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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Newt Gingrich and The Art of the Smear

In 1995 GOPAC was a right wing group chaired by Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich produced a handout called Language: A Key Mechanism
of Control
.

It was a list of 113 words for use in attacks on progressive ideas
and democrats.

“Words and phrases are powerful,” wrote Gingrich.

“…memorize as many as possible and remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.”

“Apply these (words) to the opponent, their record, proposals, and their party.”

The words on his list were: “traitors, betray, sick, pathetic, lie, liberal, radical, hypocrisy, corruption, permissive attitude, greed, self-serving, ideological, anti-flag, anti-family, anti-child, anti-jobs, unionized bureaucracy, impose, and coercion.”

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
from Language: A Key Mechanism of Control by Newt Gingrich

 

Republicans branded Democrats as, “sick, pathetic, incompetent, liberal traitors whose self-serving permissive attitudes promote a unionized bureaucracy and an anti-flag, anti-family, anti-child, anti-job ideology.”

Plus:

• abuse of power
• anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
• betray
• bizarre
• bosses
• bureaucracy
• cheat
• coercion
• “compassion” is not enough
• collapse(ing)
• consequences
• corrupt
• corruption
• criminal rights
• crisis
• cynicism
• decay
• deeper
• destroy
• destructive
• devour
• disgrace
• endanger
• excuses
• failure (fail)
• greed
• hypocrisy
• ideological
• impose
• incompetent
• insecure
• insensitive • intolerant
• liberal
• lie
• limit(s)
• machine
• mandate(s)
• obsolete
• pathetic
• patronage
• permissive attitude
• pessimistic
• punish (poor …)
• radical
• red tape
• self-serving
• selfish
• sensationalists
• shallow
• shame
• sick
• spend(ing)
• stagnation
• status quo
• steal
• taxes
• they/them
• threaten
• traitors
• unionized
• urgent (cy)
• waste
• welfare

To be clear, Newt Gingrich and the Republican Party did not offer 113 new policies the GOP might write to win an honest political debate.

The GOP  chose to poison our politics by smearing Democrats and suppressing the vote.

Today the GOP violates Democratic norms.

Today the GOP writes cruel legislation in secret, and spreads Russian style propaganda in political ads.

Today, Newt Gingrich is a propagandist for Vladimir Putin.

In American Democracy the people are the government.

As citizens we pay taxes into a common fund which we use to promote the
public good.

The public good is public education, housing, healthcare, and nutrition for
our children.

We provide access to these essentials because a person without class
mobility is not truly free.

These are my daily affirmations, repeat after me:

Smear campaigns are not public policy

Words have meaning.

I will not be conned.

Government is instituted for the Common Good
Quote from John Addams

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017

Quote from John Adams found on Twitter

 

 

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A Mother’s Day

Holly says she doesn’t care about Jeremy’s lifestyle but she doesn’t understand is why he‘s proud of it.

Jeremy is her favorite son: a tall blond man who looks old enough
to be her husband.

People who are ‘not in the know’ say that Holly and Jeremy make a beautiful couple.

Holly prefers to believe that it’s her youthful good looks that fools people.

Holly says she loves her sinner but hates his sin and when Jeremy is ready to live God’s plan, she will accept him on his own terms.

It’s that other one; his partner:  a militant faggot that wants Jeremy more liberated.

Holly doesn’t think her son needs that kind of liberation.

Last week Jeremy’s ‘husband’ complained about the greeting cards
Holly sends.

Bob calls them Hallmark Torpedoes because Holly always includes Bob’s name on a yellow post it.

As Holly explains it,  “If those boys ever separate, and I pray they don’t–Jeremy can peel out the Bob’s name without destroying the meaning of the card.”

Bob  denounced Holly as a wig with teeth!

He demanded that Jeremy, “do something!”

Jeremy flew to Ohio from LA and invited Holly to a special
Mother’s Day dinner at the Airport Holiday Inn.

He accused her of covert homophobia.

Holly wept into her chef’s salad.

She reached across the table to take Jeremy’s hand and said softly through her tears: “Bob hates me. And he hates your family. I have always loved you as you are. Just as you are!”

Holly composed herself and pierced a slice of Blue Cheese covered ham with her fork.

She could almost read Jeremy’s mind: “How can I speak to my Mother like this? How can I make her cry?”

“I’ve already got your Christmas gift.” Holly said with a persecuted smile.

Jeremy’s face brightened at the chance to change the subject.

“Is it almost Christmas? I’ve been so busy . . . I‑Is the gift for both of us?”

“Oh, I saw something that was perfect for your Partner! Is that the right word?  Partner?””

“Yes.” Jeremy smiled.

Holly pierced another slice of ham: “Hickory Farms has an organic tea service with samples of over a hundred bags of tea! Does Bob drink tea?”

Jeremy gripped his Mother’s hand to support her inclusion of his partner in her Christmas shopping and smiled. “Our apartment reeks of peppermint tea.”

Holly released a long and exaggerated sigh: “I’m so happy!” she said. “It comes with a man-sized mug and one of those heating elements for boiling water.”

Holly beamed.

“And you know what Hickory Farms calls it? Solitaire . . . Isn’t that clever?”

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017

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Honor

A poem from this month’s featured blogger, thefeatheredsleep