Nel's New Day

March 6, 2012

Is Bigotry Brave?

Is bigotry brave? This question came up when Piers Morgan (CNN) called former child actor Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains) “brave” when Cameron said, “I believe that marriage was defined by God a long time ago…. Do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.” He added, “It’s [homosexuality] unnatural, it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” Cameron made his opposition more clear to Morgan when he said that he wouldn’t support any of his six children who came out to him.

How far would Morgan—or others who agree with him—go in declaring a bigot brave? Would they say that the members of the Kansas Baptist church protesting homosexuality are brave? The ones who carry signs saying “Thank God for dead soldiers” because there are gays and lesbians in the U.S.?

One person responding to the Salon article about Cameron pointed out that it’s not particularly brave to voice anti-gay views if the speaker surrounds himself with others, like fundamentalist Christians, who hold the same views. “So no, it is not brave for Cameron to voice his bigoted views, when after the interview, he goes back to his people ready to pat him on the back for it, having nobody who really matters to him be at odds with his statements,” said the person responding.

Cameron may have been surprised to find himself surrounded with opposition. In response to all those criticizing him, he asked for their debating such issues “with greater love and respect.” Does Cameron find his words loving and respectful? I don’t.

Would Morgan think that Rush Limbaugh is “brave” for his bigotry? As of today, at least 34 advertisers have decided that they don’t want to be connected to the man who called a 30-year-old Georgetown law student a “slut” and “prostitute”—among many other things. Limbaugh hasn’t stopped. Today he spent an hour railing against Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating. “What is it with all of these young, single, white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent,” Limbaugh said about the woman he called an “authorette.” McMillan grew up in a rural area outside Flint (MI), earned a B.A. in college (overeducated?), and then researched her book by working low-paying jobs for almost a year at Wal-Mart, Applebees, and other places in the food industry.

Other attacks on women came from Rick Santorum and the state of Wisconsin. “We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms,” Santorum said when he ran for the Senate in 1994. He hasn’t changed his mind since then—just softened the rhetoric. According to Santorum last October, single moms are “the political base of the Democratic party. Why? Because it’s so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they’re going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two-parent families; you eliminate that desire for government.” I always have trouble understanding Santorum. Is he saying that if women get married, they will vote Republican?

Wisconsin doesn’t bother with sugar-coating their message. State senator Glenn Grothman, has introduced a bill that would require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to include single mothers as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one-third of Wisconsin parents are single. There are approximately 13.7 million parents in the United States, with mothers outnumbering single fathers five to one.

Like, Santorum, Grothman contends that financial benefits drive the rise in single motherhood among low-income moms. A scary statistic is that 14 percent of the voters to the article agree with Grothman. Women in Wisconsin are poorer than they were a year ago, because this is in one of those Republican-ruled states that have taken money from the poor and middle-class workers to give to the wealthy and the corporations.

So the question stands. Is bigotry against LGBT people, women, single mothers, etc. brave? Or just ignorant?


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