In the wake of the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, I found this 2004 documentary by Rosa von Praunheim about gay men in Germany who belong to ultra right-wing, nationalist organizations interesting, if only for the dichotomy it seems to represent. It may boggle the mind to imagine someone who, as a member of an oppressed group or subculture, would choose to associate with a group who champions a way of thinking that is so diametrically opposed to that individual’s well-being; a way of thinking that went so far as to sanction their extermination. That they themselves don’t appear to see this conflict of interests is strange, but that they would not sympathize with the groups that they speak against may strike one as stranger.
It is, I think, a blind spot for many of the more liberal minded of us. The quest for equality, as noble and necessary as it is, will always have a less savory side; for while we are all indeed the same regardless of skin color, or belief, or sexual orientation, we can also fear the same way, and hate the same way, and discriminate the same way. It seems that for many — many more than should be — equality does not apply to everyone and just because they deserve the same rights and privileges as “everyone else”, doesn’t mean there aren’t those lower on the totem pole who don’t deserve the same; those who can still remain quantified as “other”.
It is, perhaps, a cynical take on human nature but one that bears some truth. Hopefully in time it, like Prop 8, will be nothing but a sad and embarrassing memory.