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Monday, March 05, 2007


 

Anti-gay bigotry is not "cute"


[Updated; see below]

I've heard all sorts of mild rebukes of Ann Coulter's anti-gay comment directed at John Edwards. Various politicians label her comments as "inappropriate" or similar mild words. Fox News (naturally) even goes so far as to allow her to "fire back" at her "critics":

"'Faggot isn't offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays," Coulter said on "Hannity and Colmes" Monday night. "It's a schoolyard taunt meaning 'wuss,' and unless you're telling me that John Edwards is gay, it was not applied to a gay person."
Coulter, and anyone else who thinks her remarks were merely "offensive," should try reading today's news:
Police issued arrest warrants Monday for two men accused of attacking members of an all-male singing group from Yale University.

Richard Aicardi and Brian Dwyer were charged with assaulting two members of the 16-member Baker's Dozen a cappella group outside a New Year's Eve party in San Francisco. Witnesses at the time said the trouble started after the vocalists sang "The Star Spangled Banner."

The victims said the attackers hurled anti-gay epithets before the first punch was thrown.

Aicardi was charged with two counts of felony assault by means of force and one count of battery, charges that carry a maximum penalty of eight years in prison. Dwyer, who was charged with one count of assault and one count of battery, would face a maximum prison sentence of seven years if convicted, according to Harris.
For those who don't know the story, these were serious attacks (as you can tell from the charges which are being brought), in which a large gang of thugs beat up these singers, causing serious damage to several of them (fortunately no deaths), all because their singing was "so gay." There's no particular evidence that any of the singers were gay, or that they weren't gay for that matter. But they were beaten, some of them to within an inch of their lives, because the attackers thought they were "acting gay." You know, "faggots."

Anti-gay prejudice, whether it's addressed at gays or straights, is no laughing matter, and it's not just "offensive." It's completely unacceptable behavior with serious, and sometimes deadly, consequences, and those who practice it shouldn't be shown repeatedly on national TV. They, and anyone who treats them seriously, or sells their books, or books them on their TV show, should be shunned. Three major companies have pulled their ads from her website. It's a start, although considering this is far from the first time that Coulter has engaged in vicious hate speech, it's outrageous that any major company would be advertising there in the first place.

Update: I have to add that I find the trend among bloggers and others (even Keith Olbermann last night, just to name one) to refer to Coulter as "mannish" or even a "man," which often come with implicit suggestions that she is a transsexual, are nearly as bad as what Coulter had to say. Coulter's opinions and attitudes and words are wrong, unacceptable, and offensive (in differing proportions) because of what she has to say, not because of what she looks like. Attempting to rebut someone by insulting their appearance is wrong, childish, and ineffective in any case, but when it comes with implicit or even explicit anti-transsexual bigotry, even as a "joke" (remember, that's what Coulter says about her "faggot" comment), it's beyond the pale.


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