Politics: When Hate is Normal

First posted Jun 17, 2016

 

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

 

A homophobic Meme showing Donald Trump saying, Get in Faggot, We're Making America Great Again
Homophobic Meme found on Twitter

Dan White grew up a world of normalized homophobia.

Queers were criminals in the eyes of the law, abominations to the Judeo-Christian God, and described as clinically deviant by psychiatry.

White’s political leaders and ministers told him his honor as a man was under attack; they said perverts like Harvey Milk were a threat to everything decent God-fearing patriots like Dan White revered.

Dan White was a straight man.

Dan White was a Viet Nam Vet.

Dan White was a devout Catholic.

Religious and political leaders on the right raged that fags like Harvey Milk and liberals like George Moscone deserved death.

If Dan White was a patriot, he was misguided.

Political leaders who use hate speech to ‘fire up’ their base know that some of those people will act on what they hear.

I assume they want it.

meme of Ted Cruz saying there is no room for athiests and gays in America in a speech at Liberty University.
The cynical use of hate speech to win votes.

Dan White had every reason to think he’d be seen as a hero when he gunned
down Harvey Milk and George Moscone in 1978.

Herb Cain, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote after the trial about the police Department’s support for White, and their “dislike of homosexuals.”

As a former police officer, White must have known he could use some form of the ‘Gay Panic’ defense and get a reduced sentence.

 Historically, in US courts, use of the gay panic defense has not typically resulted in the acquittal of the defendant; instead, the defendant was usually found guilty, but on lesser charges, or judges and juries may have cited homosexual solicitation as a mitigating factor, resulting in reduced culpability and sentences. Wikipedia

That’s what happened.

Whites defense attorney’s argued diminished mental capacity.

On May 21, 1979, a jury found Dan White guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to five years in prison; he was paroled in 1984.

“A middle-class jury, not a bunch of kooks by any stretch, had decided one can kill, twice, complete with coup de grace, and get away with it.” Herb Caen, People Magazine, 1985

Dan White killed himself in 1985.

“Nobody knows what’s going on inside of me,” Dan White once said, but he
was wrong.

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

A meme that depicts a permit to hunt democrata and liberals
Liberal Hunting Permit found on a right wing website in 2016

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2016

First posted Jun 17, 2016 as Turn or Burn, When Hate Becomes Normal

 

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The Dissection of Blame

No one gives us our rights. We must claim them, and once we have them we must remember that our opposition doesn’t vanish. He patiently waits for the day we drop our guard.

Harvey Milk: If a gay can win, there’s hope

If I turned around every time somebody called me a faggot, I’d be walking backward – and I don’t want to walk backward. -Harvey Milk

I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. Almost everything was done in the eyes of the gay movement. -Harvey Milk

Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Harvey Milk was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40.

Milk moved from New York City to San Francisco in 1972 to settle in the
Castro District where he became part of the Gay Liberation Movement.

Milk used the growing political and economic power of the Castro to promote the rights of gays by running for political office.

Milk won a seat as a City supervisor in 1977.

He served almost 11 months and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city.

On November 27, 1978, Supervisor Dan White assassinated Harvey Milk and
Mayor George Moscone.

Milk’s final campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, wrote of him: “What set Harvey apart from you or I was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us.”

Historically, Harvey Milk is the most important LGBT official ever elected to public office in the United States.

Photograph of Havey Milk and his Partner Scott Smith in a plaque on Harvey Milk Plaza
At Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco

President Obama awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

“It’s not my victory, it’s yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight. We’ve given them hope.”

– Harvey Milk, after winning a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977

The Last words of Harvey Milk–Found at the Internet Archives

 

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015 All Rights Reserved

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October 21, 1985

October 21, 1985

A famous assassin killed himself today

There were editorials of sorrow and sadness
in the San Francisco Chronicle.

                   He left a note. “I’m sorry.” he said.

Some guy at the bus stop said, “How ’bout that
Dan White?

And I said, Yeah, how ’bout that?”

Then we boarded the bus and I turned on my
music.

That’s how the other folks are riding this bus today…

Headphones on, blank faces, nodding to the music–

Pretending that they don’t care.

1985-2015

Rob Goldstein 2015