Monday, December 13, 2004

Gerald Allen: the blood on his hands.

Once again I am proud to be from Alabama. The state I love comes up with new and more insane ways to aggressively defend the national and international perception of it being the most bigoted backwards-ass place on the planet. Thank you, representative gerald allen (tuscaloosa, 50 miles from my parents' home) for making sure that bigotry remains the number one association that people have when they hear the word "alabama".

a little on how he has done us so proud (from the Guardian)

Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | 'We have to protect people'

>What should we do with US classics like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or The Color Purple? "Dig a hole," Gerald Allen recommends, "and dump them in it." Don't laugh. Gerald Allen's book-burying opinions are not a joke.

Earlier this week, Allen got a call from Washington. He will be meeting with President Bush on Monday. I asked him if this was his first invitation to the White House. "Oh no," he laughs. "It's my fifth meeting with Mr Bush."

Bush is interested in Allen's opinions because Allen is an elected Republican representative in the Alabama state legislature. He is Bush's base. Last week, Bush's base introduced a bill that would ban the use of state funds to purchase any books or other materials that "promote homosexuality". Allen does not want taxpayers' money to support "positive depictions of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle". That's why Tennessee Williams and Alice Walker have got to go.

I ask Allen what prompted this bill. Was one of his children exposed to something in school that he considered inappropriate? Did he see some flamingly gay book displayed prominently at the public library?

No, nothing like that. "It was election day," he explains. Last month, "14 states passed referendums defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman". Exit polls asked people what they considered the most important issue, and "moral values in this country" were "the top of the list".<

By 'moral values' did you mean anything about caring for the poor, or helping the sick, or caring for the depressed and hurt among you? When you invoke moral values, are you invoking caring for your fellow man as you do for yourself? Does this mean calling for honesty and openness from our public officials and holding them accountable for how their policies affect our fellow man, at home and abroad?

No, when you say 'moral values' you mean 'bigotry'. Plain and simple, the 'moral values' vote was the bigot vote. You meant ostracizing and punishing the 'different' people. It is harder these days to get away with flat out, overt racism (although you already know how I feel about folks who like to say it isn't still a problem), so cultural bigotry is the new, acceptible racism (find Mason's rant in the archives on Abu Ghraib for more on this). Domestically, homos are the big easy target.

And when the representatives put us in their bullseye, so do others. Other alabamians decided to skip the book burnings and go straight on to burning the faggots:

Scotty Joe Weaver and Billy Jack Gaither

Billy Jack was killed around the time of Matthew Shepard, but he was older and less pretty, so the national media didn't really care when he was beaten to death and burned on a pile of kerosene soaked tires. Only the gay media really covered it at all and alabama turned a largely blind eye to what happened.

So it happened again. Scotty Joe was attacked and killed and burned as well. And yes these deaths happened before you got it in your fool mind that there should be no positive representations of homosexuals available to kids in alabama, and no you didn't commit these crimes, representative allen, but when you say there should be no positive representation of us available, you are painting a big bullseye on the head of every poor gay kid who stays stuck in what you are determined to keep a violent, bigoted backwater of a state. The blood of these men is on your hands and so will be the blood of the next. You are loading bullets in the guns that troubled homosexual adolescents will be blowing their own brains out with; you are pouring the kerosene on the pile of tires that will be used to burn the next victim.

Lynching niggers is out, so lets burn the faggots.

You can cry all you want that that isn't what you meant, but you be very sure of this: it is what you are doing.

And you better be very thankful of your relationship with Jesus, because he is the only one who might forgive you.

And yes, I do take this very personally. I got out in one piece, but it wasn't a given that I would and there were more than a few that I know that didn't. I am well educated and mobile and able to chose where I live and who I surround myself with, but that is not the option available to every (or even most) gay kid(s). The average gay person isn't like the representations on Will and Grace. Most gay people aren't wealthy and happy and educated. Plenty of us are, because we aren't given much of a choice (find a way out or die), but so many more are still hacking it out in hostile environments. Being able to get married isn't their biggest issue and whether or not the hot guy at the gym noticed them or which party they should go to are not their biggest dilemmas. Their lives just became a little more dangerous.

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