Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Perez Hilton is an asshole. There, I said it.
Far be it from me to start agreeing with Matt Drudge's assistant, but Andrew Breitbart is right on this one. Perez Hilton's gutter-level attacks on Miss California were out of line. I don't care how celeb-fab you think you are, or how passionate you are about gay rights. You shouldn't get to call any woman the c-word (or the b-word for that matter,) and get away with it (how desperate was the Miss USA pageant for cool points that they put such a controversial, to say the least, celeb hunter on that dais in the first place...?) If say, Mel Gibson, or Don Imus, had called a beauty contestant, or any woman for that matter, a c---, the hew and cry would have lasted for weeks, and careers would be hanging in the balance. African-American actor Isaiah Washington lost his gig on "Gray's Anatomy," alon with his career and livelihood over an anti-gay slur that doesn't come close to the "c-word" in terms of sheer repugnance (when word leaked that he and his wife would soon be kicked out of their home, Perez cheered his misfortune...) Michael Richards, formerly of "Seinfeld," committed career suicide by using the "N-word" at a comedy club. And yet, the "Queen of Mean" gets away with his slur because ... what ... Carrie Prejean's a religous rightie? ... Because she's "just a pageant girl"...? Because ... he's gay? Well he shouldn't have gotten a pass for any reason, and shame on the media, and on my side of the political spectrum for not calling him out.

Meanwhile, while onstage, she mangled the syntax, and while there is clearly growing support for gay marriage in the U.S., and Republicans risk even further diminishing themselves by continuing to harp on it, Miss Prejean's views (and those of fellow gay movement scourge, Rick Warren,) are hardly shocking. In fact, they turn out to be precisely the same as those of the president of the United States. Remember him? And millions of religious Americans, who by no means "hate" gay people, are conflicted on the issue, indeed, many struggle sincerely with it. Are all of these people c---t's and bitches, too? Or in the vernacular of a certain British MP, maybe they should all just be killed.

One thing Breitbart gets wrong in his Washington Times column, is his contention that there was no comparable backlash from pro gay marriage groups against African-Americans, who mostly oppose same-sex marriage and voted mainly in favor of Proposition 8. In fact, the attacks on African-Americans in the wake of Prop 8's passage, particularly online, were often vicious, accusatory, and sometimes, downright racist, (and sometimes scary,) repleat with cries of "you people owe us!" ... and yes, the gay community's anger WAS directed against Barack Obama, too.

Like any movement, the gay marriage cause has two sides: one reasonable and thoughtful, the other ranging from snarky and entitled to downright nasty. (Perez Hilton, it seems, belongs to the latter, and you can throw in a rather awful strain of mysogyny in his brand, too.) And yet, both sides lay claim to the civil rights movement of the 1960s (which is one reason blacks often shut down on the issue.) On that score, it's helpful to remember history with a sense of proportionality. During segregation, whites who opposed integration and "intermarriage" weren't "uncomfortable" with blacks, they wanted blacks to remain a servant class, physically separated from society and denied the basic rights of citizenship, and they held literal life and death power over an entire class of people whom many literally thought to be subhuman. Opponents of gay marriage don't want to turn gays into servants or property, they simply hold to traditional religious notions of human coupling. Not exactly equivalent. Meanwhile, the movement the gay marriage cause hopes to emulate was one Dr. King patterned after Mohandus K. Ghandi, whom I suspect would never have called even the worst of all colonialists a c---.

Cross-posted at Open Salon.

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posted by JReid @ 11:21 AM  
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