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03/11/2008

Audio: Tony Kushner: 'Racist Pornographer Hack'

by Jeremy Hooper

We've already showed you and decried the way that the Concerned Women For America are referring to the legendary and literary play Angels In America as "racist gay porn."  But since it's always more revelatory to hear the words come out of our opposition's mouth rather than to just read them on paper, here is CWA's Matt Barber making the same unfair "racist" and "pornographic" assertions in an audio chat with activist Lora Sue Hauser:


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"This is not even good writing"?  Pulitzer Prizes are simply the product of "self aggrandizing liberal elites"?  Angels is nothing more than "B-line trash that belongs in a homosexual adult book store somewhere in the Castro district of San Francisco"?  Who the hell needs the NY Times Book Review when you can instead turn to the literary opinions of one Matt Barber?!

High School Pushes Racist “Gay” Porn on Kids [CWA]

**UPDATE, 3/13: Even more from Matt [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

Yeah, I'm going to side with the Pulitzer Prize committee...

Posted by: Scott B. | Mar 11, 2008 1:59:22 PM

These people are so fucking stupid!!

Have they not heard of all the other books that have been baned in the past? Books that most schools do NOT ban!

Ha...

Posted by: Justin | Mar 11, 2008 2:41:05 PM

Oh for God's sake who are these people?

These people are preaching hate. "Vulgar words, the content, the dialogue, the actions"?

It's life.

Inappropriate for high school kids? Calls for resignation? Yikes, they are nuts!

What about depictions of war, violence, etc

Doesn't Laura Sue have better things to worry about in schools, like kids killing each other? Now there's some concern honey.

Posted by: nicholasg | Mar 11, 2008 3:51:20 PM

What's ironic is these people base their whole lives on a book the features among other things wanton violence, incest, rape and other forms of sexual immorality and also the justification of slavery.

Furthermore Angels in America is a book that students have the option of reading it’s not a requirement – which people like CWA seem to keep forgetting when this issue comes up.

BTW: Matt’s comment "B-line trash that belongs in a homosexual adult book store somewhere in the Castro district of San Francisco” proves what a BIG FAT MEATHEAD that he really is! (I know you don’t like name calling but I think it fits).

Posted by: Alonzo | Mar 11, 2008 5:00:58 PM

This made me so angry, so I wrote a letter to CWFA.


To CWFA:

I am concerned with your lack of concern.

You seem to be focused on a text that you assume will destroy the very fabric of your idealistic "American" life.

Angels in America is one of the more important literary and dramatic accounts of an era when people were being wiped out by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This still continues...

Lora Sue Hauser in her discussion with Matt Barber, calls for prosecution and resignations from Deerfield High school, Ill.

Well Lora Sue, like many students of strong will and open mind, they will make their own judgements on the text and should be encouraged to do so.

Afterall, I imagine they are intelligent kids, who witness language in the school yard far more colourful than in this text. Unless of course, they're living in that fantasy world, the "American" life, I briefly mentioned above.

Ever seen "Pleasantville" Lora Sue?

Lora Sue seems quick to jump on the N word in the alleged "racist gay porn", which I may add is used by the text's Roy Cohn character - of course this character (based on the real Roy Cohn) was himself a campaigner against the very basic rights that GLBT people should all be afforded. His dialogue is in suiting with his attitudes of the time. Attitudes that are destructive and hateful.

Roy Cohn, stated "homosexuals should not be allowed to be schoolteachers".

/In 1984, Cohn was diagnosed with AIDS, and he attempted to keep his condition secret while receiving aggressive drug treatment. He was known for being able to obtain the real drugs not control drugs. He died in 1986 of AIDS complications./

He preached the very vitriol that this text attempts to dispel through it's frankness, honesty and understanding and message of greater good for those caught up or affected by the epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

Teenagers are shown the destruction of humankind on a daily basis through newswire, cable and internet. They bare witness to the horrors of genocide in areas such as Darfur and watch as their world unfolds against a backdrop of terror, yet, you feel compelled to protect them from a pulitzer prize wining work of text.

The text serves as a journal to an era of prejudice, an era when many lives were lost, when the world believed that HIV/AIDS was a gay disease, which we know it is not.

If you truly are Concerned Women for America, I would divert your concern to far more pressing issues such as Gun control. The shootings that occur in your US schools require urgent change to state and federal laws to save young lives, more so than the worry of a dramatic work with a few F words or a graphic sex scene here and there.

And what of Darfur? Oh, Concerned Women. You could do so much to change the world with your concerns directed correctly. The world is in need of concerned women, while thousands die displaced and executed at the hands of brutal regimes. What concerned women could achieve with an alternative and possible re alignment of their fears could be breathtaking.

But, back to the text that you think is going to destroy lives.

I would of course be concerned - as you obviously are - if the text caused a gunman to run rampant in the school and shoot dead twenty of their classmates? But, I think not.

On the contrary, that you want to ban text like this will send the message to a student perhaps attempting to identify with being gay or different, that they are invisible, they are not accepted and only cause them to experience feelings of disassociation and perhaps develop anti social behavious.

I believe your concern for this text is misplaced and is simply, quite possibly a result of your own insular fear.

Perhaps the best place to start is to ask the kids if they would be offended by this text?

By the way, have you seen Fahrenheit 451?

I thank you.

Posted by: nicholasg | Mar 11, 2008 5:15:57 PM

So, when I loaded this audio on your site, it played at about double speed. Perhaps a bit more. It was like listening to the Chipmunks, only worse (assuming that's possible).

The woman speaks so quickly that it was nearly impossible to understand her when sped up. It actually made the whole thing much more pleasurable than when I followed the link and listened to their posted mp3...

Posted by: PSUdain | Mar 11, 2008 8:23:22 PM

How bizarre, PSUdain. Although that really does sound more enjoyable.

Posted by: | Mar 11, 2008 9:11:44 PM

You obviously have no idea what your children know and participate in. I just graduated from high school. These young people are living in a world full of profanity, sexual confusion, and racism. However, obtuse parents and schools refuse to address the reality of what is going on around them. These helicopter mamas like to live an a make believe land of puppies and innocence. Perhaps, if these kids had a chance to talk about real issues (all of which they are dealing with) in a safe environment like a classroom, they would be able to deal with them in a non-self destructive way.

I have been exposed to literature like this since the beginning of hig school. By your standards I should be a nympomaniac, drug addict, and perhaps, god forbid a homosexual. I am a strait woman; I have never touched drugs; and I have great respect for my body. From being exposed to serious, thought-provoking material that sored past or prescribed bounderies, I also have great respect and empathy for the people around me. (I am not a bigot or a racist.) But don't listen to me, keep repressing your children's curiosity and you will see how well they grow as people.

Posted by: MG | Mar 12, 2008 11:39:53 AM

MG: You are aware that you are addressing a gay activism site, right?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 12, 2008 12:36:00 PM

I've just looked at the "concerned" women for america website, and to be quite frank I was more disgusted with that. [they don't much like people of other ethnic backrounds do they? let alone homosexuality] I read the text and the thing that stuck out to me most was that they only highlighted the parts that related to homosexuality in some way. There were sentences with WAY more severe profanity than the ones highlighted but the difference is that they didn't reference homosexuality. What sense does that make? It makes me glad that I no longer live in the US because people like that sheltered woman Lora Sue make me sick.

Posted by: nick | Mar 12, 2008 7:27:58 PM

This is just disgusting, i personally would like to beat the crap out of these people with a stick.

I also love how he names the castro district in san francisco specifically, stupid freakin prejudiced against san francisco.

As he mentioned "Indoctrination of our students?" well, yes, i'm sure that really happens,

And also, i'm sure that no conservative has ever won a pulitzer prize either.....

Posted by: Franklin Chang | Mar 16, 2008 4:22:45 AM

I read top to bottom Matt Barber's article on this at Townhall. Only myself, and a few gay men who are regulars to the site, actually read or saw Angeles in America. I own the book, saw the play twice, saw the movie three times.
I saw "Caroline or Change" a blues opera about Kushner's childhood in Kennedy era Louisiana and his relationship with his family's black housekeeper. And I read "Homebody?Kabul" about a British matriarch's venture into Afghanistan on a journey of charity and self discovery.
Matt Barber didn't mention Kushner's body of work. He just cherry picked what he though were the 'dirty bits' enough to indict ONE part of one play.
What an A$$. And he'd only fool those ignorant of those who never read or are familiar with Kushner.
The thing is, I'd RATHER read or experience Kushner, than take Barber's word. And maybe the sharper tools at TH would.
However, I doubt it.
Barber is in no way likely to win a Pulitzer or any other accolade for literature or even journalism.
"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Barber...is clueless as to what that proverbial candle is.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Apr 20, 2008 3:09:45 PM

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