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03/26/2007

LaBarbera takes on civil rights fights, Brenda Chenowith

by Jeremy Hooper

Bio GriffithsIn a recent interview with The Advocate, former "Six Feet Under" and current "Brothers & Sisters" star Rachel Griffiths shared this exchange with interviewer John Griffiths (no relation):

Have you ever seen any homophobia in action?

GRIFFITHS: This lady told me she loved Brothers & Sisters, then said, “But I hope you pass this on to the producers, that we could really do without all that gay kissing.” I told her a story my grandmother told me: She went to Paris in 1932 and saw a black man holding the hand of a white woman, and she felt so horrified she almost threw up. My grandmother told me she knew that reaction was wrong, but it was the way she had been brought up. So I told this lady, “Maybe when you’re 98 you’ll tell your granddaughter how you saw two men kissing one day, and how you felt, but you know that’s wrong, and that was just how your were brought up.” She was shocked. I said, “So I’m not going to tell the show’s creators that. That’s for you to work out.”

 Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images  Good As You Images Picture-8-4-2-2-1-1-1Good for her, right? Well, our ol' poker buddy Peter LaBarbera is less excited about Griffiths' opposition to homophobia, saying today on his Americans For Truth website:

Homosexual activists regularly try to steal the goodwill of the civil rights movement, but in truth, opposing homosexual behavior is common sense and has nothing to do with racism. In fact, black homosexuals complain frequently about white racism within the homosexual subculture.

Opposition to two men kissing and other perversions is a natural, moral revulsion. Only those with a seared conscience are not offended by deviant sexual acts. Insofar as past racism precluded and stigmatized relationships between people of different races, that was wrong. Interracial couples produce wonderful children and families. In contrast, homosexual behavior is a dead end; in fact, it often leads to disease and early death — at least for half the population (men).

But see, here's the thing that "pro-family" activists always overlook when discussing the racism/homophobia parallels: It is their opposition to both that links the two forms of bias. Of course we realize that there are big differences between the struggle of the African-American and gay communities. No credible gay activist would claim that the two movements are identical. However, there is an undeniable link between the groups and arguments that are now used to condemn gays and the people and rhetoric who once opposed blacks!

Mr. LaBabs says "Homosexual activists regularly try to steal the goodwill of the civil rights movement." That's because the "pro-family" activists' talking point in terms of civil rights parallels is that we gay activists are trying to hijack or steal the African-American struggle. Just like with other situations (marriage, adoption, school tolerance, etc) they try and make it sound as if we, the ones who are being shunned, are really the ones who are out to destroy something (in this case, the legacy of civil rights). They use these tactics of misrepresentation to rally folks into believing that their antipathy for gays is not discriminatory, but rather righteous. It is not a new strategy to paint those who are fighting for equality as the "miltiant" ones:

"There’s no reason to let any one group call all the shots in this state. And you know the militant black bloc vote in this state, if they take over, it’s going to control politics for the next 50 years in Alabama, and I know you are not going to let that happen."
-George Wallace, 1970

Pete also says "black homosexuals complain frequently about white racism within the homosexual subculture," as if he's somehow exposing a dark secret. But in actuality, there are racist gays, misogynistic gays, anti-Semitic gays, and even gays who are themselves opposed to gay rights. We're not saying that all individuals who identify as gay or lesbian are perfect specimens of equality-seeking yumminess and that all who identify as "pro-family" are tyrannical rights snatchers. We're only saying that in terms of the organized debate and civil rights movement, there are "back of the bus"loads of similarities between the struggle for gay rights and the struggle of most every group that's ever fought for social parity!

For someone like Mr. LaBabs, who considers gay behavior to be morally revolting, we are unlikely to ever convince him that our lives and loves are worthy of his respect. That is not what this is about! What Ms. Griffiths is saying in her interview is that there were once people who opposed women, blacks, Jews, and every one else who were deemed different, and they often did so because they found the particular sect lesser than or revolting (which was often backed within a "Biblical" context). Just like current-day gay rights opponents would never admit that they are they are the true "militants" and the ones who are acting in reprehensible ways, those who opposed African-Americans also presented a righteous front to the American public. However, it is almost a certainty that future generations will look back on this struggle in much the same way that we now look back at segregation. We are all free to pick on which side we stand in regards to this modern fight. We are not, however, free to pick the present reality of the situation, the factual remembrance of the past, and the future recognition of decency.

Arrogant Hollywood: Rachel Griffiths Equates Perversion with Race [AFT]

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Your thoughts

"Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood"

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people.... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."

Coretta Scott King

Posted by: John C | Mar 26, 2007 1:00:44 PM

LaBarbera is a hypocrite plain and simple which is typical of today's so-called "Christians". Opposition to two people of different races kissing and other perversions is not "racism" (a word invented by the left) but it is a natural, moral revulsion of that what is simply unnatural and disgusting. If everyone engaged in miscegenation, race would soon cease to exist and God wouldn't have created the different races if he didn't favor racial diversity. Miscegenation destroys the racial diversity that the Lord has created and is plainly wrong. For LaBarbera to condemn one perversion while endorsing another is sickening and the height of arrogance.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 18, 2008 4:52:41 AM

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