The 2012 election has been one of the most decisive progressive victories in decades, with 4 states voting in favor of gay equality and 2 states voting to legalize marijuana.
The Democrats maintain a strong majority in the senate, and our pro-LGBT president won reelection. All of this has been met with bleating and whining from the right.
Over the past week we have been treated with the usual guff of paranoia, tantrums, fear mongering, and general far right insanity that we have come to expect from the Fox-nurtured GOP. We have seen all manner of racial slurs pumping out of Twitter and Facebook, levied at our president and at progressive voters plus questionable comments from Bill O’Reilly.
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We have even seen petitions for secession, the largest originating in Texas.
Given the spotlight that has been self-imposed upon the GOP’s racist constituency, it is eerily fitting that they would evoke the political language and ideology of antiquated 19th century bigots. The last civil war had its roots in racism, and some Republicans appear openly eager (to a quite dangerous degree) to bring history full-circle.
I wonder how long it will be before they become desperate enough to start brutalizing minorities in the streets; i.e.as the Greek “golden dawn” party has done in recent months. After all, it becomes clear that every time the far right loses, their solution is to push further right.
Satirical, comedic pundit Stephen Colbert summed it up perfectly: “Conservatism doesn’t fail. You fail conservatism.”
Maggi Gallagher, a prominent hate monger who has in the past gleefully toted anti-gay referendums as mandates from the people, shocked no one with her indignant disdain for the outcome of this election. She claimed that the “Obama electorate defeated marriage” adding she and her cohorts will continue their fight against LGBT equality.
Surely you don’t mean to tell us, Maggie, that you could be so transparently hypocritical that you would endlessly promote the inherent sanctity of popular vote except when it no longer favors your side and can no longer be used as a blunt weapon to suppress other people’s rights?
Tony Perkins, who has been especially active the past week, stating that universal recognition of gay equality would lead to a “revolution” and would “break this nation apart.”
The fact that Tony and his goons contemplate holding the nation’s continuity hostage, on behalf of such petty intolerance, abdicates all right he has to call other people “unpatriotic” or “un-American.”
It is fitting that the current temperament of the GOP and how they seem to call for civil war at the drop of a hat, appears like a child who flips over the checkerboard as soon as things don’t go their way.
Tony didn’t stop there. Regarding the recent LGBT victories, he said, “I think the term for a lot of things over the next four years, civil disobedience is going to come into play.”
One has to wonder what exactly he meant by “civil disobedience.”
Webster’s defines civil disobedience as “the open and expressed violation of civil law, in which one forcefully asserts their perceived rights.” However, it’s plain to see that this is not an instance in which rights are being denied. Indeed, the opposite is the case. Civil rights are being granted to a minority group, at no expense to anyone else.
How does Mr. Perkins intend to civilly defy and protest sanctions that grant LGBT people the right to marry? In what way can Tony Perkins and his like-minded gay bashers defy laws that in no way require their involvement or impact their lives? How exactly do they plan to civilly defy other people’s marital contracts?
Considering the fact that they aren’t expected to “obey” to entering gay marital contracts themselves, there is no reason for civil disobedience. They are, by default, not in any way obligated to marry people of the same gender, and thus they are free to go about their business, being straight.
Of course, if they were capable of following that simple line of reasoning and minding their own business, organizations like the FRC would not exist in the first place, and their members would no longer have a gateway to slander and belittle people for being different from them.
Historically, civil disobedience has been utilized in every single civil rights movement in America; from the Underground Railroad, to the countless women jailed during the suffrage movement, to the mass “sit ins” orchestrated by Martin Luther King Jr.
Of course, being forced to mention these people in the same article as Tony Perkins is pretty irreverent to them, especially considering the fact that Perkins obviously intends to invoke their memory with his word usage.
Throughout history as groups have fought for their equal rights, there have always been persons like Tony Perkins, fought against them. As the former groups finally did achieve legal recognition of their rights, the latter group of persons participated in forms of “civil disobedience” centered on usurping and suppressing those newly won rights through nefarious means.
So what sort of “civil disobedience” could he be intending to emulate?
When people seek to “defy” laws that grant other people equality there is nothing “civil” about it and it in no way expresses “disobedience.” Rather it is about instilling obedience, segregation, and conformity through tactics of intimidation and terror.
In the arduous ascension to equality, African Americans had to endure endless obstruction and abuse from disgruntled, bigoted white men.
The Klu Klux Klan for example, existed solely to intimidate and brutalize blacks out of their constitutional rights. The Klan would see to it that any black man entering the ballot box would soon be entering a different box the next day, a coffin. Later, during racial desegregation of schools, many black students were assaulted, had bricks put though their windows, or worse, bullets.
Suppressive activity was used against women during the suffrage movement as well. Countless women were attacked, raped, and abused for daring to exercise their right to vote as citizens.
It is not unreasonable to suspect that Tony Perkin’s statements could inflame his followers to use violence, vandalism, and other unseemly means to usurp the hard-earned rights of the LGBT community.
It is apparent that any expression of “civil disobedience” on behalf of Tony Perkins and his cohorts would — instead of being reminiscent to those of MLK — likely resemble the exploits of then Alabama governor George Wallace, a rabid segregationist who personally blocked the entrance of a university to prevent black students from legally entering and seeking equal educations.
It would be no shock to see Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, Matt Barber, Maggie Gallagher, or other assorted hate merchants, lining up to barricade entryways of courthouses where marriage licenses are granted.
I expect increasing displays of visceral homophobic outrage as more states recognize same-sex marriage, as the bigots are left unable to foist their values on other people’s lives.
Some of them inevitably will resort to the only tool left at the disposal of their feral reactionary minds- violence.
Lest we forget the fact that those of us in the LGBT community are one of the most susceptible groups to violent hate crimes. This is largely thanks to groups like the FRC and other religious hate groups who sew fear and misinformation against us.
We are already receiving it in spades. Anti-gay attacks have been on the rise in recent months, from a recent beating in a Jamaican university, to a Santa Cruz man who attacked a gay couple with a hammer whilst yelling anti gay slurs, to a similar attack in Ashville, to a man in West Seattle who viciously attacked a gay man with a baseball bat, to a 19-year-old student in Plymouth, England who suffered broken ribs from a homophobic attack, to an attack in Brooklyn, in which the victim was tasered repeatedly, to the brutal murder of a 62-year-old gay rights activist in New York City, not to mention the ever increasing anti-gay violence in places like Russia, Brazil, Guatemala, Columbia, Iraq, and Uganda.
The religious right is infused with pervasive, unrelenting hatred in its most ugly, unsubtle form. We are engaged in a tug of war between humanity and inhumanity as we witness the true colors of inhuman prejudices such as displayed by the right wing/GOP this past week.
They are digging their heels in and we are again witnessing the death cries of an antiquated, stubborn, and cowardly worldview.
I am confident that we are winning, but if they want a revolution, all I can say to them is this: Bring it on, baby. I will see you one revolution and raise you one enlightenment.