Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee: No cis­gen­ders need ap­ply

The Standard Journal - - COMMENTARY - By Dick Yar­brough Guest Colum­nist

I ap­pre­ci­ate that so many of you still in­quire about the state of my health af­ter my scary bout with sep­sism which I won — barely. Doc­tors say to­day that I am com­ing along nicely. Slowly, but nicely.

My vi­tal signs re­main vi­tal and my he­mo­glo­bin re­mains hemoglo­bi­cal. But, there is a cloud. While I may have thwarted a dread dis­ease, I have now dis­cov­ered that I am a (deep breath) cis­gen­der. Why me? Why now? Where was a cis­gen­derol­o­gist when I needed one? Even worse, no one told me. I had to find out the hard way.

I am hon­ored to share some ed­i­to­rial pages with Jonah Gold­berg, a na­tion­ally-syn­di­cated con­ser­va­tive com­men­ta­tor. How happy he is to share an ed­i­to­rial page with me is an­other mat­ter. He writes for a con­ser­va­tive pub­li­ca­tion, the Na­tional Re­viewm as well as the Los An­ge­les Times and strikes me as a guy who is more in the mid­dle of the po­lit­i­cal stream than hard-right wingnuts would pre­fer.

To wit, he re­cently wrote a pox-on-both-your-houses col­umn in which he rips on both the Repub­li­can Party and the Democrats. He says the GOP is run­ning as smoothly as a “dry Slip ‘N Slide made from sand­pa­per” and the Democrats “have got­ten drunk on the spec­ta­cle. And as with many a drunk, it’s grown obliv­i­ous to its own de­crepi­tude” and their cap­ture by “the an­gry, sanc­ti­mony-be­sot­ted iden­tity pol­i­tics pop­u­lar on col­lege cam­puses and a hand­ful of leftwing web­sites.” The man can turn a phrase.

Like Mr. Gold­berg, I think the Demo­cratic Party cur­rently has more nuts than an oak for­est and that Repub­li­cans won’t rest un­til they de­stroy pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. (My own pox-on-both-their-houses con­tri­bu­tion.)

I was chuck­ling all the way down the col­umn un­til he cites the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee’s data ser­vices man­ager, who sent out an email so­lic­it­ing can­di­dates for a job in the DNC’s in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy de­part­ment but cau­tioned that she wasn’t in­ter­ested in any “cis­gen­der straight white males.” Hmm. I have a good idea of what a straight white male is. I see one ev­ery night in the mir­ror when I brush my teeth. But cis­gen­der?

Of course, my first call was to Bar­ney Funk and Porter Wag­nalls, the learned lex­i­cog­ra­phers who are known for their in­nate abil­ity to an­a­lyze the se­man­tic, syn­tag­matic and paradig­matic re­la­tion­ships within the lex­i­con of a lan­guage when they’re not flip­ping burg­ers at their lo­cal McDon­ald’s.

They told me a cis­gen­der is a per­son whose gen­der iden­tity cor­re­sponds with that per­son’s bi­o­log­i­cal sex as­signed at birth. I wanted to fol­low up with them but they said the me­chan­i­cal ap­pa­ra­tus in which they friz­zle ed­i­ble tu­bers at McDon­alds was frag­mented and they were up to their nates in apex preda­tors. I think what they were say­ing is that their French fry ma­chine wasn’t work­ing and they were up to their you-know-whats in al­li­ga­tors. Never push lex­i­cog­ra­phers when their French fry ap­pa­ra­tus won’t friz­zle.

I guess be­ing cis­gen­der­ated means I must take a pass on the op­por­tu­nity to be­come a part of the IT team at the DNC. The fact that I don’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween a megabyte and a mosquito bite would likely dis­qual­ify me, not to men­tion show­ing up in my “Cis­gen­der Lives Mat­ter” T-Shirt.

But I can’t help but think about some Demo­cratic stal­warts like for­mer Gov. Roy Barnes. Sure, to­day he is one of the most widely-re­spected and ca­pa­ble lawyers in Geor­gia, but what if we sud­denly quit su­ing each other? Gov. Barnes might have no choice but to ap­ply for the DNC’s IT de­part­ment. (“Sorry sir, but you are a cis­gen­der white male.” “But I was Gov­er­nor of Geor­gia!” “Good for you but no cigar. Wil­bur Sue, would you get me a Kleenex? I shook a cis­gen­der’s hand.”)

And then there is for­mer U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (cis­gen­der white male), for­mer U.S. Con­gress­man Buddy Dar­den (ditto), for­mer Gov. Joe Frank Har­ris (ditto, ditto), for­mer state House ma­jor­ity leader Larry Walker, the sage of Perry, Geor­gia (ditto times three.) Along with Gov. Barnes, all have served the Demo­cratic party with dis­tinc­tion and yet none of them could get a job to­day in the DNC’s In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy de­part­ment. Life can be so un­fair.

In the mean­time, let me thank you for con­tin­u­ing to check on me and my hemoglo­bics. I hope learn­ing of my cis­gen­der­a­tion has not caused you dis­ap­point­ment. And, please, let’s not share this in­for­ma­tion with the Woman Who Shares My Name. She is just look­ing for an ex­cuse to feed me broc­coli.

You can reach Dick Yar­brough at [email protected] dick­yarbrough.com; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, GA 31139 or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb.

Dick Yar­brough

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