Whoever Scream The Loudest Gets The Prize

>> Thursday, July 22, 2010

A few days ago, I got into a semi-heated discussion online over what seems to be Roy Ashburn's third public apology for his past homophobic voting record despite being a closeted gay man himself. Most people who commented on the post took the cute puppy approach, no doubt the apology is somewhat sincere and a lot of more open-minded folks sympathize with Ashburn living the difficult closeted life and accept his apology and hope he'll work towards equality from now on but since I'm never been a forgiving person, I don't see why I should start now.

No, accepting an apology is just a gesture, god knows he doesn't need my acceptance. But as stated in his apology, he had worked for the past 26 years voted to go against the GLBT legislation. He, along with the Larry Craigs and the George Rekers, is the reason why we are still debating whether gay folks can marry or adopt children. In the last term of his senate seat, he was found out to be in the closet through a DUI. So he came out in the last months of being a senator, how does an apology exactly undo the harm he did because of his self-hatred?

The folks seems to think that by being nice to him now equates to encouraging him to do good and being negative isn't constructive. While that could be true, the man only have a few months left in his senate seat, I don't know what can be accomplished. He can say he's sorry and I am too about his predicament but being sorry doesn't do any of us any good. An apology as a gesture is not constructive, there should be action behind it to make up for the damage done and I'm not holding my breath for it.

I'm not sold on the idea that the rehabilitated immediately become heroes. I wasn't sold that victims immediately become heroes either. For all I know, Constance McMillen could be have some personality problems or harassing her female classmates. Matthew Sheppard went on a stranger's truck on his own accord. I'm not saying what happened to them were not horrible or tragic, but I'm not ready to revere these people as the pioneer of gay causes. They are victims, I would fight for their causes, but they are not heroes or historical figures that made a difference. Rosa Parks insisted on sitting at the front of the bus, Roy Ashburn didn't come out on his own accord, there is a difference. I cringe when these folks get credit for things that they didn't do while tons of other folks work everyday to advance our movement - People like Dan Choi.

Admittedly I wouldn't have cared about DADT if he wasn't Asian. Maybe that's not completely true, I would admire anyone who goes out and fights for equality and gets into people's faces. Much like arguing within ourselves wouldn't get us anywhere, being obedient and quiet never get me anywhere. I was dubbed by my family on believe that being a quiet and "good" kid has its own reward but in fact only the kid who makes the loudest noise at the mall will get what he wants in order to be kept quiet and not embarrassing his parents. Complain to the restaurant manager and get a free meal. If you don't fight for what you want, how will you get it?

Some people are taking joy on the discharge of Dan Choi for painting a picture that gays could be violent or him taking too much spotlight for himself but that's exactly what should be done. If you are not constantly yelling for help, no one will pay you any attention. I feel bad for the guy. All he just wanted to be treated fairly in the military, he was risking his life for the country and he wanted to make sure he didn't get trivially discharged for whom he loves. At least he went out fighting, so he should be proud. That's exactly how a hero would act, if you're constantly obeying conventional rules and you go without conflict then you're not a threat and your needs will be not be a priority for anyone. Just look at the Clinton years and the Bush years. If it's not for the violent Stonewall, we'll still be raided every night we go out to gay bars. Did it make the gays look bad? Do we care now that we can go freely to any gay bars we like without being hassled?

The brat in the media family who yells the loudest and gets the most attention, of course, is Fox News. How do they managed to stay as a news organization and have some many fanatics is way over my head.

Right-wing weasel blogger Andrew Breitbart has published an edited clip about Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod making a speech on her past experience of racism. She was working in a non-profit and encountered a racist farmer asking for help and albeit her inner demon of thinking she decline help for this farmer, she helped him anyway. Of course, after the edit done to the video, it was portrayed as if Ms. Sherrod, an employee of the Department of Agriculture declined help to white farmers because she's a racist. Fox News used the clip to attack the Obama administration and say this is the kind of government we have, Blacks in charge and being discriminatory against Whites. The NAACP took a whiff of the clip and denounced Ms. Sherrod, the Obama administration saw the clip and forced Ms. Sherrod to resign. Despite Ms. Sherrod fervent denials, they apparently didn’t want to hear any of it and just wanted her gone.

The truth and the original story has just came out and we found out that Ms. Sherrod wasn't a Federal employee when that story took place in 1986. Ms. Sherrod was telling a story that despite her inner point of view she still had offered help to the farmer. Ms. Sherrod was fired with little of no investigation to prove that the story was fact. We are left to wonder why Fox News and the blogger don't have any consciences, we're left to wonder why they are given that much power as if any negative aspects of the administration is reported or eluded and things are put into action, we're left to wonder whether the administration have any spine to protect their own people, like Ms. Sherrod or the people who's voted Obama into office. We were promised change and we found out that it's not that easy, unlike the firing of Ms. Sherrod or the discharge of Dan Choi. Cue on Breitbart not apologizing for what he did and digging an exit for himself:

I fully recommend Ms. Sherrod to sue Andrew Breitbart and Fox News for anything under the sun. Journalists are not just there to report, there should be an investigative aspect or at least check whether the story is solid.

So when we're in a society where "bad" behaviors are getting noticed and rewarded, why are we still trying so hard to be "good"?

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