fold. Clinton polls stronger among older voters in general, which is why she managed to edge out Sanders in Iowa, but there’s an even wider gap among older Black voters who remain largely unfamiliar with the Vermont senator. Both groups are also old enough to have seen idealistic candidates from the left lose to the war mongers on the right in a presidential year.

I made the mistake of voicing these sentiments on a recent date and it reminded me of how frustrating it can be to date in an election year.

Picture it: me drinking brown liquor and being charming when the conversation shifts to politics. I explain that while I am not especially fond of Hillary Clinton, I do feel that after the New Hampshire primary, she’s most likely to win the states and delegates necessary to become the Democratic nominee for president. I add that Clinton is more likely to accomplish her agenda given that, months ago, she unveiled a plan to capitalize on Obama’s use of executive power. To conclude, I offer that unless President Bernie Sanders tramples Capitol Hill like Godzilla, killing everyone in office so that we can start over in some politician-less paradise, chances are slimmer than a Bad Boy royalty check that homeboy gets much done as an executive.

You’d have thought I’d said, “Fuck Bernie Sanders, fuck you, and fuck you hippy-dippy assholes standing in the way of reasonable pragmatism with your strain of idealism that should be rolled into a big-ass blunt.” A heated back and forth ensued and despite all his attempts to get me to Feel The Bern more, all I could feel was myself going flaccid.

Funny enough, this is not the first time I drew a side-eye on a date instead of the more ideal circumstance—an erection—while discussing politics. There’s a debate online over whether “Bernie Bros” actually exist or not, but I’m clear in my stance. I say this with all the love and consideration in the world to Sanders’ most ardent supporters: many of y’all are annoying as fuck.

Fervor’s great, but with limitations. Have a shot of chill and don’t try to make me the Jeb! to your Donald Trump. Of course, I can’t speak to what it’s like dating a Donald Trump supporter because my melanin and same-sex attraction function as a natural repellant. I can, however, say that I now find it not worth it to flirt with anyone who genuinely thinks Donald Trump will become the next president.

In this instance, it was not so much because he agreed with Trump’s ideology. In his case, he just felt America is so inherently racist that it will vote for a reality star. You know, the Azealia Banks logic. I don’t believe Trump is completely out of the race for losing in a state that thought Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum were good options for president, but Young Hitler is not going to be anyone’s president.

Read the rest at Complex Life.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is a 68-year-old white woman from the Midwest. She dances like it. Bless her heart, though, because as she teeters (and in some cases tumbles) towards trying to make history as the first female president, she is proving to be relentlessly willing to do whatever it takes to win – even if that means putting her lack of rhythm on full display.

Earlier this week, Clinton returned to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to try her hand at dancing once more – this time, opting to do “The Dab.” To her credit, she nailed the move that requires only one small portion of movement. I think many of us recall the great Whip, Nae Nae disaster of Fall 2015. Then there wasClinton’s attempt to do “The Wobble,” which reminded me of the time I told some Black people I forgot how to play spades and they ushered me right out of their immediate space.

Still, I think it’s fair to acknowledge growth when you see it. Zoom, girl. Look at you go!

Nonetheless, now that we’ve seen Clinton whip, nae-nae, dab, wobble-wobble (but not shake it, shake it ala the 504 Boyz anthem) and reference Beyoncé on the campaign trail, many voters – notably the Black women who will play a vital role in her fate this election – are expressing exasperation with her ventures into (Black) pop culture.

While I never want to see Hillary Clinton dance again, in this instance, she can’t win for losing. As a candidate, it’s fair to question Clinton in terms of policy i.e. her plans for criminal justice reform and beefing up federal oversight of police. In terms of motive, it’s reasonable to question how someone with her background and fundraising methodology can be expected to challenge the finance industry as advertised. And when it comes to her answers on questions about matters like white privilege for which she stumbled terribly, the skewering feels justified.

However, when it comes to her trying to engage the voters by way of pop culture, I feel the critique is unfair.

Much of Clinton’s career has been fraught with criticisms of her being cold, distant, and fake. Last year, Buzzfeed published a rare, long forgotten interviewwith the woman then known as Hillary Rodham. In it, she is bright, thoughtful, charismatic, and engaging – and that has often been a problem for many women of that time in the public arena. She had to become Hillary Rodham Clinton and then Hillary Clinton because who she was had been considered threatening to the electorate. Even in 1993, the New York Times published a piece on which way to refer to her – Hillary Rodham, Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Hillary Clinton – complete with referencing a poll on how Americans felt she should choose to identify herself.

This week, Slate published a piece entitled “Hillary Clinton Isn’t a Lesbian—but She Dresses Like One.”

What’s always struck me as interesting about Hillary Clinton being perceived as insincere is the reality that she is nothing but a product of her environment. She’s done what’s been asked of her only to then be told that she is trying too hard. As far as pop culture goes, the pandering says more about us than it does Hillary.

No matter what happens in the GOP presidential primary, the reality is for six months now, the frontrunner has been a reality star. Our current president has recently appeared on reality television. There has been debate on whether or not President Obama is too tied into pop culture, but I think that is a testament to his political skill of realizing where the general public is and meeting them halfway. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is shouting out DJ Khaled. In response, Khaled is referring to Bush as a “leader.”

Read the rest at VH1.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

The State of the Union is theater, first and foremost. It is a chance for the commander-in-chief to stand before all of Congress, and more importantly, the entire nation, and effectively talk yo’ sh–. Enter former President George W. Bush and phrases like “Axis of Evil.” President Obama, one of the most gifted orators of my lifetime, understands the importance of these moments more than the majority of his predecessors. So, on the final State of the Union address, when I read that Obama may reportedly set aside convention, I was curious as to what kind of speech this might be.

Obama himself teased the address on Twitter, sounding like he was promoting his final rap album where he claimed: “I’m treating this last State of the Union just like my first – because I’m still just as hungry. I hope you tune in, because it’s for you.”

I, and Black people like me hurting in this country, are apart of that “you,” and yet, there was no mention of race and the racism still ravaging this country — notably with respect to policing. As the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery notes, Obama did make some reference to race and policing in last year’s State of the Union, saying, “We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York, but surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed.”

However, many Black Americans rightfully still fear that we our sisters, mothers, nieces, uncles, sons, fathers, brothers may die unjustly at the hands of a police officer and there will be no consequence. These officers can kill Black children holding toy guns and nothing will happen to them. So, I’m not especially hopeful for the state of our union if the first Black president can’t explicitly detail the racism hurting Blacks in this country.

When I shared this sentiment on social media, I was met with criticism that Obama is not the “Messiah of Black people.” This is a dim viewpoint prepared by and served to people who ought to know the problem. Black people played in an integral role in Obama’s political ascension. Had Black people not switched allegiance to him during the 2008 presidential primary, we would have been watching Hillary Clinton’s last State of the Union. Had Black people – namely Black women – not voted at the levels we did in 2008 and 2012, he would not have won. Google can guide you to the data.

Another sentiment expressed was this idea that it does not matter if President Obama did not say the words “Black Lives Matter” last night. This, despite Alicia Garza, who helped found Black LIves Matter, being in attendance. Again, the SOTU is about theater and talking points, so yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to wonder why some things are ignored over others. No other constituency is told that the president is not their savior or that what’s important to them is deservingly played down. Even if some people choose to diminish us, I will never elect to do so.

Funny enough, Obama expressed disappointment over not being able to solve the rise of partisanship in Washington. What’s interesting about that is he is so bothered by his inability to fix the partisanship in DC, though a lot of that is rooted in the racism he doesn’t address directly.

What Obama did make references to with respect to bigotry, though, is the current Islamophobia spearheaded by Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump. “When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer,” Obama said.

Obama went on to add, “That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.”

In the Republican response to Obama’s remarks, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley also took shots at Trump, “There’s a tendency to falsely equate noise with results. Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume.”

However, when you look at her comparing the reaction to the Charleston massacre to the civil unrest in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore, it’s clear Haley is advocating that people put their megaphones down in favor of dog whistles.

Read the rest at VH1.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Many of us are pleasantly suffering under the reality that a know-nothing politician-come-lately has managed to place a death grip on the narrative of the 2016 presidential election, for no other reason than he is famous and willing to say stupid things about race.

Donald Trump’s rise from political sideshow to months-long run as frontrunner of the Republican presidential primary can be attributed to numerous factors, but if there’s been any singular driving force of his campaign, it is his stardom. Whether or not he’s successful in his bid to become the GOP nominee for president in 2016 remains to be seen. But no matter what happens, he is already a success in that he’s forced many to take his campaign seriously for far longer than they ever intended (or desired) to. As a result, I cringe at the thought that history could repeat itself sooner rather than later.

Although Kanye West has also declared himself a future presidential candidate, his inability to even commit to an album release date makes me seriously question West’s seriousness. Even if he did run, well, have you heard Kanye West talk at length lately? There’s not much to fear there.

There is, however, one other celebrity who’s since teased a run for office that I hope he seriously reconsiders.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Will Smith opened up about a potential political campaign, noting, “I’m a climber, so if I see a mountain, I have to climb it. I’m not a camper; I don’t like hanging in one place too long.” The walking Instagram inspirational meme went on to add, “So I think at this point, I’m elevating my ability to be useful in the world. I think that that’s what my grandmother always hoped, that I would make myself useful to people in this lifetime.”

When it comes to his chances, the Concussion actor explained: “As I look at the political landscape, I think that there might be a future out there for me. They might need me out there. This is the first year that I’ve been incensed to a level that I can’t sleep, you know? So I’m feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way.”

More recently, Smith told CBS Sunday Morning that Trump may “force” him to run. “If people keep saying all the crazy kinds of stuff they’ve been saying on the news lately about walls and Muslims, they’re going to force me into the political arena.”

I absolutely adore Will Smith and his contributions to entertainment, but when it comes to politics, the world doesn’t need a sequel to Ronald Reagan. The first one was bad enough. And while I don’t find Smith to be as awful a person as the former California governor turned two-time terrible president, he’s not remotely progressive when it comes to race. And in the next election and every one thereafter, we don’t need more Black faces in the political arena downplaying the role racism plays in our daily lives.

Indeed, in that same roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, Smith claimed, “Everybody is prejudiced. Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another.” Smith elaborated further: “There’s a connotation in racism of superiority. I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare.”

The problem is, Smith is playing a senseless game of semantics. Moreover, the prejudice he is speaking of from White people is fueled by racism, so the point he’s trying to make only exists within his mind. There are also far too many varied studies tied to racial discrimination on numerous fronts readily available for anyone silly enough to believe that racism is rare in American society.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Instead of watching President Obama’s address about terrorism and gun control on Sunday night, I opted to do something that seemed more worthy of my time: watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Not because the fight between Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey is more important than America’s “war with terrorists,” but because it was a battle I knew would be depicted in more forthcoming fashion.

Now, having watched Obama’s address, I’m completely confident in my choice.

He started his nearly 15-minute address by categorizing last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California as “terrorism.” Obama said, “We see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.” Yet, he mentioned nothing of the attack on the Planned Parenthood health Center in Colorado Springs that happened one day after Thanksgiving.

When police apprehended the suspect, he reportedly exclaimed, “No more baby parts.” As Glamour’s Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy noted, this is the same language used by an anti-abortion activist group and many Republican politicians.

The San Bernardino massacre was a horrific act of terror, but so was the Planned Parenthood shooting, and so was the shooting that left nine dead at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina—but the latter two were not categorized as terrorism. Much of that has to do with the San Bernardino suspects being Muslim, although a study from research organization New American Foundation concluded that white Americans and the right-wing groups with which they align themselves are a bigger terrorist threat to the United States than Muslim extremists.

Unfortunately, the domestic terrorism ravaging this country was not the theme of Sunday night’s speech. ISIS was.

It was standard, measured Obama. He managed to tow the line between condemning Islamic extremists without uttering phrases like “radical Islam,” while also reminding the Donald Trumps of the world that Muslims are our neighbors, co-workers, and fellow citizens.

That said, a part of me cringed when I heard Obama say “extremist ideology” is a “real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse. Well, Pew found that Muslims worldwide are overwhelmingly opposed to the Islamic State. In 2007, Muslims were much less likely to view suicide bombings “in the defense of Islam” as justified than they were five years prior. In 2011, Pew revealed that an overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans never consider suicide bombings to be justified.

Those tidbits have done little to sway Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump from calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim immigration to the U.S. And while his competitors may purport to be oh so offended by his remarks, they’re no less guilty of vilifying Muslims.

Read the rest at Complex’s ntrsctn.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

If there’s anything more annoying than a bigot, it’s a bigot who can’t own his prejudice.

During last week’s CNBC Republican presidential primary debate, Ben Carson was asked why he would sit on the board of a gay-friendly company such as Costco, given his views on homosexuality. (He resigned from that board, as well as that of the also gay-friendly Kellogg Co., earlier this year.) These views would include asserting that homosexual activity in prison proves that being gay is a choice, categorizing gay-rights activists as “hateful people” and the “enemies of America,” and referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as the “flavor of the day.” Carson has also compared gay people to pedophiles and those whoengage in bestiality.

Yet in response to the debate question, Carson said, “You don’t understand my views on homosexuality. I believe our Constitution protects everybody regardless of their sexual orientation. I also believe marriage is between one man and one woman. There is no reason you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community.”

In other words, Carson is willing to forgo his anti-gay beliefs when there’s an opportunity to make lots of money. (He reportedly earned millions while sitting on the Costco and Kellogg boards.) Oh, my God, I’m so touched by this beautiful display of moral growth. Be still, my gay-ass heart.

Meanwhile, this is the same person who called for the removal of pro-marriage-equality judges because his stated position is that it is a “finger in your eye to God” when two people of the same sex tie the knot. Now we’re to believe that he suddenly believes in “fairness” toward the gay community? Carson went on to say during the debate that “the left” has perpetuated the “myth”that opposition to same-sex marriage is equivalent to being homophobic.

At this point, I find Carson to be nothing more than the Negro Pat Robertson, and an ongoing study in how even a brain surgeon can be as dim as your average village idiot. Even so, his two-step around the obvious and pussyfooting around his real feelings toward the LGBT community remind me of so many others. Those individuals who, like Carson, want to have contemptuous views of the LGBT community but who don’t want the label of “bigot” and the consequences that come with it.

You know, even if it’s true.

A little over a week ago, former 106 & Park co-host and radio-and-TV personality Free took to Twitter to ask the loaded question, “How come when anyone ‘disagrees’ with the homosexual lifestyle they are automatically considered to be gay bashing/hate?”

There are some folks in this world who believe that there is no such thing as a stupid question. I am not one of those people. There are indeed dumb questions, and this is the Raven-Symoné of examples.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

When Kanye West announced at the MTV Video Music Awards that he would run for president in 2020, my reaction was, “We’ll never get that HBO comedy show, but at least the Negro still has jokes.”

Kanye is like the David Koresh of hip-hop in that much like the infamous cult leader, Kanye can do absolutely no wrong in the eyes of his most ardent fans. So I suppose one should not be surprised that he has plenty of people encouraging him to truly run for president. Enter Kanye West’s recent interview with Vanity Fair when he is asked about his presidential ambitions in the most flattering of ways.

The question about his teasing of seeking the highest public office was prefaced with: “When you said that at the VMAs, I thought the reaction was surprising. People didn’t seem to dismiss the idea. You would have thought there would be more of an outcry.”

This is what I get for using my inside voice when protesting.

In response, Kanye noted he was indeed running and added, “I want everyone to win. When I run for president, I’d prefer not to run against someone. I would be like, ‘I want to work with you.’”

I assume Kanye has been watching a lot of Sesame Street with his kid, thus his “everyone gets a participation award”-like answer about running for office.

Then, Kanye provided a very clear example of why he doesn’t need to ever be on any political party’s presidential-debate stage: “As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like, ‘This is the most brilliant guy.’”

Can everyone do me a favor and please reconsider your encouragement of Kanye, presidential candidate?

The man thinks Ben Carson is brilliant. In 2015. Is this the person you want representing your interests in a national election?

Ben Carson may be a brain surgeon, but he’s also the man who has likened Obamacare to slavery; rationalized that prison is proof that homosexuality is a choice; waxed about how political correctness in America makes our society akin to Nazi Germany; and claimed that Advanced Placement history makes students want to sign up for the Islamic State group.

Additionally, Carson has shown up to more than one Republican presidential primary debate without the slightest idea of how government works. There’s also his most recent controversy: publicly stating that he would not support a Muslim presidential candidate.

That is the man Kanye West finds “brilliant.” Then again, Kanye West and Ben Carson have a lot in common in that they both make comments that should have been relegated to a journal that had a hot date with a lit chimney. Say their shared sentiment that racism no longer plays as great a role as it once did.

Here’s Ben Carson on the differences between the GOP and the Democrats on handling race: “I think the Republicans have done a far superior job of getting over racism.” Like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush saying he plans to offer black voters “hope” as opposed to “free stuff.”

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

I am obsessed with this image. I wrote this and it’s over at VH1 Music.

A photo posted by Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) on

If you Google “Jeb Bush gaffe,” you will find a bevy of links pointing to the numerous (and growing) verbal snafus from the former Florida governor and current GOP presidential candidate. For those of us who like to keep up with politics, we’re familiar with the Legend of Jeb. He had been considered the most likely son of former President George H.W. Bush to match his political success, yet we’ve since come to see George W. Bush —AKA the goofy one who had various problems throughout his life— go on to be the second Bush to serve as president. Plus, he was the first Bush to win twice.

In hindsight, if the Bush men were members of Destiny’s Child, W. is Beyoncé, H.W. is Kelly Rowland, and Jeb is Michelle Williams the day she fell on stage while performing on 106 & Park. Such realization got me to wondering how the other GOP candidates compare to pop stars.

Who’s who in this clown car that we call the Republican presidential field? To quote Mystikal, “Here I go, here I go…”

Read the rest at VH1.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

For much of last night’s GOP presidential debate, I found myself playing Rae Sremmurd’s “Up Like Trump” in my head. The chances of me voting for Donald Trump for president are about as likely as me extending an invite to Rick Santorum to film my gay honeymoon, but I take great joy in him exposing the current state of the GOP presidential primary system for the crock that is. Trump’s persona makes him a standout, but substantively, he is no less silly or vile than his peers and the party’s base.

As the Beyoncé of the crowded field, the first question went to him—and it was loaded as they come. Trump was asked if he would support the eventful Republican presidential nominee and forgo a third party bid, which he has teased of running in recent weeks. Ever defiant, Trump answered, “I will not make the pledge at this time.” Why would he? He’s not the only person putting himself ahead of party.

After all, if these 17 Republicans running for president were genuinely about their party, they would have taken cues from the nasty 2012 GOP presidential primary and only declared candidacies if they had the means and organization. Many of them do not, but they’re in the race anyway. A presidential run can lead to book deals, talk show radio contracts and FOX News contracts, among other things.

The likes of Ben Carson know this, which is the only conceivable reason he’s running for president. Carson danced around the questions the majority of the time and always leaked “grateful to God” when the buzzer rang, momentarily freeing him from the farce. With his plans to create a tax system based on tithing, defense of torture, and pleas for us to look beyond color, Carson was more so running for America’s next Black friend.

Despite having actual experience in government, the others were just as asinine. Mike Huckabee—a master of presenting evil ideas with a smile—made comments like, “The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.” This was his answer to a question about transgender rights in the military, noting we don’t have time for “social experiments.” Yeah, like letting another religious zealot run the country.

When asked about his position on forbidding abortion even in the case of a mother’s life being threatened, Governor Scott Walker told FOX News’s Megyn Kelly, “I’ve got a position that’s in line with everyday America.” Walker said this seconds after Kelly introduced a statistic disproving that very notion. Then there is Senator Ted Cruz, who gleefully shouted about him never being for amnesty.

The only memorable thing about Chris Christie and Rand Paul’s respective performances involved their mini tit for tat over the Patriot Act. Paul was Drake, Christie, Meek Mill. Both should have run four years ago. Oh well.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio was quite prepared with his answers, though conveying sincerity still isn’t his strong suit. And when it comes to his fellow Floridian, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, he wasn’t bad, but not particularly memorable either. Though he was initially seen by his family as the Beyoncé to George W. Bush’s Ciara, the Jackie album, his political gaffes (five and growing) and so-so energetic levels during a debate will ultimately prove that “Dubya” is the superior politician. That is, if you haven’t been convinced of the obvious yet.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

In opening scene of I Am Cait, we see an anxious Caitlyn Jenner, well awake in the middle of the night, wondering about her place in an important movement that she’s elected to serve as a new face for.

She begins by sharing, “It’s 4:32 a.m. in the morning and I can’t sleep. In the monitor, I look crap, but anyway.” Reflecting on trans teens across the country being bullied across the country, and the trans women—notably black trans women—being murdered, Jenner explains, “I feel bad that people, especially young people, are going through this difficult time in their life. We don’t want people dying over this, we don’t want people murdered over this stuff. What a responsibility I have towards this community.”

By virtue of her celebrity and choosing to share her transition with the rest of the world, Jenner will change the minds of many about those who have struggled with gender identity. Likewise, the more she speaks and the more she lives, I imagine many of us will also continue to realize how detrimental it can be only seeing male and female so linearly. Nonetheless, my immediate reaction to Jenner’s wrestling with the weight of being a role model was: “Yeah, but you’re a Republican.”

When she still lived publicly as Bruce Jenner, the Olympian and reality TV star was quick to note allegiance to the GOP, quipping, “I believe in the Constitution.” Such a loaded remark is customary of select conservatives, though one wonders whether Jenner now equally wrestles with whether or not the Republican Party believes in her and the struggles for which she now lends voice to. At the time, Diane Sawyer asked Caitlyn whether or not there would be a willingness to engage Republican congressional leadership to support LGBT issues.

When Sawyer asked Jenner if he would be willing to ask the Republican congressional leadership to support LGBT issues. “In a heartbeat, why not?” Jenner answered. “And I think they’d be very receptive to it.”

Tax hawk Grover Norquist—who has remarkable sway to say the least over many Republicans—tweeted in support of Jenner around the time of that interview, using the phrase “solid Reagan Republican” as a descriptor.

And yet, recently, Republicans had an opportunity to lend protection to the rights of LGBT youth at a critical time and failed to do so. The Senate failed to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act—a bill that would have prohibited public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) offered SNDA as an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act. The amendment failed on a vote of 52 to 45 in a GOP-controlled Senate.

Read the rest at VH1.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone