Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sally Kern: Hate Speech Apologist

A few days ago, Sally Kern issued a press release regarding her recent less-than-stellar comments about gay people. Before we get into that let's do an experiment and replace "black" or "Latino" into Kern's recent comments. In that case, I think it's safe to say that Kern would not still be sitting pretty in her taxpayer-funded office right now.

In fact, Kern has not and probably will not apologize for her accidentally-leaked anti-gay tirade. Rather, she justified her words and accused the LGBT community of censorship (for leaking the tirade? LOL). All this demonstrates that we still have a long way to go with regard to LGBT discrimination.

But we sorta knew that already didn't we?

And now, may I present Sally Kern's recent hate speech apology justification:

"To put this simply, as a Christian I believe homosexuality is not moral. Obviously, you have the right as an American to choose that lifestyle, but I also have the right to express my views and my fellow Oklahomans have the right to debate these issues."


On the issue of right of expression, we agree. We all have that right. That being said, if one says asinine things like "not all religions are equal" and "gay people are worse than terrorists," one can expect to get called out on it. It's my right to express outrage at your asinine comments. See how that works? You can keep saying it, in fact, all you want Sally Kern. But don't expect me to silently absorb the abuse.

"In recent years homosexual activists have begun to aggressively promote their agenda through the political process, often providing substantial financing to candidates who agree with their views, including many running for state legislative races."


This is an odd statement. Here we have a politician acting outraged at the fact that gay people are "using the political process," as is our right as Americans to do, to promote equality. Would she rather we advocate for overthrowing the government? Does she want us to act out in violence? That would hardly be appropriate.

Along those lines, don't people on all sides of any issue seek to finance candidates who share their views and run for state legislative races? Isn't that the agenda of pretty much every interest group, including Christian groups? Isn't that our right as Americans? Or do those on the "other side" of Sally Kern no longer have that right? Or, maybe it's like the claim that black people are playing identity politics when they vote for a candidate based on his or her position on affirmative action, but when white fundamentalist Christians turn out en mass for Mike Huckabee it's just politics as usual.

"National publications such as Time, The Atlantic and USA Today have noted that trend."


Let me re-iterate: So what? Everyone does that. It's our right as Americans to be part of the political process. To suggest anything otherwise, in fact, would be blatantly un-American, Congresswoman. You aren't advocating for intentionally disenfranchising people from the political process are you?

"That is their right,"


Is it? Do you really think that? If so, why have just spent the last few minutes lambasting us for using that "right."

"Just as it is my right to voice opposition to their agenda, which I have been asked to do at several public forums in recent months. That's what democracy is all about. It appears some homosexual activists believe only one group is allowed a voice in this debate. I disagree."


So, let me get this straight. Sally Kern wants to promote hateful lies and stereotypes about gay people. At the same time, Sally Kern doesn't think it's right for gay people to promote their "agenda" using the political process. She acknowledges that they have the right to do so, but she has the right to say they shouldn't do so even though they do have the right to do so. Whew! She almost had me convinced for a minute that I had a right to be part of the political process!

And then, when gay people respond in outrage, Sally Kern characterizes such a response as "the homos don't want me to speak" and accuses us of disenfranchising her. She claims that we are censoring her even though her central claim is that we should shut up about our abominable lifestyles and quest for equality. Wow. Weapon of Mass Projection much?


"A vigorous debate on an issue is not 'hate speech' – it's free speech."


True, but what you said about gay people were lies. Lies about an entire group of people are hate speech and it is reprehensible that you are characterizing such lies as "debate" under the banner of "free speech." You are free to lie, but please don't seek to dishonestly take away my rights in the name of "freedom." And, until you change your "debate" strategy from dishonesty to honesty, it is clear that you are not seeking a vigorous debate.

"I have made clear my opposition to the agenda of homosexual activists, but I have never endorsed or supported any hateful action targeting individuals on the other side of this debate and never will."


You personally haven't. But at the same time, your words, cloaked as they are with your position of authority and "leadership," in the mind of someone itching to commit physical or spiritual violence against a gay person justifies their actions. And for that you will be responsible. See, Sally, how it works is you can say whatever you want in this free country. But just realize that even though we have free speech, we all eventually pay external costs for that speech in the form of hate crimes, violence, and inequality. So yes, say what you want with all the hate in your heart that you can muster. But when you do so, we will call you out for having the blood of the next Lawrence King on your hands.

"The fact that many gay rights activists claim anyone opposing their agenda is engaging in 'hate speech' says more about them than me."


Oppose gay people without lying about us and saying that there is something inherently wrong with us and you will not be charged with hate speech. Simple really. The fact that you continue to lie and make generalizations about all gay people in the history of the universe and show no absolutely no remorse over doing so, says more about you than it does about anyone else. Unfortunately for you, you are going to be remembered for being on the wrong side of history. Stick that in your Bible belt.

"Most Oklahomans are socially conservative and believe marriage is a sacred institution, the union of one man and one woman, and that the traditional family is worth protecting and preserving. When I campaigned for office, I promised my constituents to stand up for those values, and I do not apologize for keeping my word."


So now we went from verbally bashing gay people to talking about how Oklahomans are conservative and opposed to marriage equality? If I were an Okie conservative, I would be profoundly embarrassed and ashamed that you purported to speak for me and, worse, that you justified your hate speech by the opposition to marriage equality.

If lying, lack of remorse for committing spiritual violence, and perpetuating stereotypes about an entire group of people are "traditional values," those are not values with which I want to be associated. And, I gather, nor do most Americans.

Shame on you.

No comments: