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Op-Ed: Human Rights Campaign Once Again Proves Itself a Clueless Wealthy White Privileged Gay and Lesbian Club

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HRC’s Refusal to Revoke Its Endorsement of a Republican Senator Who This Week Mocked His Female Democratic Opponent’s Biracial Heritage Again Proves Its White Privilege Runs Deep

If you, the reader, are a member or supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, then I, the writer, will advise you to quit reading as I am about to cause you great offense. That said, now comes the organization’s latest act of political clumsiness and entitled rich white privileged gay and lesbian attitude.

HRC previously published a list of politicians that it had endorsed and given a percentage rating for this election cycle, based on their overall treatment of public policy issues that concerned the greater LGBTQI community. This list included Illinois Republican, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (photo), who received a rating of 78% and received the HRC’s blessings this past Spring. Conversely, his Democratic opponent, Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, has a 100% rating from the HRC. A spokesperson for the organization told me that Kirk’s rating and the subsequent March 2016 endorsement, (to paraphrase), were “for the Senator’s assistance and support for LGBT issues and that the HRC was making every effort to be non-partisan in its selections.”

An objective critical review of the Senator’s “support” would reveal that he was “lukewarm,” if that, in his total support for full LGBTQI equality across the board whereas Congresswoman Duckworth’s support has been unwavering and complete on all aspects of full equality for LGBTQI persons.

This brings me to the events that transpired Thursday evening during an Illinois Senatorial race debate. David Badash, the Editor at The New Civil Rights Movement wrote:

On Thursday at a town hall debate between the two candidates, Duckworth, a veteran who lost both her legs and damaged her right arm in the Iraqi war, spoke about her and her family’s long history of military service to the United States. 

“My family has served this nation in uniform, going back to the Revolution,” Duckworth told voters Thursday. “But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound. Because people are quick to sound the drums of war, and I want to be there to say this is what it costs, this is what you’re asking us to do,” she continued. “Families like mine are the ones that bleed first.”

Sen. Kirk’s response has become headline news.

“I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” Kirk said, mocking Duckworth’s biracial heritage.

On Friday, as the day wore on, I made several calls to sources I’ve cultivated over the years in the progressive community of activists and leaders in Washington and across the United States, including some within HRC staff at their headquarters building on Rhode Island Avenue in Northwest D.C., and virtually every one with whom I spoke to said the same thing, “HRC will not back down.”

As this op-ed is being composed late Friday evening, HRC is still refusing to rescind its endorsement, even after Kirk’s blatantly xenophobic and racist remarks, for which he apologized Friday afternoon – via a tweet.

Now mind you, this election cycle has definitely brought out the absolute worst in the American body politic, especially on the right side of the political spectrum. The candidacy of Donald Trump has made a mockery of the so-called values of bipartisan and issue driven politics. Instead, the American public has been treated to crass, xenophobic and racist driven hate speech that has filtered its way even into the local, state, and Congressional races.

Still, there absolutely must be limits, a proverbial or metaphorical “line that is drawn and should not be crossed.” It is incumbent then that organizations like HRC must enforce and uphold values that reflect a greater good, an all encompassing view that takes in and protects “the least of these.” 

In full transparency, I have never been a great fan of HRC. During my travels and my thirty-five years worth of professional work experience as an accredited journalist, particularly in the nearly six years I served as the Washington D.C. bureau chief for LGBTQ Nation magazine, I found the HRC organization to be self-serving, self-promoting, somewhat misogynistic, transphobic, and overall ineffective in the very areas of public policy that affect the LGBTQI community it claims to serve.

More annoying were that in several instances on issues that I covered as a reporter, HRC was guilty taking a lion’s share of the credit for other LGBTQI advocacy group’s efforts having joined at the last minute or spending minimum effort on the high profile issue at hand. (The efforts to end the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and Marriage Equality being the two most significant examples of HRC poaching.) 

The other impression I received was that it was an organization that seemed to function like a “white privileged” country club for wealthy white elite gays and lesbians, especially on issues say that dealt directly with trans persons of color. HRC seems to be adept at paying lip service or funneling limited efforts into the issues that affect the trans community of color, making an appearance that its a leader in advocacy for that under-served and marginalised group, when reality is quite different.

That said, I did find that the one thing that HRC is extremely effective at accomplishing, is raising money through lavish Black-Tie celebrity attended galas with a who’s who of Washington political elite, and also pushing the ongoing promotional fund-raising campaigns which include paying professional fund raising organizations or companies, who use young college age persons, to directly canvass for monies out on the streets of major U.S. cities on HRC’s behalf.

I note that I later researched and discovered that virtually very little of those monies raised, ended back up assisting the very communities where the canvassers were working the streets.

Instead, apparently the monies raised by HRC seem to be mainly spent on the lavish six-figure salaries of its top executives and the endless media buys, oft times on matters that other LGBTQI groups have pioneered in leading the way on only to have HRC swoop in and grab the credit – or at least attempt to do so.

It has become the same old tired litany of claims that the organization is accomplishing all these great things but the tangible benefits overall quite frankly seem nil.

One last thought: it is a political reality that any progressive agenda which essentially includes accomplishing the list of priorities to further advance towards full and equitable treatment of LGBTQI citizens, which HRC claims it desires and is working hard towards, means that Congress, or at least the Senate, must be in the hands of the Democrats. In fact Democrats just like Congresswoman Duckworth. So I ask? Of what value is HRC support of a xenophobic, racist, and quite frankly nasty politician? Is there a net gain here or is this yet another example of the deaf cluelessness of HRC?

 

Images of Mark Kirk, HRC, via Facebook

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Nikki Haley Continues Her IVF Evolution With Yet Another Policy Position 

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Nikki Haley is now on her fourth in-vitro fertilization (IVF) policy position. In a period of less than two weeks the trailing Republican presidential candidate has gone from saying embryos are “babies,” to distancing herself from the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that claims embryos are “children,” to saying she supports IVF but it’s an issue for the states, to calling for federal protections for IVF.

After the extreme Alabama Supreme Court ruling that declared human embryos to be “children,” the former Trump UN Ambassador quickly announced she agreed that embryos are “babies.”

“When you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. And so I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that,” Haley had said.

But public sentiment runs strongly against the Alabama Court’s February 16 ruling and Haley’s concurrence February 21.

Haley, who is trailing Trump in the polls by strong double digits, pulled back from aligning herself with the toxic Alabama decision.

RELATED: Republicans Kill Bill to Protect IVF After Claiming They Fully Support It

“Well first off all, this is, again, I didn’t say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling. The question that I was asked is, ‘Do I believe an embryo is a baby?’” Haley told CNN, as The New Republic reported. “I do think that if you look in the definition, an embryo is considered an unborn baby. And so yes, I believe, from my stance, that that is.”

That appears to not have been sufficient, because she quickly switched her stance yet again.

“We don’t want fertility treatment to shut down, we don’t want them to stop doing IVF treatment, we don’t want them to stop doing artificial insemination,” said Haley, again to CNN, on February 22. “But I think this needs to be decided by the people in every state. Don’t take away the rights of these physicians and these parents to have these conversations.”

And now, another switch.

“We don’t need government getting involved in an issue where we don’t have a problem,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash on Friday. “We don’t have a problem with IVF facilities. If you have a certain case, let that case play out the way it’s supposed to but don’t create issues and that’s what I feel like it’s happened with this.”

READ MORE: ‘Trump’s Lawyers Got It Dead Wrong’: Espionage Act Trial Will Not Be Stalled by DOJ Rule

But there is a problem, and it was caused by Republicans. Specifically, by the Dobbs case and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Alabama Supreme Court majority opinion mentioned Dobbs over a dozen times.

“I think we want IVF to be as accessible as possible to parents who are wanting those blessings of having a baby,” she also said Friday, adding a religious element to her remarks. “I don’t know the details of any of the bills, so I can’t weigh to that. But what I can tell you is, we don’t want to take that away from parents who desperately want to have a child.”

“Michael and I got our children from fertility processes. We need to make sure that those are available, that they’re protected, that it’s personal, and that the whole situation is dealt with respect,” she added, echoing pro-choice concepts while applying them to IVF.

Asked, “should there be a federal protection” for IVF, “or do you think it should be left to the states?” Haley replied: “Well, I think there should be federal protection that we allow for IVF places to be able to function.”

She added, “I think that the people need to decide if they want to get into the details of it or not. It’s the same thing of, do they want to decide, you know, exactly how many embryos or anything like that. I hope they don’t get into that. I want to see that decision between the parents and the doctors. But I think the only thing that the federal government should do is make sure that IVF places are protected and available.”

Professor of law Joyce Vance said recently, “It’s pretty simple. If life begins at conception, IVF is off the table. If you make an exception for IVF then we’re just having a conversation about who you’re willing to make exceptions for.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

READ MORE: Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’

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‘Trump’s Lawyers Got It Dead Wrong’: Espionage Act Trial Will Not Be Stalled by DOJ Rule

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Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Donald Trump in the Espionage Act case, which will be tried in Florida, will not be stalled by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s policy on not taking certain actions 60 days before an election. The case, often referred to as the classified documents case, includes 31 charges under the Espionage Act.

MSNBC legal analyst and contributor Katie Phang Friday afternoon reports on the “BIG news out of Ft. Pierce.”

“The DOJ advises Judge Cannon that the ’60-day rule’ does NOT apply in Trump’s case as he has already been indicted & the case is already being litigated,” Phang writes. “So, no reason to delay taking him to trial, even with elections in November.”

Phang notes professor of law and her fellow MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance has been making that point.

“Read the policy for yourself,” Vance added Friday. “it doesn’t apply after a case is indicted, when the judge, not DOJ, is in charge of the schedule. Trump’s lawyers got it dead wrong.”

Vance points to her own Substack newsletter’s commentary, where she explains: “At the start of his filing, Trump tries to invoke DOJ policy as a justification for not having a trial this year. But he gets the analysis dead wrong. Trump tries to claim the protection of a DOJ policy against interfering in elections—a huge irony in light of Trump’s efforts to corrupt DOJ after the 2020 election and get the Justice Department to legitimize his false election fraud claims.”

READ MORE: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

“Trump argues that ‘Given President Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee and President Biden’s chief political rival, a trial this year would also violate Justice Manual § 9-85.500, which applies to the Special Counsel’s Office, and prohibits ‘Actions that May Have an Impact on an Election.’ ‘”

“The provision Trump references reads as follows: ‘Federal prosecutors and agents may never select the timing of any action, including investigative steps, criminal charges, or statements, for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party,'” Vance notes.

She adds that the timing of a trial is controlled by a judge, not the DOJ.

READ MORE: ‘Injustice’: Experts Condemn Supreme Court’s ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ Trump Decision

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Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’

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U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville says America must put God back into the country and the government, and right now the government isn’t honoring our “Judo” Christian values. The Alabama freshman Republican, a Christian nationalist, also says God cannot be put back into this nation currently because immigrants, who “know nothing about God,” are crossing the southern border illegally.

Sen. Tuberville is also calling for massive cuts to the federal government, saying only the “mentally unhealthy,” “elderly,” “veterans,” and “farmers” should be eligible for financial support from the government.

Tuberville told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that “the federal government is not here to take care of every person in this country. We have to take care of the mentally healthy, mentally – mentally unhealthy. We have to take care of our elderly, our veterans. Everybody else needs to go get a job. They need to get off that couch. We’re paying so many people. Maria, we have turned into so much of a socialist country headed to communism.”

He insisted there is no “free speech” in America. “They’re taking all of our rights away.”

READ MORE: Bartiromo Blasts Biden Administration for Encouraging Americans to Register to Vote

“We need to ask God for help, our country needs help,” Tuberville said in a separate interview. “We’re in a tough situation right now. I’m right here in the middle of it. I get to see it every day.”

“We live in a constitutional republic that’s trying to do things without our Judo-Christian [sic] values. And that’s how this country was built. And we got to get back to that. If we don’t, we won’t make it,” Tuberville claimed.

“The biggest thing right now I will tell you is what’s going on at our southern border. When you’ve got a country without borders, you don’t have a country. And it goes back to one thing: God is not in this building. We’ve got to get God back in this building and we’re gonna get God back in our country. We’ve got to get the God back in the nuclear family. We have to get moral values back into our country. And you can’t do that when you have a million people every couple of months come into this country that know nothing about God, that know nothing about our laws and constitution.”

Back in October, Tuberville said European countries have been “lost” to “immigration” as he praised Christian nationalist authoritarian Viktor Orbán of Hungary. Tuberville has a history of promoting white nationalism and has said he sees a white nationalist as a “Trump Republican.” The Senator also declared immigrants “don’t assimilate,” and are “globalists” who “don’t go by the laws.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

Image via Shutterstock

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