Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More practice to deceive

Yesterday’s revelation that the National Organization for “Marriage” (NOM) schemed to use Black and Hispanic people to attack same sex marriage as a wedge to divide them from GLBT people wasn’t much of a surprise—only their putting it on paper was (as I said in my post yesterday, I realised what the anti-gay industry was doing three years ago). But what is increasingly clear to me is that this was actually only the hidden tip of an equally hidden iceberg: Their rabidly rightwing agenda.

The inherent racism of NOM is sickening: They have never once stood up for African American issues or for Black people, and yet they planned on using Black people to not only “get” gays, but also as bait to drive a wedge between Blacks, gays and white liberal Democrats. They wanted to do that so it would cause the base of the Democratic Party to dissolve into bitter infighting, thereby making it easier to defeat President Obama (and, of course, to elect Republicans to the US Congress and state legislatures). That raises the term “cynical manipulation” to new heights—or lows, actually.

Their racism and anglo-centric condescension toward Latinos is no less sickening. NOM saw Latinos as stupid, non-thinking consumers of pop culture, who could be swayed by images of beautiful Latinos, and who’s ethnic pride could be exploited by NOM by framing opposition to marriage equality as a way to avoid assimilation into the dominant anglo culture.

Put all of this together—their racist manipulation of Blacks and Latinos, their determination to defeat President Obama (and Democrats generally)—and one can see that perhaps their biggest deception of all is their claim that preventing marriage equality is their “only” issue. Their behaviour indicates that they’re really a typical far-right Republican group that happens to use marriage equality as their wedge issue for their larger goal of a Republican theocracy.

Further evidence for that aspect is their fevered attempts to hide the names of their donors. These documents came to light because NOM broke Maine state law on campaign disclosure and these documents were part of the resulting court proceedings. NOM has always defied campaign disclosure laws, throwing up a smokescreen claim that there would be violent reprisals against their donors if the names were revealed publicly. Well-meaning people often gave them the benefit of the doubt, even though there’s never been a single documented case of any such violence ever occurring—EVER. It’s merely NOM’s fevered fantasy, nothing more than their typical demonising of GLBT people to further NOM’s own radical agenda.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which placed NOM on its list of anti-gay hate groups precisely because of NOM’s lies and distortions, now points out that NOM also promotes the lie that gay men are more likely to be child molesters than heterosexual men. They do this somewhat indirectly, as SPLC documents. This tactic allows NOM to have a kind of “plausible deniability”, something the ex-head of the group tried to promote in an essay she called “A Link Is Not An Endorsement.” Uh huh, sure.

The fact is, despite their lies, distortions, duplicity, defamation and cynical manipulation of minorities, NOM is losing. They can try to spin things, they can pretend they’re some sort of “victim”, but they’re losing, and they know it. Polls of Americans now show that majorities—sometimes small, but clear majorities nonetheless—now support marriage equality. These percentages will only continue to grow, and NOM knows that as well as everyone else.

So, the real question is this: If they were this bad over the past four years when they were still winning battles, how much worse will they become as their losses mount and their desperation grows? As the SPLC observes, “it remains to be seen whether NOM can avoid following other religious-right groups into a world of untrammeled hate.”

Personally, I don’t think they can; they’ve already had a lot of practice.

No comments: