GAYS MURDERED IN ALABAMA
DO WE NEED SOME NEW FREEDOM RIDERS?
Is This "Just Alabama," Or Is This Just The Beginning?
You know, living, quite deliberately, in places like NY, LA, SF, Hawaii, Vermont, etc, I guess I lost touch with the Red States. "Homophobia" was a term so often tossed around, so often inappropriately, I ceased to believe in it. But boy, are the homophobes coming out of the closet now! This is SICKENING!
The whole theory that this kind of hatred, rage and violence is based on some fear of being, or being discovered to be a homosexual, is beginning to make a lot more sense to me. It seemed too convenient, as a theory. But what other POSSIBLE motive could these people, mostly weird men, possibly have?
Hey, I've lived and worked in the West Village, in New York. As a straight guy, I've gotten pretty pissed off at some gay individuals. I would walk on Christopher Street, but not West. It's a crappy street anyway, or used to be: Under the West Side Highway. There was a certain amount of tension, at times, an unwelcomeness towards straights.
You get used to a certain amount of tribalism in New York, though. It was a little annoying in the immediate post-Stonewall era, and when the whole AIDS thing first broke, the more strident stuff. But not much louder than the general noise. Doofy guys like me and my friends could still go for a drink at after-hours joints like the Crisco Disco without any attitude problems.
There's always been a gay element to NY nightlife; in fact, there wouldn't be much nightlife at all sometimes without the gay crowd, and gay/ mixed clubs (which most are, these days). Like, on a Tuesday night at 5am in the middle of February, or August. It's New York. Gotta party. People rub elbows, and generally get along, in Manhattan, especially Downtown. It's one of the really cool things about the City.
Everybody sort of gets to know everybody, for better or worse. At least we don't act out of ignorance: If somebody attacks you, physically or verbally, you both know why, cuz there's usually a reason. It's personal, not religious or ideological. Nobody would ever do violence to a stranger because of what they were, how they were born. Nobody but a real nut...
So, are these rednecks actually insane, generally, or is this just specific raging homophobia, fed by their own tortured, secret desires? Are they striking out at others to kill something in themselves? The atmosphere they're creating is only making things worse, for them, if they are secretly gay.
Imagine a Sci-Fi movie about people who create this ever-increasing social spiral of hatred and violence and fear and repression, where the victimizers are actually the victims themselves, and vices versa. Creepy. Gay-bashers by day, gay cruisers by night: Doctor Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. Eventually, feeding upon themselves, like ghouls. That's Alabama? Jeez!
I dunno. Maybe I still don't get it. But I'll say this: Since Bush & the Fundies made this their number one priority, it's really gotten my attention. More than almost any of the other horrible things they've done, this got me off my ass. This is torn directly out of Hitler's playbook: Scapegoating a minority to whip up enraged support for unfair, unjust, and ultimately inhuman actions, first against the hated minority group, then against everyone.
And Hitler even did this to gays, as well as Jews. That's what made my hair stand up, on the back of my neck: It CAN happen here. It IS happening here. This is how it begins.
How do you think those nice German people ended up as Nazi's? It all sounded reasonable to them as it went along, step by step. Their fears and prejudices were well played upon. Before they fully realized what was happening, they were gassing people in ovens, and ravaging all of Europe. It started with a little racial hygiene, a public health issue, only affecting a few odd people, but for the good of all.
It went on to invading other countries who had done nothing to Germany. Step by step. Each step, seemingly reasonable at the time, at least to prejudiced, and propagandized eyes. Somebody has to say, HOLD ON, or it never stops getting worse. At some point, you have to stop it. At what point will WE stop it?
We're already invading other countries for no reason, occupying them and slaughtering innocent civilians by the tens of thousands. We've already given up many of our freedoms, in the name of security. We're already just standing by, averting our eyes, while our military tortures Arabs. While our police arrest and detain Arabs without trial. While our politicians talk of rounding up Arabs and Muslims, or at least keeping them under surveillance. Are Arabs the new Jews?
Are gays, well, the same old gays? Targets? Can we stop this now? Do we even have the ability to stop it? Does Dubya have to grow a tooth-brush moustache and actually do a goose-step before we get it?
OK, folks out there in the Red States: Maybe you have some arguments with gays. Maybe you don't get the whole gay marriage thing. But, do you see where this is coming from? Do you see where this is headed? Do you see where we could end up, if we can't agree to disagree on some things, the way Americans always have? Tolerance? Do we want to live in Ayatollahland? Mere tolerance may not be enough: I think it's time that all people of conscience and good will joined together, and stood up to this bullying, before it gets any worse.
Denying people their rights is un-American. Doing violence against people is unacceptable. These nuts have to be stopped now, before it's too late. Do something. Get to know your gay & straight neighbours and co-workers. Recognize their humanity. End the ignorance and fear. It just takes a few small steps, to get it going, back in the right direction. Do it now.
You! I'm talking to YOU! Go get me a Coke!
(Damn. That NEVER works.)
From: "TOYBLOG" by Weblackey: 12.30.04
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