David Barton’s homophobia channels racism

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Photobucket For those who claim that racism and homophobia aren't alike, or that racism is real while homophobia is a term “created by radical homosexual activists,” I turn to the words of pseudo-historian David Barton.

Courtesy of People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch (who will probably start charging me for using so much of their material), comes the words of Barton on a radio program. Barton was claiming that “anti-bullying” initiatives are really the indoctrination blueprints of the lgbt community to nab children. Now pay attention to his words:

There’s a whole lost of this that goes on that parents don’t even hear about but it is going on. All this bullying stuff, as Brian pointed out, it’s not the schools that are doing bullying, it’s the people from outside the schools coming in and saying “oh you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.” The people living there didn’t see any problem. But it’s these outside agenda-”

Doesn't that phraseology sound familiar. To those who fought the African-American civil rights struggle, the phraseology should sound familiar:

Here, more than anywhere else, movement leaders had to deal with a ferocious form of white supremacist resistance paradoxically fueled by a combination of outside intervention and the apparent futility of that intervention. In the long run the ICC order would lead to grudging desegregation and ultimately to new social mores, but in the short run, the perceived emptiness of the Freedom Riders' victory encouraged continued resistance on all fronts, including voting rights and school desegregation. With the help of meddling federal officials, outside agitators had invaded the state, yet the Mississippi way of life remained intact. Among white Mississippians in 1962, this was the primary lesson conveyed by the Freedom Rides. [Freedom Riders, p. 481-482]

Or how about from the words of Peter de Lissovoy, a civil rights veteran:

The idea of thousands upon thousands of young African Americans in the South being communists really would have been absurd, perhaps even in the wild fantasies of the southerners of those times. I guess the idea was that it was we “outside agitators” from the North who were communists trying to bamboozle the “good Nigras” of the crackers' fond imagination into communist revolution.

Back in those days, there was a belief among Southern whites that African-Americans were fine with segregation and the second class status that it brought. Many of them felt that complaints about segregation were the products of people from the North coming into Southern towns and riling folks up. They called these people “outside agitators.”

The belief was a way that many of these people dealt with the hard fact that segregation was wrong and the only reason why African-Americans didn't complain was because they feared for their lives.

Just like racists back then said, “Our Nigras were just fine until them outside agitators from up North riled them up,”  Barton seems to be saying “there is no problem with bullying until these radical homosexuals come in from outside the community and rile everybody up.

Barton knows that the bullying of lgbt students is a huge problem no matter where it is in the country, just like those Southern whites knew that segregation was a problem with African-Americans.

But back then, racists didn't care what problems segregation caused as long as black folks stayed in ” their place”

The question to ask is does Barton feel the same way about lgbt students and bullying.

Related web pages:

Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

 
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Fox News Channel’s anti-Obama smear campaign resembles Shakespeare’s Othello

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

(Not necessarily an lgbt issue but our community would do well to pay attention to how Fox News's war on Obama has transpired. The same tactic has been used on us by the religious right.)

Fans of William Shakespeare are familiar with the play Othello in which a black leader (Othello) is done in by a treacherous lieutenant (Iago) constantly whispering in his ear, implying that his new wife (Desdemona) has been unfaithful to him.

In the past two years, this country has been witnessing a sort of recreation of this play in the smearing of President Obama by Fox News.

Ever since the 2008 Presidential election, Fox News hasn't simply registered disapproval with Obama's policies. The network has carried it three steps further by engaging in a personal vendetta and an undeclared campaign of misinformation designed to poison the public against Obama, exploit many Americans' silent uneasiness with electing the first black president, and thereby undermining not only his policies but his legacy as well.

 From Fox News, it has been implied that:

  • Obama hates America because he is a socialist.
  • Obama is a racist seeking “payback” for African-Americans
  • Obama is secretly a Muslim
  • Obama hates the Constitution
  • Obama is running a Justice Department who won't prosecute discrimination cases where whites are the victims and African-Americans are the perpetrators
  • Obama doesn't believe in the free market.
  • Obama is in charge of a huge unethical empire of voter fraud whose base is ACORN
  • Michelle Obama is sort of the reincarnation of the “extravagant” Marie Antoinette
  • Obama is trying to destroy America in pursuit of his father's Keynesian beliefs
  • Obama is always apologizing to foreign countries instead of pushing the idea of “American Exceptionalism (whatever the heck that is) because he is secretly ashamed of this country.

And the latest lie:

  • Obama is spending an unnecessary amount of money (0 million a day) on a trip to India.

 

None of these charges are well-thought-out reasonable opposition to Obama's policies. Rather they are the equivalent of feces thrown by enraged baboons so consumed with hitting their targets that they don't care how deep they have to sink their arms into the gunk.

Now in Othello, Iago's constant hinting, whispering, and nudging drove Othello to a fever pitch, leading him to murder his wife and then commit suicide after realizing that he had been duped.

Some progressives can probably make the case that this is figuratively similar to the 2010 mid-terms where the American people gave control of the House of Representatives back to the Republicans – a party whose policies are responsible for our presently poor financial state, a party who, despite its clarion cry of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” has no concrete plan for job creation or deficit reduction, and a party who seems to want to waste time and attention in a futile war over Obama's health care bill and useless Congressional investigations instead of fulfilling their promises to the American people.

It's not that simple. One can't completely blame Fox News for the 2010 mid-term elections. There is enough blame for the Democrats and Obama himself to absorb a little.

But still, this version of Othello hasn't ended just yet. As long as Obama is in office, Fox News will continue to act as an imp seated on the shoulder of America, whispering in her ear, manifesting fears, and sowing doubts via ugly innuendo camouflaged as legitimate news with every intention of painting our President as a sepia “Manchurian Candidate.”

My hope is that enough Americans will eventually recognize Fox News as the propaganda machine that it is and develop a tin ear to its vitriol.

We have every right not to like our President. At times we should disagree with our President. But no American should ever be made to fear our President. And we should always respect our President.

But the way Fox News is going,  I wouldn't be surprised if some folks ended up using Obama as a boogeyman to get their children to behave.

That's what Fox News's goal seems to be. And there is something dreadfully wrong with that.
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