The I states: IA, IL, IN, oh, and ID

The Second City is now third

I map
Created / Published: New York, Published by G. Woolworth Colton; agent, Chicago, Rufus Blanchard, 1858. From the Library of Congress.
An interesting thing to me: of the four of them, three of the I states, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, are in a line, east to west. I had been to NONE of them in the 20th century. OK, I rode a train through Indiana in 1998, and I had been to Chicago, Illinois’ O’Hare airport a few times. But I never counted those.

Then in 2008, I made it to Chicago, for real, which I wrote about HERE. That was state #30 I visited. And in 2019, I made it to West Lafayette, IN, making the tally 31. At this rate, I’ll have visited every state by the year 2228.

ID Idaho Abbreviation is first two letters The usual traditional shorter version was Ida. My great aunt’s sister was named Ida. Capital and largest city: Boise. It’s in two time zones, Mountain (primarily) and Pacific.
That B-52’s song Private Idaho is irrationally stuck in my head.

IL Illinois Abbreviation is first two letters, traditional version is Ill., which is kind of sick.
Capital: Springfield, home of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
Largest city: Chicago, which used to be referred to as Second City – thus SCTV – because it was the second-largest city in the US, but now it’s third, after New York City and Los Angeles.
Arthur pointed out recently that this season was the centennial of the Red Summer, a painful picture of America’s racist past.
Here’s Chicago by Frank Sinatra.

IN Indiana Abbreviation is the first two letters, traditionally Ind.
Capital and largest city: Indianapolis.
Here’s a Wikipedia factoid: “As of 2013 Indiana has produced more National Basketball Association (NBA) players per capita than any other state. Muncie has produced the most per capita of any American city, with two other Indiana cities in the top ten… The 1986 film Hoosiers” – which is very good – “is inspired by the story of the 1954 Indiana state champions Milan High School.”
Vice-President, and former Indiana governor Mike Pence has been feuding with South Bend, IN mayor, and Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (pronounced like it’s spelled).
Strange song on a Motown label: Indiana Wants Me – R. Dean Taylor

IA Iowa First and last letters in the abbreviation, which is the traditional abbreviation, if people bothered to shorten it at all.
Capital and largest city: Des Moines.
The state gets outsized attention because it holds the first presidential caucus in the country, even before the first primary, which is in New Hampshire. Gatherings of voters select delegates to the state conventions.
The Iowa State Fair claims to be the inspiration for a novel and three movies. It is home to the world-famous Butter Cow, weighing about 600 pounds and standing 5.5 feet tall.
Here are a bunch of songs about the Hawkeye State.

For ABC Wednesday

That purported gay/black antipathy thing

There DOES seem that there is a certain hostility by some black leaders towards what certain goofy people call “the gay agenda.”

Arthur at AmeriNZ asked a question earlier in the month:

Here’s something that worries me…: Racism. The spokesperson for the leading radical rightwing religious-political anti-gay hate group seemed to go WAY out of his way to praise black Democratic legislators in Illinois for not supporting the freedom to marry. That same hate group, of course, famously said that one way to defeat marriage equality was to deliberately create divisions between the LGBT and Black communities. All too often, LGBT people buy the racist propaganda hook, line, and sinker. And, it seems to me, some Blacks are too willing to buy the propaganda of mainly (or exclusively) white anti-gay groups.

So, I’m wondering two things. First, what do you think can be done to expose the racist lie of division for what it is, and second, how do you think we can persuade the two sides to ignore the (white) man behind the curtain who’s trying so hard to sow racial division?

One of the things that I’ve long believed is that “justice for all” ought not to be a meaningless slogan, but rather the reason people who don’t SEEM to be affected should support the rights of, for lack of a better phrase, the “other.” Whites should support black civil rights; men, women’s equality; straights, LGBTQ justice. (That’s one of the reasons I didn’t much like NYC mayor Ed Koch; he seemed to stir up hostility between blacks and Jews, when they had been traditional allies.)

Yet, in my freshman year at college, my next-door neighbor was astonishingly hostile to me, from the get-go. He was gay, and I always wondered if he had heard what I had heard somewhere or other, that black people did not like gay people, and therefore dismissed me out of hand.

To the specific point, there DOES seem that there is a certain hostility by some black leaders towards what certain goofy people call “the gay agenda.” I think some of it clearly comes from religious leadership. You saw this in the Prop 8 vote in California a few years back. All that so-called down-low behavior of some black men so closeted, they even hide it from themselves, comes from some cultural/religious disconnect.

I knew one openly gay black man – worked with him, actually – who was supposed to be coming home for Thanksgiving when he was about 21, but he felt his family wouldn’t understand his sexual orientation and would be unforgiving. They never knew where he was for decades. When they discovered that he died, 26 years later – from something I blogged about – they were devastated. Perhaps in the intervening years, their position on homosexuality had changed and having been in contact with his sister after his death, I believe it had.

Mostly though, and the video you linked to after the Illinois defeat of marriage equality actually touches on this, it’s a bit of an oppression competition. The gay rights movement has appropriated some of the language of the black civil rights movement of the 1950s and later, rightly so, I believe, but some black folks of a certain age just don’t like it. I kid you not, it sounds a little like “hey, they can pass for straight, but I can’t pass for white; we were enslaved, they weren’t.” And so on. It’s less an antipathy towards gays per se, as much as it’s a “make them wait their turn, keep them in their place, until WE achieve full civil rights” thing. This is incredibly parochial, and dare I say, stupid; “a high tide raises all boats,” and all that.

That said, I also do believe other nefarious forces are at work, quite possibly poised to embarrass one person: Barack Obama. The President comes out for marriage equality a year ago, and it passes, in one form or another, in a half dozen states, including in the Midwest. Where does it fail? In the state from which he was elected, Illinois. Can this be a coincidence? (Cough – Koch Brothers – cough.) Maybe, but I’m too cynical to believe it.

What to do about it? Oh, probably nothing. Let them just die off.

But you know what random thought flashed through my mind? That ad you pointed to with this back-and-forth:

“[Attractive young man] clicks to buy [a Kindle Paperwhite] and suggests [he and attractive woman sitting next to him] celebrate with a drink.

“‘My husband’s bringing me a drink right now,’ chirps she.

“‘So is mine,'” smiles he as they turn and wave at their male loved ones sitting together at a tiki bar.”

I’ve since seen the ad on the TV show Modern Family. Now if any of the participants were BLACK, you KNOW that would give the thing a whole ‘nother spin.

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