Dr. King Would Have Said…

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

Growing up, I remember a lot of emphasis being put on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in school. They never taught us what Memorial Day or Veterans Day were about; I had to learn that at home. By the 80’s, after the passage of the Vietnam era, public schools had already turned very liberal and didn’t teach respect for our troops nearly as much as they taught worship of activists.

As an adult, though, I do see the importance of remembering Dr. King. I see it in a different light now because I know more about what he believed and taught. It wasn’t just about “I Have a Dream” or even about “How Long? Not Long.” It was about reaching equal status as human beings regardless of color or creed – and reaching it in a spirit of respect. That was the underlying message in every speech he delivered, every march he led, every sermon he preached and every soul he touched. It is overwhelmingly sad that so many have since twisted his teachings into something unrecognizable.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

Early in his days as an activist, Dr. King’s home was bombed over the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I never learned that in school – I had to learn it on my own. His response wasn’t anger. It wasn’t a demand for fellow black people to target white people with similar attacks. He hardly reacted at all. His greatest response – it was far classier than mine would have been – was to simply keep the movement going. That was just the beginning.

He insisted that they march and protest, but that every movement be nonviolent. He encouraged black people to refuse to move to the back of the bus or take their restaurant order outside, yet he taught those who refused to obey Jim Crow laws not to fight back when kicked off of their lunch stool or arrested for refusing to give up their seat to a white man on a bus. Even when police responded to their peaceful protests with water cannons, rubber bullets and dogs, Dr. King still refused to fight in the traditional sense. He went to jail. And when divisions arose over his strict policy of nonviolence, he requested that movements stop until everyone had cooled down.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

Dr. King’s message spoke volumes. His theme of earning respect by first showing it even to those who hated them advanced the rights of black Americans in ways that nobody up to that point had dreamed was possible. His strategy worked: when the first attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery ended in extensive police brutality against the protesters, news footage drew outrage across the country. Dr. King, however, called the very white men who threatened him (and, on occasion, did harm him) his brothers.

That was the remarkable thing about him: he was so hopeful for equality that he didn’t even entertain the notion of black America getting even or taking the upper hand. All he wanted, all he was willing to accept, was equality. He was not willing to be so much as rude or condescending, much less deliberately shocking. His ultimate goal was for people to get to a point where we saw right through skin color to the human being that inhabited that skin.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

The night before he was assassinated, Dr. King gave a sermon at the Church of God in Christ in Memphis. During his sermon he said this: “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.” I choked up when I read that he had requested that, at his funeral, no mention be made of his awards or accolades.

Here we had a man so dedicated to peace and equality that he wasn’t even willing to defend himself when he was physically attacked. He wasn’t perfect, but he was dedicated and he set an amazing example – don’t accuse, don’t insult, but instead show love. Even such proteges as Jesse Jackson have lost the lessons that Dr. King left us.

Even worse, the same gay community who believes that Dr. King would have stood up for gay rights in America had he been alive today completely ignores his message.

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

If Dr. King were here today, he would weep for all of the anger there is now in liberal circles. Black, White, Hispanic, GLBT – all of these groups claim King’s legacy as part of their cause yet they either forget or deliberately ignore what he really taught. He taught that sacrifice and dignity in suffering were the moral high ground and would speak louder than anger and hatred, but that very important piece of his message is never observed anymore. Lately there’s been a lot of liberal hatred leveled at myself and other gay conservatives simply because we’re conservatives. We’re trying to have an intelligent conversation, yet we’re being shouted down by the same people who say Dr. King would have marched with them.

I’m not Dr. King. I’m not willing to allow anyone to do me harm simply because they don’t like my politics. In this day and age, I believe it sends the wrong message. I would rather pursue peace, however, and would do what I could to avoid violence. Tolerance is not possible as long as you excuse your own hatred by saying, “well, you’re a bigot, so I don’t have to tolerate you!” You’ll never be tolerated, much less accepted, as long as that is your game. I promise that Dr. King never would have approved.

Dr. King would have wept as well at the pervading attitude among many black Americans today that mere disagreement equals racism, not to mention the fact that freedom coupled with welfare has resulted in multiple generations of entire families doing nothing to build their communities up.

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

Do the Right-Wing Spin

It irks me when liberals add their own spin to a piece of legislation to drum up emotional support for a cause. I receive newsletters from groups such as Change.org, Townhall.com, and a host of others – both left and right – so I can keep myself appraised of the pulse of both sides of the political debate. I see so much spin from the left that it almost makes me nauseous. However, I do also see it from the right – and because of how irritating it is when I see it from liberals, it absolutely infuriates me when fellow conservatives do it.

This morning I got a “partner” email from Townhall.com. Public Advocate of the United States, an extremely social conservative, uber-right-wing organization, is calling on conservatives to fork over donations to help stop what they are calling the “Homosexual Classrooms Act.” That’s just their spun pet-name for it…it’s actually known as the Student Non-Discrimination Act, and PAUS is making some pretty obscene claims about the act.

Here is what they claim the Act will do, directly from the body of the email:

*** Require schools to teach appalling homosexual acts so “homosexual students” don’t feel “singled out” during already explicit sex-ed classes;

*** Spin impressionable students in a whirlwind of sexual confusion and misinformation, even peer pressure to “experiment” with the homosexual “lifestyle;”

*** Exempt homosexual students from punishment for propositioning, harassing, or even sexually assaulting their classmates, as part of their specially-protected right to “freedom of self-expression;”

*** Force private and even religious schools to teach a pro-homosexual curriculum and purge any reference to religion if a student claims it creates a “hostile learning environment” for homosexual students.

Here’s the rub: only one of those points has any truth to it at all, and that truth is miniscule. So much so that I am appalled that Townhall.com is supporting this “partner”.

The first three points are outright lies. I don’t appreciate being called a liar and I am careful about using the label unless I intend to accuse a person of deliberately misrepresenting the facts – or fabricating them entirely – in an effort to willfully mislead people to a false emotional conclusion. That’s exactly what PAUS is doing here, and as a gay person, I am beyond insulted. I am enraged.

If you go to the organization’s website (linked above), you see absolutely no distinction between different gay groups. There is no mention of the fact that there are gay conservatives out there who believe in family values, limited government and fiscal responsibility. We are simply referred to as “child perverting deviants”. The group was founded in 1981 by Eugene Delgaudio – and he’s been caught fabricating his talking points before.

But hard work is not enough. Items like mail, stamps, and even this email cost money.

That is why I ask you to make a generous donation after you complete the American Morality survey today.

One stormy night I drove to a mailshop hidden deep in a nearly deserted stand of warehouses. I’d heard something was up and wanted to see for myself.

As I rounded the final turn my eyes nearly popped. Tractor-trailers pulled up to loading docks, cars and vans everywhere and long-haired, earring-pierced men scurrying around running forklifts, inserters and huge printing presses.

Trembling with worry I went inside. It was worse than I ever imagined.

Row after row of boxes bulging with pro-homosexual petitions lined the walls, stacked to the ceiling.

My mind reeled as I realized hundreds, maybe thousands, more boxes were already loaded on the tractor-trailers. And still more petitions were flying off the press.

Suddenly a dark-haired man screeched, “Delgaudio what are you doing here?” Dozens of men began moving toward me. I’d been recognized.

As I retreated to my car, the man chortled, “This time Delgaudio we can’t lose.”

Driving away, my eyes filled with tears as I realized he might be right. This time the Radical Homosexuals could win.

You see, even though homosexuals are just 1% of the population, if every one sent a petition to Congress it would generate a tidal wave of two or three million petitions or more.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-homosexual petitions will soon flood Congress , and my friends in Congress tell me there’s virtually nothing on Capitol Hill from the tens of millions of Americans like you who oppose the radical Homosexual Agenda and the Gay Bill of Special Rights.

That was an exerpt of a very long fundraising letter sent out by Delgaudio’s group just one year ago – this wasn’t during the Clinton administration, this is the kind of garbage being mailed out today. There has never been anything like a “Gay Bill of Special Rights”. If there were, not one of the contributors on this site nor any member of GOProud would ever support such a thing.

Here’s the body of the bill he’s talking about. If you read all seven sections, you’ll find nothing about graphic homosexual sex acts being taught in sex-ed classes. You’ll see nothing about the introduction of lessons to experiment with the homosexual lifestyle, nor will you find anything remotely like it. You sure as hell won’t find a single word of law exempting GLBT students from punishment following claims of sexual harassment. In fact, the only grain of truth to any of these claims is the very last talking point. Delgaudio claims that private schools would be forced to take on these things, too. In fact, the only part of the entire bill that could possibly include private schools is a section that covers both public schools and “any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” That means any school in which students receive grants, loans or vouchers. A public school can refuse such things from the feds and bypass the whole mess.

Delgaudio also made an outrageous claim about the TSA after the agency released its hiring non-discrimination policy: “It’s the federal employee’s version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights… That means the next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission.” That’s not to mention the fact that the TSA official who pats me down might not be a straight man getting pleasure from feeling up my double-D rack. I suppose that would be perfectly acceptable to Delgaudio. Now, I don’t like the TSA and I think their powers to blatantly violate our Fourth Amendment rights are a travesty, but accusing them of all being gay? That’s not just a stretch. It’s absolute hysteria – the same kind that I point out in liberals when they claim that conservatives are all Nazis, bigots and hatemongers.

For the record, gay conservatives – like all conservatives – disagree with this legislation. We disagree with any overreaching federal power grab, and that’s all this bill is. It was defeated last year and will hopefully be defeated this year. As long as Delgaudio is so blatantly lying about it, however, he’s only making the liberal case for them on this issue. The states should be left to govern education as it is a power not specifically granted to the federal government.

We, as conservatives, are supposed to be above this petty emotional power play. It angers me to see groups calling themselves conservative and producing this kind of tripe. It angers me more to see legitimate conservative groups supporting them. Eugene Delgaudio is just two short steps away from being Fred Phelps. He’s no better than lefties who wish to bring this country down; he’s just using a different ideology to do it. I call on all conservative groups to distance themselves from this charlatan now, before his idiocy is used against us all in the coming election.

Delgaudio claims his work to be “for the family”. It’s how he signs all of his fundraising rants.

I only have one thing to say to you, Mr. Delgaudio.

Exodus 20:16.

Boycott the Boycott!

I don’t watch Glenn Beck’s program often. Maybe once a week, normally if I’m at the station; I’m usually reading the news from multiple outlets online when his program is on. I wasn’t watching the program he was a guest on July 28 when he said that Obama was a racist “with a deep-seated hatred for white people.”

There have been rumblings of a boycott led by colorofchange.org, a group founded by one of Obama’s cabinet members. Colorofchange has put pressure on several major companies to pull their advertising from Beck’s show. Now, at least twenty major companies have done exactly that. I have a comprehensive list of companies and products that need to hear our displeasure and feel it in their bank accounts.

Among them is my cell phone carrier: Sprint. I just finished writing them a letter demanding that they retract their insistence upon not advertising during Beck’s program within 30 days, lest I switch to Verizon or AT&T (you know, I HAD been thinking of getting an iPhone). The general reason with all of these companies is the same: they want to reach a “diverse” audience through programs that are “informed, inclusive and respectful.”

Is that so? Well, I have to ask–where was this concern when Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and other MSM talking heads were making sophomoric “teabagging” jokes while they “reported” on the Tea Party protests? Where was this concern during the Bush years, when these same people on the major news networks called Bush a racist, a homophobe, a Nazi, and anything else they could think of? Where is this concern when the MSM only gives us the facts about a news story that they want to give us, leaving FOX and the National Journal to sniff out the rest of it for us?

I had been thinking of switching to either Geico or Progressive for my auto insurance…no more. I won’t give them a nickel of my business. I had gone so far as to get quotes from both. That’s a shame, too, because the Progressive commercials with Flo are hilarious.

Clorox used to be a bleach product I bought all the time. Not anymore! Wal Mart also just lost my business for the same reason. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club won’t get a dollar of my business for their part in this fiasco. I don’t care how low their prices are.

Cheese is by far one of my favorite foods; in Mel’s world, it’s a food group unto itself. Sargento got a lot of my business until now. I’ll go with anyone else now, because the privately-held company also pulled its ads from Beck. Their spokeswoman had this to say: “We market our products to people regardless of their political affiliations, yet we do not want to be associated with hateful speech used by either liberal or conservative television hosts.”

Really? Then say that to Keith Olbermann, who named Michelle Malkin one of the “worst people in the world” simply for her stance on illegal immigration, or Geraldo Rivera, who threatened to spit on her. Yank your ads from them, too, or shut up.

The real doozie, though, was Procter and Gamble. The giant company issued a statement that any advertising of its products was done entirely in error, and “we will try to be more careful in the future.”

Oh, boy. Here’s a list of the major products from P&G that you need to boycott:

-Febreeze air freshener
-Old Spice products
-Secret deodorants
-Charmin toilet paper
-Luvs and Pampers diapers
-Clearblue easy pregnancy tests
-all Pepto Bismol products
-Duracell batteries
-all Camay, Ivory, Oil of Olay, Safeguard and Zest soap products
-Cover Girl and MaxFactor beauty products (switch to Revlon!)
-Always and Tampax products
-Aussie, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essence, Infusium 23 and Pantene hair care products
-Clairol hair color products
-Align, Braun, Crest, Scope, and Oral-B oral care
-Fibersure and Metamucil
-Prilosec antacid medication
-Pur water filters
-Vicks healthcare (cough drops, vapo-rub)
-Bounty and Mr. Clean household cleaners
-Swiffer (I’ll do with my old broom just fine)
-Bounce, Cheer, Downy, Dreft, Era, Gain, Ivory and Tide laundry detergents
-Eukanuba and Iams pet foods (I can switch to Science Diet)
-Actonel, Asacol, Didronel, Enablex, Macrobid and Microdantin prescription medications
-Braun and Gillette shaving products
-Pringles snacks
Last but not least, the following fragrances are manufactured by P&G:
-Baldessarini, Boss, Bruno Banani, Escada, Ghost, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Hugo, Lacoste, Naomi Campbell and PUMA.

Don’t just avoid these products. Write P&G an email expressing your distaste for their willingness to aid and abet censorship. I already have. Be sure to be absolutely professional when writing. NO AD HOMINEMS.

If you currently do business with any of the companies listed, contact them and request that they withdraw their support from colorofchange and back it up with a promise to switch to a competitor. If these companies are going to allow hate speech directed at conservatives and speak up only when liberals draw our ire, they need to understand that we will not tolerate it.

To be fair, several of these companies have said they haven’t pulled all advertising from FOX. Most of them have stated that they simply gave the command that their advertising not be run during Beck’s program. I take issue with it regardless, though, as should we all. It won’t stop here; once colorofchange gets advertisers to boycott Beck, they’ll move on to Hannity, O’Reilly, and eventually all FOX programming. If they were advertising during a KKK-supportive show, I might be able to understand it. We should not allow this to continue, because it will result in the bullying of all pundits deemed too conservative by the loudest minority in the world: liberals.

Justice for Firefighters Facing Discrimination

Many have heard the basics of a group of firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut who banded together to file a discrimination suit against their city. The basics are thus: an exam was held for firefighters who wished to apply for promotion to captain, the test used was purely objective (it was written by a 3rd party company specializing in firefighter exams), and because few minorities–none of them black–passed, the city decided to scrap the exam and promote none of the applicants. The plan was apparently to administer another exam. But a group of the applicants, firefighters who were white and Hispanic, got mad and decided to fight back. They filed suit. Ricci v. DeStefano was knocked down by Sonia Sotomayor as not meeting the criteria for discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. According to Sotomayor, because certain minorities weren’t in the passing group, the test had to be racially biased. Therefore there was no merit to the claims of the firefighters filing suit.

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled Sotomayor’s ridiculous opinion. And they did so unanimously.

Here’s my experience…every firefighter, captain, and chief I’ve ever met or worked with worked his or her butt off to get where they are. Firefighting is not an easy profession by any means, and every one of the men and women I know fully deserved the promotions they were given. I know captains of every color and creed you can imagine. Not one of them was ever handed their job because of a protected minority status, and every single one would be insulted by any person who suggested what the city of New Haven did. The Civil Rights Act wasn’t just meant to protect “minorities”–it was meant to protect all people, because everyone is capable of discrimination. I’ve been discriminated against for the color of my skin, too, for the first job I ever applied for at a Wal-Mart where the black hiring manager openly bragged that she would only hire black applicants. My sister was discriminated against by the same woman. I have heard people of all races–white, black, Hispanic, Asian, you name it–make racist remarks against every other race under the sun.

The fact is that white people were not meant to be excluded from the CRA, nor were Hispanic people like a couple of those who were also passed up by New Haven (and later joined the lawsuit). The exam that was used was found to be completely objective and not racially biased in any way. The simple fact that there weren’t any passing scores coming from certain races involved in that test does not automatically make that test discriminatory. It just means those folks need to brush up on their knowledge, take the test next year and do better. More often than not, people fail those tests the first time around. In each case, they worked harder and got it the next time around.

I applaud the decision by the Supreme Court today and the firefighters who refused to be passed up because of the color of their skin. They all worked hard for what they earned and they weren’t about to let the government take it away. Bravo.

*****UPDATE*****

I was incorrect in my statement that the SCOTUS voted unanimously to overturn the lower courts’ decision. They unanimously disagreed with Sotomayor’s opinion that the test was scrapped due to proven racism; the actual vote, however, was 5-4 in favor of the New Haven 20. It’s also worth noting that none of the men involved in the suit knew their status on the list of promotable firefighters; in fact, even after six of them found out they wouldn’t make the promotion list, they remained on the suit to defend what they knew to be right.