Well. The old arguments are out in force. Here are a few rejoinders to comments throughout the thread:
"One thing I've noticed is that almost none of the vocal minority groups actually care about equality or rights. What they really want is special treatment for people who agree with them."
Riiiight. Odd, I've been active in liberal groups for about 6 years, and not one of the people I've met fit that description; they all were outraged by the privileged status of certain groups, and were trying to level the playing field. But, I suppose "they want special treatment!" argument rallies the troops better than "let's maintain privilege!"
"I think it's messed up though when I see someone, and feel I have to be really cautious and overly polite to them for fear of offending them, to the point of hardly being able to carry on a real conversation."
I have no idea who you hang out with, but I don't recall that I've felt this way. The only people I've seen complain of this have generally been biased in one way or another (prone to making derogatory comments about women, for example) and feel oppressed when they get called on it. You may be different.
"I'm tired of seeing blacks, hispanics, women, etc. keep crying about the injustices imposed upon them in the past."
Yeah, segregation was so long ago, how could it possibly have an effect today? I mean, it's been, what, like 35 years since most public facilities were integrated! Practically an eternity! And women? Pah. They got the vote in 1920, didn't they? I mean, they make like 70 cents to the male dollar now; isn't that enough? And they've got like 5 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and 7 senators. They may as well run the country!
They should all quit whining.
(Note: all the preceding numbers are off the top of my head and may not be 100% accurate. But, they're pretty close)
"Yes there are still oppressors in society, but people only make it worse when they rub their pride in everyone's face."
Okay, </sarcasm>. This is silly. Discrimination demonstrably exists, and the primary beneficiaries are white guys, but those getting the shaft should just shut up because it pisses the white guys off? And if they shut up, discrimination will go away faster?!? Oh man. That's funny. Where do you get your material?
Also, various people complained that there are black organizations (to use an example), but white organizations aren't allowed. Well, first of all, white organizations are allowed; Italian-American, Irish-American, etc. organizations abound in this country, and represent ethnic pride for white people. However, since black folks genrally can't identify their exact heritage (slavery made that kind of tough), they can only say with confidence that they are of African descent. Hence, African-American groups.
From a political standpoint, since blacks have less political power and constitute a numerical minority, they need representatives to specifically advocate for them or they'll often get ignored. Whites don't need such advocacy; they hold most of the power and a numerical majority. I expect that if blacks achieve parity in income, education, representation, etc., organizations like the NAACP will gradually fade away. For now, they serve an excellent and legitimate purpose.
In regards to the original topic, if the parade organizers want the march to specifically honor Columbus, they'll be able to do it. If the city puts up a fight, they're assholes and will absolutely lose in the courts. That said, IMO, if the parade organizers do this, they're not presenting the entire legacy of Columbus, and thus they make themselves look ignorant and/or spiteful towards their detractors. So, I hope they don't do it.