Watch Henry Rollins share his thoughts with Big Think:

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

If you want a quick recap of what he discusses in the Big Think video, here's the long and short of it:

"Why are some Americans, people in the world, homophobic?" asks Henry Rollins.

He wants to know: "Why do they fear the gay? And why do they oppose, at least in America, so strongly, gay marriage, gay unions?"


Wait, people are still homophobic?

I know. It's hard for a lot of us to understand why anyone would be opposed to everyone having equal rights — and even worse, hateful of those who are "different."

But it's a fact. LGBTQ people are still fighting for the right to marry in 13 states and for equal treatment in general everywhere.

Rollins' first answer to his own question is simple but poignant:

"What makes people fear the gay and gay marriage? It's because you're giving these people equality. And that's the biggest fear that people with power have: that you'll get some too."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


It makes sense that some members of the group in power fear losing it. But what power will straight people really lose if our gay friends and family members have the same rights we do? (Spoiler alert: none.)

And guess what? Gay marriage doesn't mean you have to get gay married!

"I don't want to be married. But if two people are crazy enough to be that in love with each other, damn, that's a great thing. Give them a break. Life's really short.
...
If you don't want a gay marriage, then don't have one."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


I know. Duh.

But I think we need to keep talking about how ensuring that one group has equal rights does not make the dominant group do anything differently.

Let's all go "real hard" against homophobia, Henry Rollins style.

"I don't know how you say it, but gay rights to me, it's civil rights. ... [W]hen I see homophobia, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back, and I'm the camel. I go hard against it. Real hard. Real loud. Real flagrantly. Real right now...

I believe things are getting better. I think homophobia is an endangered species in America. As long as I'm around, it is. And I know I'm not the only person pushing against it."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


What the great Maya Angelou said about racial equality applies here as well. "Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: We all have it or none of us has it. That is the truth of it."

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

Keep Reading Show less