Thursday, December 16, 2010
From the Annals of Hatred...
The more things change, the more they stay the same. One of the gay blogs I read everyday, that's it on my RSS feed on the left, Joe.My.God., specializes in paying attention to the rantings of the anti-gay fringe hate groups. With an apparent cast-iron stomach, blogger Joe Jervis consumes vast quantities of bigoted filth, offering up choice excerpts of outrage on a daily basis. He's made a heroic career of following the trajectory of all the groups who claim to be fighting gay and lesbian rights not out of bigotry but out of concern for "Christian civil rights," "traditional values," or pseudo-scientific "family research." I can't say my own stomach is strong enough to read all of it.
In my files I found a fascinating photocopy of an original direct mail solicitation from the original Queen of Homophobia, Anita Bryant. I grew up with Ms. Bryant's false smile shilling for Florida agri-business and selling orange juice on TV. But in 1977 Bryant became outraged at the passing of a non-discrimination ordinance in Dade County, Florida, and she became a crusader against gay civil rights. I thought it would be amusing to post a few paragraphs from this ground-breaking solicitation of anti-gay hatred to show how unoriginal are the mouthings of today's anti-gay bigots. It's been a broken record for over thirty years, sometimes louder, sometimes softer, but always the same melody of thinly disguised bigotry.
The front page of the six-page letter is shown above (go ahead and click it to see it larger). It's done in a folksy hand-typed style, with fake handwritten underlining and emphasis marks. It's a masterpiece of fundamentalist Christian, intolerant right-wing propaganda. Its fearmongering, its howling sense of victimization, its matter-of-fact dismissal of gay civil rights, and its brilliant attempt at guilt by association linking gay rights to kiddie porn is a thing to behold. Make no mistake, this is not a defense of religious freedom, it's a veritiable miniature Mein Kampf calling the black hordes of bigotry to action...and making donations. On the "stationery" of Protect America's Children here are a few hateful excerpts:
I don't hate the homosexuals!
But as a mother, I must protect my children from their evil influence. And I'm am sure you have heard about my fight here in Dade County, Florida -- and nationwide -- for the rights of my children and yours.
But I had no idea my speaking out would lead to such frightening consequences:
...ugly persecution at the hands of militant homosexual groups.
...the attempted blacklisting of my career.
...constant bitter threats to shut me up for good.
...misguided individuals hounding me and my family -- even when we go to church.
All this, because I stood up for my children -- as a mother --as an American -- as a Christian. [snip] I cannot remain silent while radical, militant homosexuals are raising millions of dolars and waging a campaign for apecial privileges under the disguise of "civil rights"... and they claim they are a legitimate minority group.
Do you realize what they want?
They want to recruit our school children under the protection of the laws of the land! [snip] One miltant homosexual group actually publishes a newsletter giving techniques to entice and recruit young men to commit unnatural sex acts. [snip]
I don't hate the homosexuals. I love them enough to tell them that truth!
She goes on to raise the issue of child pornography. (Related how?) She paints a grim picture of adults persuading children to act in porn for the price of an ice cream cone. Then she moves on to violence on TV:
Sex, violence, beatings, rape and sexual perversion is an everyday affair and happens nightly in your living room in full view of your children. Is the answer to smash your TV set? Perhaps.
She ties to all together with her "love of the Lord" and says she's not afraid of standing up for what she believes in.
I have just received a disturbing report that the militant homosexuals are planning to mount a massive public relations campaign...will you help me stop the militant homosexuals? ...and stop the evil child pornography business? ...and stop the sex and violence on television?
How? a gift of "love." $10, $15, $25, or $100 "if these issues really shake you as they do me."
That's her signature, and her clean-cut picture perfect family. There's no date but it's likely this is from 1977. Thankfully, Bryant's career as a spokesperson of hate caused her career to tank, and she was laid low by financial difficulties. She fled to the midwest, and today continues her hateful activities from Oklahoma.