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Making America Great in Charlottesville?

Aug. 15, 2017
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Last week I attended the Shepherd Express’ LGBTQ Progress Awards dinner. The event honored those activists, artists and philanthropists who, even before Stonewall in some cases, pursued equality regardless of personal consequences. It was inspiring. A few days later, Charlottesville happened.

Ostensibly, the “Unite the Right” marchers were in Charlottesville, Va., to protect a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the name of Southern heritage. Instead they glorified the heritage of hate. Wearing red “Make America Great Again” caps, dressed in camouflage, SS basic black, or in natty white knit shirts and khakis, they carried Nazi flags. Many were armed with assault rifles. Taking inspiration from Adolf Hitler’s failed Reich and encouraged by the rhetoric of the current regime, they screamed Nazi slogans. Ex-Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke celebrated, saying “This is why we voted for Trump.”  

Of course, there was violence. A Nazi sympathizer rammed his car into counter-demonstrators and killed a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer.

In response, Dear Leader delivered an evasive message that failed to specifically condemn Nazi terrorism. In feigned indignation for the violence he has inspired, he blamed it on “many sides.” There is no equivalence between morally bereft, racist hate and the social justice of a true democracy. He avoided mentioning his Nazi base, the real perpetrators of the Charlottesville terrorism. This was of no surprise since he never bothered to condemn the Minneapolis mosque bombing. In that case, one of his surrogates claimed the attack was likely a false flag.

Due to the president’s campaigns, actions and speech, Heyer’s blood is on the president’s hands. It is also on the hands of those who supported his election. 

GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign have condemned him for encouraging hate. But more importantly, how have LGBTQ Republicans responded? Not at all, really. Peter Thiel, the gay venture capitalist billionaire oligarch and regime donor ($1.25 million), now, admittedly, has second thoughts. He has also been criticized for his support, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called “catastrophically bad judgment.” 

Speaking of bad judgment, what have we heard from our local gay Republicans? Again, nothing. They have yet to apologize for the selfishness that inspired their fundraisers and propelled hate and vulgarity into the White House, bringing this plague upon us. To be honest, we haven’t heard from our LGBTQ leaders who indulge them for donations either. It’s shameful.

Anyway, one of the award recipients was BESTD Clinic that has been on the forefront of LGBT health and the fight against HIV/AIDS for decades. I mention it because one prominent gay personality blithely promotes unsafe bareback sex in his mansion basement porn studio.

Maybe he should offer an act of contrition—perhaps a check to BESTD Clinic for the same amount he raised for that shitgibbon’s election. He could throw another soiree and ask those same guests who paid $1,000 to pose for a smugly grinning photo with Don Jr. for another thousand to stand next to a portrait of Charlottesville martyr Heather Heyer.

Meanwhile, they should take a wrecking ball to Charlottesville’s Confederate statue, melt the scrap and cast it into a memorial to her, the Portland train heroes, to the massacred of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, the victims of lynchings and to all the rest.


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