Connect with us

Yes, Brendan O’Neill, Anti-Gay Voters Are ‘Ill-Informed,’ And So Are You

Published

on

In a ridiculous, poorly-researched opinion hatchet job examining the aftermath of Amendment One, titled, “The bile being spat at the people of North Carolina exposes the ugly elitism of the gay-marriage lobby,” Brendan O’Neill, a writer for the U.K.’s conservative broadsheet, The Telegraph, writes that “the message coming out of liberal circles in America this week” is that, “[a]pparently if you oppose gay marriage you are a dumb, ill-informed, brainwashed, knuckle-dragging hick and bigot.”

Well, yes, pretty much, that’s true.

But let’s remove the “knuckle-dragging” part — because racism has no place in this discussion, and I abhor when people spout racist rhetoric. Homophobia and racism are ugly and evil, and I’ll have no part of either.

That said, O’Neill has done his U.K. readers a true disservice.

Aside from the fact that if you oppose same-sex marriage, you are a bigot — for there is no valid reason to oppose same-sex marriage, just as there is no valid reason to oppose interracial marriage — what O’Neill fails to address is the fact that, as polls found, the vast majority of North Carolina voters had no real idea what they were voting for.

Polls found the majority of North Carolina voters do oppose same-sex marriage. But they don’t oppose civil unions or other vehicles to legally recognize same-sex unions — or opposite-sex unions — and had they known Amendment One would make civil unions illegal they would not have voted for it. That is a fact conspicuously missing from O’Neill’s liberal-bashing diatribe.

A constitutional ballot initiative, Amendment One would change North Carolina’s constitution by permanently banning same-sex marriage and any other relationship that is not “one-man, one-woman” marriage, remove orders of protection from domestic violence victims, and even remove children from their parents’ insurance policies.

Chances are good that even the most rabidly anti-gay voter does not want to rip away protections from their straight neighbors down the street, or their children. Amendment One will have that effect, essentially, in the eyes of the law, divorcing 185,000 North Carolina heterosexual cohabitating couples.

For O’Neill to ignore this huge fact shows his ignorance — willful or otherwise. To use his words, yes, he is “ill-informed,” and has now, like America’s Fox News, injected his audience with mis-information. Congratulations, Mr. O’Neill. Welcome to America.

Frankly, it’s offensive when writers don’t do their homework, but it’s exponentially offensive when they are from another country and wade into matters that they don’t understand.

And let me be clear. We have authors at The New Civil Rights Movement from other countries, and we value their work, in part because they bring a unique perspective to the discussion. Brendan O’Neill brought nothing to his readers in his piece trashing pro-gay media that, at times, rightfully lambasted anti-gay voters.

But worse, O’Neill — in typical Michelle Malkin fashion – also focused on the comments of anonymous Twitter and social media users, and anonymous commenters on blogs, as the evidence of the “bile” of the “gay-marriage lobby.” I assure you, whatever the “gay-marriage lobby” is — if it even exists — it has far better things to do than troll Twitter and Facebook and blogs and leave anonymous comments. And those who do leave ugly anonymous comments don’t deserve to have them amplified. If you don’t have the courage to sign your name, what you have to say isn’t really worthwhile, is it?

So, dear reader, bear with me and take a moment to read a central portion of O’Neill’s complete lack of understanding of the anti-gay animus of North Carolina’s Amendment One:

The media says they’re all “bigots”. Apparently they were driven by a typically Southern hatefulness. In fact, according to the LA Times, “even by Southern standards, [this was a] remarkably mean-spirited initiative”. The LA Times went so far as to argue that President Obama’s newly stated support for gay marriage is “similar” to Abraham Lincoln’s support for the emancipation of slaves, the implication being that it is massively disappointing that modern-day blacks in North Carolina, those ungrateful beneficiaries of Lincoln’s stance, did not vote to “liberate” gays today. Maybe they’ve been brainwashed into hating homos. According to the New Civil Rights Movement, one of the main pro-gay marriage groups in America, in North Carolina “ignorance and hate has enveloped ordinary citizens”, and the support for Amendment 1 shows how “ill-informed, mis-informed and just plain ignorant the citizenry… truly are”.

The idea that hatred and ignorance have “enveloped” the people of North Carolina is widespread. The gay advocacy group Faith in America said voters had been “duped” by religious leaders; they were “uninformed or deceived”. The only reason Amendment 1 passed, says Faith in America, is because of “the populace’s misunderstanding about sexual orientation”. Of course it isn’t possible that voters simply had a considered moral objection to gay marriage – no, they were clearly all brainwashed by religious crazies. The passing of Amendment 1 shows that voters should not be trusted to rule on sensitive moral matters, says the LA Times. Apparently these kind of “anti-gay” votes will continue until “people of conscience put a stop to it by asserting that tyranny of the majority is wrong”. In short, let’s leave the creation of morality to those good people who act on “conscience” rather than to those “ordinary citizens” who have been enveloped by “hate and ignorance”.

(And thanks for the kind mention about The New Civil Rights Movement — we’ve worked hard here. I’m glad it’s paying off.)

O’Neill writes, “Maybe they’ve been brainwashed into hating homos,” but then leaves out the fact that on April 29, thanks to the radical religious right, churches across North Carolina were instructed to preach about the evils of same-sex marriage, and to ensure their parishioners came out in full force to vote for Amendment One.

The essence of that day’s gay-bashing by North Carolina’s pastors and priests was embodied in a sermon — we use that term lightly — by Pastor Sean Harris, now the infamous Pastor Sean Harris, who instructed his flock to beat the gay out of children as young as four years old (audio) should they exhibit any signs of homosexuality.

Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see that son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give them a good punch. OK? You’re not going to act like that — you were made by God to be a male and you’re going to be a male.

And when your daughter starts acting too ‘butch,’ you rein her in. And you say, ‘Oh no. Oh no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play ‘em, play ‘em to the glory of God, but sometimes you’re going to act like a girl and talk like a girl and talk like a girl, and smell like a girl, and that means you’re going to be beautiful, you’re going to be attractive, you’re going to dress yourself up’.

“Maybe they’ve been brainwashed into hating homos”? Well, perhaps.

“In short, let’s leave the creation of morality to those good people who act on ‘conscience’ rather than to those ‘ordinary citizens’ who have been enveloped by ‘hate and ignorance’,” O’Neill sarcastically concludes.

Well, Mr. O’Neill, “morality” has nothing to do with the issue. America, a constitutionally secular society, is not supposed to take the Bible into account when making laws. And same-sex marriage is a civil matter, not a religious one. We’re not asking churches or other houses of worship to marry us if they don’t want to. We’re asking for equal rights to civil law, under the law.

Frankly, it’s a bit disappointing to read these words, especially from a (former?) communist. And frankly, Mr. O’Neill, you sound like the radical right wing of America’s Republican Party. And that is rather ugly.

Lastly, as I mentioned in my last piece about Brendan O’Neill, for those readers unfamiliar with him, let’s remember who he is.

Brendan O’Neill is the editor of Spiked — which used to be called Living Marxism, the journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party, but is no longer in existence only because it had to close after being sued for libel. O’Neill has been described as “an alumnus of some Trotskyist group or other, and like other leftie turned righties (or Euston Manifesto Decent Lefties), has remembered how to use his time honoured bag of rhetorical tricks.” Also, the comment, “I don’t suspect many people will be taking lessons from Brendan O’Neill – editor at Spiked Online – on journalism ethics,” was written about him last year regarding a U.K. press freedoms issue.

I suppose we should now wait for another fact-wanting op-ed blasting American gay rights activists and “the gay-marriage lobby” as bile-filled ugly elitists who attack poor U.K. journalists…

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

FASCISM

‘Just Shoot Them’: Trump Told Top US General to ‘Crack Skulls’ and ‘Beat the F’ Out of Civil Rights Protestors: New Book

Published

on

President Donald Trump told America’s highest-ranking general and top law enforcement officials to “shoot” civil rights protestors in Seattle and Portland, “crack their skulls,” and “beat the f–k” out of them, according to a new book by a Wall Street Journal reporter.

“The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior,” CNN reports, citing excerpts from Michael Bender’s book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.”

“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”

Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.

“Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts.

But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley (photo, right) refused, Bender reveals, with Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr often finding themselves the only ones willing to push back against the president.

General Milley, who made headlines Wednesday after delivering a stunning lecture on critical race theory and “wokeness” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was not pleased by it, also pushed back against Trump senior advisor, white supremacist Stephen Miller.

During one Oval Office debate, senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller chimed in, equating the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country and claiming major American cities had been turned into war zones.

“These cities are burning,” Miller warned, according to the excerpts.

The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.

“Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.

Read the entire report at CNN.

 

Image of President Trump and General Milley: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr

Continue Reading

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO COMPETENCY?

‘No Time to Waste’: DeSantis Blasted for Going on Fox News as Biden and Miami Mayor Urge Him to Request State of Emergency

Published

on

Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is taking time to pose for the cameras and talk to Fox News in the wake of the stunning partial building collapse that more than 12 hours later has left 99 people missing, and feared dead.

DeSantis reportedly added an interview with far right Fox News host Mark Levin to his calendar for Thursday.

President Joe Biden during a news conference announcing a bipartisan agreement on, appropriately, an infrastructure bill on-camera Thursday afternoon urged the Florida Republican governor to ask for a declaration of a state of emergency, but DeSantis has yet to do so – nor has he declared a state of emergency himself for the Surfside disaster. President Biden appears to have ordered FEMA to Florida to assess the situation, which is the most they are allowed to do until the governor acts.

Also urging DeSantis to request a state of emergency declaration is Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who says “there is no time to waste.”

Apparently DeSantis believes there is, and many are blasting the likely 2024 GOP presidential hopeful.

Continue Reading

NOT AN EXPERT

Watch: MSNBC’s Joy Reid Takes Down Architect of the Critical Race Theory Culture War in Epic Debate

Published

on

MSNBC host Joy Reid took on Christopher Rufo, the think-tank “scholar” who claimed to be an expert on race because he works as a “scholar” at a conservative think tank. Speaking Wednesday, Reid got him to confess that he’s neither an expert in race nor in law, which is where the idea of critical race theory is generally taught.

Rufo claimed that Reid was attacking him on air, which she corrected, saying that she was doing nothing more than reading the quote from his own documents.

Reid began by asking at what point “critical race theory” was invented, and he didn’t know, saying sometime in the 1980s or 1990s. Reid cited the Harvard University paper in which it was first mentioned in 1981 by Professor Derrick Bell, who died in 2011.

She cited Rufo’s “documentary” on critical race theory that cites professors or professorial types who he admits are academics who he claims are replacing equality with equity, which is a conservative charge Reid said she’s been hearing since she was in high school. “To ending individual property rights and even to committing reverse genocide or calling for reverse genocide.”

Rufo said that it wasn’t true, which is when Reid said she would play the clip if Rufo allowed her to do it, but he wouldn’t. He said that the term is counter genocide, a genocide perpetrated in retaliation to another genocide.

Rufo claims in his talking points that the father of critical race theory was Ibram X. Kendi, who told Reid that he wasn’t a critical race theorist.

“I admire critical race theory but I don’t identify as a critical race theorist. I’m not a legal scholar, so I wasn’t trained on critical race theory,” Kendi said. “I’m a historian and Chris would know that if he actually read my work or understood that critical race theory is taught in law schools. I didn’t attend law school.”

Rufo began to complain that Reid was citing things and not letting him answer, but she explained she wanted to go through her list of disputes.

Rufo claimed that he wasn’t a political operative, but Reid rolled a video of Rufo speaking at the Claremont Institute on May 18 in which he called critical race theory a political “cudgel,” meaning a giant political weapon. He went on to supplement his point by quoting Barbara Applebaum, who he said was a critical race theorist. She’s, in fact, listed as being trained in philosophy and education and “her research is heavily influenced by feminist ethics, feminist philosophy, and critical race theory.”

He also quoted American author Robin DiAngelo who did her thesis on whiteness in racial dialogues. She also is an education professor, not a critical theorist, according to her website.

“There are these very pathetic and very angry graduate students who try to fight me on these highly technical haggle interpretations,” said Rufo. “I don’t have time for this. Like I don’t give a sh*t.”

Reid noted that there again explains that critical race theory isn’t something being taught in kindergarten, it’s a graduate-level conversation among academics.

His argument fell apart from there.

See the videos below:

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.