Dean Clough

June 19, 2023

Portico Darwin: Juneteenth, Identity Politics, and Austin Killips


<4 Minute Read
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Happy Monday.  We're continuing to ride the Fladgate hospitality train, and I may never get off.  But despite the ultra-chill nature of the scene here, I am going to pop-off (again) on race, sexuality and gender. 

On Juneteenth!  You're welcome!

Why another third-rail tap dance?  Well, there have been a couple of recent motivational inputs.  My inimitable host here, Davis, was one, and a Pivot podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway another.  Huh?

Well, there actually is a connection.  First, suffice to say the good Dr. Fladgate is not a radical left Democrat.  So I often seek common ground during our convos, and one place where I think we are aligned is our mutual dislike for Identity Politics and events like Black History Month (February) and LGBT Pride Month (June, i.e., now).  The subject came up late last week.

My normal disclaimer before getting rolling.  If you reach a conclusion that I am racist, bigoted, and/or homo/transphobic based upon the above and what follows, you may have a problem.  Because while I am fairly described as moderately progressive, you might be Psycho Woke.

Because if we treat everyone with respect and dignity, we do not need special months or even days.  We can celebrate diversity 24x7x365, and not deem certain groups as having struggled to such an extent we must all spend 30 days every year performatively acknowledging their strife. 

I say that because I believe we must study and educate ourselves on the following, not just for a few days during the year, but on an ongoing basis:

  • the genocide of the indigenous Americans that lived in much of what is now the United States 
  • the kidnapping of black Africans and their ensuing enslavement for generations in the US
  • how black Americans were systematically denied their rights and subjected to terrorism before, during and even after the Civil War - when they were supposedly free and equal
  • how our LGBT brothers and sisters had to conceal their actual selves, and the emotional and physical violence incurred by those that refused
  • the general privilege accommodated white men throughout the history of the US

I sincerely believe if we better understood and accepted as fact these five items, we could truly "move on", which Dr. Fladgate definitely wishes to do.  I think if knowledge of the above were to be ingrained across society, the "in your face" stuff many find so bothersome would fade away.  Why would it not?

I think the more we know about a subject, the less we must dwell upon it.  After all:  do you hear anyone clamoring for Privileged White Male Heritage Month?  A Cisgender Heterosexual Marriage Month?  No, because the subjects are understood and accepted. 

(There's also no money to made in their proffer, not a small factor in the emerging Diversity Industrial Complex.  But I digress.) 

Now, let's take it a logical step further.

If you don't like Identity Politics, you can't also decide to isolate transgender people.  Because you're then encouraging Identity Politics.

My bottom line, and what I shared with Davis poolside:

No matter what your opinion of transgender people and their treatment, I would like to think we can agree we are spending an inordinate amount of time on the subject.  Again, if we treat transgender people with dignity and respect, that should be enough.  Because we have far bigger issues to address.

But.  But.  But.  That's where Scott Galloway's comments on that recent podcast come in.  This is exactly, and I mean fucking exactly, where the word nuance and understanding its meaning and importance matter the most.

You see, Galloway brought up the results of the recently concluded North Carolina leg of the Belgian Waffle Ride, an elite-level cycling event that is nothing if not intense: 131 miles and 13,500 feet of climbing, on a wide variety of surfaces, in one day.  The problem is that its outcome only serves to help the morons that want to attack the transgendered. 

Because a woman that was born a man won the women's race, and that woman is Austin Killips.  She won by over 4 minutes over the second place finisher, while at the same time mere fractions of a second separated the top four men in their own race.

That is simply not right.  Women are equal (or superior) to men in every single regard, except for one, and that is physical strength.  I want Austin Killips to be the woman she always knew herself to be - but she can not be allowed to compete against women - at least in major competitions - that were born and remain that gender.  It is not fair.

I agree with what Scott Galloway said:  if Democrats can't say the same thing, they're always going to have a big problem winning over people like my father-in-law.  Yet - in mostly laudable efforts to support transgender people  - we somehow end up providing fodder for the right-wing cannon of anti-trans nonsense:


My answer instead:  everyone `gets treated with respect and dignity, and we dump the silos.  And I honestly believe the number of transgendered people is small enough that we can deal with each situation on an individual level, erring on the side of compassion, but with a consideration of what's fair, too. 

So yes, definitely:  a girl born a boy should be able to earn a spot on the intramural softball team in high school or college, if they wish.  But perhaps not in major collegiate tournaments or international cycling races?
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It's a great time to visit my AI Art Gallery - there's a new work that captures Las Cruces quite nicely.  And Madison Wright, the Psycho Woke icon shown above, also takes her rightful place in it's hallowed halls.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter. 


This is a good one, and it's a tip of the cap to my host.  You see, he finds my dreamy wishes of improving things both big and small in the world highly amusing.  Example:  he finds my hand-wringing over building the US around cars and not people - and now wanting to reverse the damage - to be hysterical and also pointless.

To that I say, Yes, Davis, I do seek "Perpetual Change", preferably of the positive variety.

Oh, heck:  why not, if we're saying Yes?  Here is "Heart of the Sunrise" and this was just yesterday.

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.