A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to my brother, Newt, following his bizarre attack on LGBT Americans. I thought he was reaching pretty deep into the GOP's bag of hateful tricks to come up with that one. But, he's got company.
Yesterday, Pat Boone outdid Newt in a post on the far right wing site, World Nut, er, Net Daily. Boone seems firmly entrenched in the glory days of the '70s. He's trying to morph himself into a modern-day Anita Bryant.
Boone's comments were beyond the pale even by the standards of most gay-haters. He equated the post Prop 8 rallies and protests taking place in the U.S. with the heinous terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Yes, you read that correctly. Pat Boone is long, long past his prime. He can seemingly only attract attention by either dancing around award shows in a leather outfit and a dog collar (and no, the irony of that image does not escape me...) or by launching desperate rants into the blogosphere (my apologies to Keith Olbermann for the use of the word "rant" to describe this drivel):
Have you not seen the awful similarity between what happened in Mumbai and what's happening right now in our cities?
What troubles me so deeply, and should trouble all thinking Americans, is that there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists. Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts. And by its very nature, if it's not held in check, it will escalate into acts vile, violent and destructive.
In the former Mr. Nice Guy's world, Prop 8 protestors are the same as the Mumbai terrorists. That almost makes Newt's rant on Bill O'Reilly's show seem sane! Yes, hate is hate no matter where it erupts -- and it just did in Boone's column. If equating Prop 8 protesters with the forces responsible for nearly 200 deaths in India isn't hate, then Miriam-Webster needs an urgent update.
Fortunately, most Americans don't live in Pat Boone's distorted world where the gays are viewed as terrorists. America is changing and progressing every day. In fact, as polls have shown, if Prop 8 were held today, our side would win. That's because the very protests, which Pat Boone equates with vicious terrorists, have had a positive impact on our fellow citizens across the country.
America is heading in a new and better direction. We're choosing hope over hate and leaving behind the bitterness purposefully fomented by the likes of Pat Boone, Newt and their anti-gay heroine of yesteryear, Anita Bryant.
In my letter to Newt, I told him about Generation Equality, who are the most supportive of full LGBT equality than any American generation ever. They are leading the way for that full equality -- and it will happen. The numbers of young forward-thinking voters will only continue to grow. And, I bet most of them have no idea who Pat Boone is. They surely will have little interest in his outdated rhetoric of hate.
Yes, Boone's column was disgusting. But, in some ways it helps. There aren't many who would have the audacity to equate queer Americans with the Mumbai terrorists. And, not many of our fellow citizens want to associate with anyone who says that kind of hateful thing. As Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, said in his statement about Boone, "In most places in America today it isn't acceptable to be an outright bigot. Obviously, Pat Boone hasn't got that memo."
In the end, I'd offer Boone the same advice I offered my brother: Being a hater is so tired. Just stop it. But, if you can't, keep pumping out the garbage that makes your latest column so foul. Your visible hate allows reasonable Americans to see the damage it does and consciously choose unity over division.