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CWA 'races' to condemn

by Jeremy Hooper

Note to social conservatives: Writing a character who is racist into your works of fiction does not make the work itself racist!

We feel the need to say this after seeing the following headline on the Concerned Women For America's website. The topic of discussion is Tony Kushner's legendary, award-winning, extremely literary Angels in America, which students in Illinois' Deerfield High School have the option of reading for study. CWA says of the situation:

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 Blog 01 08 00Now, we'll give them the "porn" charge, because the play does have fairly graphic descriptions of sex. And even though we certainly see a vast distinction between real-life presentations of sex in a story about the growing AIDS crisis in the 1980's, it's not surprising to us that social conservative see it differently. Any persentation of sex, gay or straight, comes across to them as "porn." So fair enough. They don't want their kids reading a book with references to sex? Then for the sake of argument, we'll say "fine."

But racist?! What, can an author not create a portrait of a racist character (a character, it should be noted, that is based on the real life Roy Cohn)? How offensive is it for these "pro-family" folks to refer to Tony Kushner, an esteemed writer who has surely faced much discrimination in his life as an openly gay Jewish man, to trivialize his work as "racist"?!?! He has simply utilized a racist portrayal in order to create a teachable moment. If an artist cannot paint an accurate picture of the world around him (and again, this play IS based in fact), then he has been robbed of his toolbox. Though considering Mr. Kushner's toolbox is less than favorable to the anti-gay work of CWA, his artistic license is likely a non-concern to them.

Look, CWA is not known for putting accuracy before hyperbole. But this is on a whole other level of pointed misrepresentation. It seems they just want to heap every sort of charge that they can at the play, hoping they can incite mindless outrage from a myriad of directions. And this unscrupulous shotgun approach is really quite frightening, even if it does come from a group that has filled us with fright on more than a few occasions.

High School Officials Assign Racist "Gay" Porn [CWA]

: Alvin McEwen is also covering the Angels in America "controversy":
The anti-gay industry beats up on Deerfield High School (again)

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Your thoughts

thanks for the shout out.

I noticed that many (i.e. Peter LaBarbera, etc. etc.) are conveniently ignoring the fact that the book is an optional title. Students do not have to read it. So their claims are basically ballast.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Mar 6, 2008 12:32:42 PM

Good for CWA for taking a stand against racism! During the civil rights movements of the 1960s, who was leading the pack against racial and gender injustice? Conservative Christians/Baptists! (I need help getting my tongue out of my cheek. It's really stuck.)

Last year, our buddy Tony P. at FRC posted some bullshit announcement about while the rest of the country was celebrating the 40th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, militant homosexual activists were trying to destroy marriage by comparing chosen lifestyles to racial equality.

I almost did a spit take. Yeah, Christian Conservatives celebrated in 1967 when blacks could marry whites and they're still celebrating now. I'm sure Lou Sheldon and James Dobson performs thousands of ceremonies a year.

I sent an email to the folks at FRC and told them they might want to remove their little announcement because in a recent interview (and I posted the link to the interview) the plaintiff in the the case, Loving herself, stated she was for marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 6, 2008 5:04:46 PM

Oh yea, Jeff -- they'll NEVER claim any responsibility for the racial injustices that were carried out in the name of God. Just like in 50 years, modern Christians will likely try and detach themselves from the homophobia of their predecessors.

If you've never read it, this is an interesting piece:


Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 6, 2008 5:11:30 PM

I've seen this before and think it's great. It's also a little scary because I can totally see people saying these things today.

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 6, 2008 7:10:15 PM

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