Yesterday (Tuesday) was an extremely productive day for bigots around the world. Who knows what gems of ignorance we’ll see today, let alone throughout the week. For now, we can enjoy the following:
1. Jury selection in the murder trial against George Zimmerman started this week. Zimmerman is on trial for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American teenager.
While on Fox News, Former NYPD detective Harry Houck had the following to say about the case: “Listen, Trayvon Martin would be alive today, okay, if he didn’t, alright, have a street attitude.” It’s pretty clear that “a street attitude” is code for “being black” and wearing a hoodie. As if either of those things justifies getting out of your car, ignoring a 9/11 dispatcher who tells you to remain in your car and shooting someone to death.
… willing to rip apart the framework of traditional marriage, to rip apart an organization that has done so much good for young people… All for one thing, that the way they do sex will be accepted in the mainstream of society… Two percent deciding what the rest of us does… And they are willing to destroy it, and Hollywood the so-called liberal media had jumped on board that this is the new civil rights. Well, I don’t think so. It’s been a marvelous institution, and to see that torn up in order to accommodate a few kids who want to do sex with each other, I mean, it boggles the mind.
I’m sure Robertson takes some comfort in knowing the Boy Scouts haven’t relented entirely to the equal-rightist attack on good old-fashioned-American homophobia, since they’ve maintained their ban on LGBT adult leaders. Phew!
3. Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said on the House floor that members of Muslim communities in the United States have not condemned acts of Islamic extremist terrorism against the U.S. and are complicit in the attacks that have happened and will happen. Pompeo rattled off several instances of terrorism committed by Islamic extremists and then said, “Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.” Charitably, he added, “I know not all Muslims support these actions,” but concluded: “the silence in the face of extremism coming from the best funded Islamic advocacy organizations and many mosques across America is deafening.”
As ThinkProgress notes, Pompei seems to be the one suffering from deafness and blindness, since he’s unaware of the significant ways Muslim leaders and communities have condemned violence and extremism. Right after the Boston bombers were identified, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
As Americans, we are a united force against any form of tyranny, whether it be in the form of terrorism or otherwise…Terrorism has no allegiance to faith or ethnicity, and we have been witness to that over the past few years. What happened in Boston and Watertown last week does not reflect on anyone except for those who carried it out. It is not a reflection of ethnic identity, religion, or national affiliation.
Also, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society as well as the Muslim Public Affairs Council began organizing to combating the radicalization of Muslims. In addition to responding to the Boston bombings, Muslim leaders have spoken out against the failed Christmas Day bombing of a plane, the 2005 London bombings and the concept of terrorism. Had Pompei taken any time whatsoever to try to verify what he was saying, he would have found that Muslim communities have helped thwart several terrorist attacks since 2001. But that would require that Pompei actually care about the truth more than indulging in fact-free and irresponsible knee-jerk reactions based on ignorance, fear and prejudice.
4.Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a law against the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” (read “the gays”) in a vote of 436-0. The law, originally called the law against “homosexual propaganda” was revised and liberalized as the law against “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” which backers of the bill defined as “relations not conducive to procreation.”
Why do I think straight non-children having couples won’t be persecuted under the law? The legislation imposes fines for providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to minors or holding gay pride rallies. In a true spirit of equality, the bill applies to Russians and foreigners as well as media organizations.
The law was already passed in several regions, including St Petersburg, considered one of the most liberal and open-minded cities in Russia, not that that says much.
In fact, when Madonna made the mistake of saying, at a concert there, “I am here to say that the gay community and gay people here and all around the world have the same rights to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love,” homophobes tried to use the law against her. They argued that her words would adversely affect Russia’s birthrate and, as a result, its ability to maintain its army and (somehow) cause the divorce rate to skyrocket.
On a sad day for bigots, the judge ruled against the plaintiffs. He asked why the various conservative organizations who brought the suit had not gone after alcoholics, since alcoholism causes divorce. (You can see Madonna’s treason below.) Prime Minister Putin’s recent announcement, on TV (stay classy) that he and his wife are divorcing, makes the moralizing about marriage that much more ridiculous. And the recent tragic and gruesome murder of a man whose “friends” tortured and killed him after he came out to them makes this law that much scarier.
5. And what day chocked full of bigotry would be complete without some sexist distortion of the truth? On Monday, the Obama administration announced it would not block access to Plan B for women under the age of 15. Yay! The morning after pill, which can prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, will now be available to girls and women over the counter without restrictions! Of course, this prompted the following reaction from conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Fox News:
It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit statutory rape against young girls… If mothers and fathers across this country hear this and they think, ‘Well, I guess my daughter or her boyfriend or her rapist can go out to a pharmacy and get a bunch of, you know, hormone pills to give a little girl.’ We don’t really know the effect of a spiking or dropping a little girl’s — in many cases a young woman’s or a little girl’s hormonal levels. It’s outrageous! These girls can’t get their ears pierced, they can’t take an Advil at school without parental permission. Yet, they can go into a pharmacy in this Brave New World of women’s equality and — quote — reproductive health and get a morning after pill.