Sunday, June 24, 2012

A dip in the fan mailbag

So I got a delightful message from a friend of a friend this afternoon. Here’s a very small excerpt:

you little faggot ... fags such as yourself need to stop fucking each other in the ass and then spreading it to other people. that is why homosexuals dont live past 60 80 percent of the time and why aids is such a huge problem within the gay community Have you thought about that? ... you little queer ... People like you make me sick.

What did I do to deserve that, you ask? Well, he had posted a lengthy Facebook status wondering why gay activists allegedly flipped off a portrait of Ronald Reagan at the White House. To him, that was an affront to who he considers the best human being ever to hold the presidency. Then he went off on how liberals hate America and “do not deserve their first amendment right.

So I sent him a short personal message that read in part:

When Ronald Reagan was president, he completely ignored the AIDS crisis due to its gay stigma, and in turn it became a major epidemic. That might have been why the gay activists you mentioned flipped off his portrait. I don't think it was a classy move on their part, but that's a more understandable reason than the frankly ignorant reasons you came up with.

He responded with a very long, rambling, misspelled, single-paragraph diatribe, including the choice epithets above. Much of it is a boilerplate explanation of why Reagan deserves sainthood (twice) and couldn’t have done anything about the AIDS crisis: “You want to know why he was probabaly not worried about AIDS? what is he suppose to do about the spread of AIDS? why has nobody else come up with a solution to stop aids? How are you going to make yourself look this stupid and uneducated to blame reagan for AIDS?

More highlights:

Several calls to debate me anywhere at any time on any topic, but also this: “so do yourself a favor you little queer and it goes for the rest of your little fag hag friends, dont message me again.

His response to my conceding the gesture wasn’t classy: “thats the problem with you liberals, you believe it is ‘classy’ to flick off Reagan.” Huh?

On kids these days: “it;s the generation such as yourself who is ruining the fabric of this country was built on.” Judging by his Facebook picture and our mutual friends, he is apparently either my age or younger.

My short response to this was that I wasn’t interested in debating him, because his worship of Reagan was strong even for a conservative (unlike, for example, my ability to see wrong in Obama). I also informed him I wasn’t gay, and that all opinion writers should expect, and be able to handle, criticism. That was going to be the end of it for me, but then he posted this on his wall:

apparantly a guy messaged me saying how didnt like my post about tha gay activists going to the white house and flicking off reagan saying im ignorant with what i said. and this is for anybody who says im ignorant simply because somebody doesent agree with what i say.this person said the reason the activists flicked him off is because reagan didnt do anything about the aids problem? are you serious? This is what liberals are going to try and blame reagan for? It;s reagan's fauLT FOR THE aids problem? this is just pure typical of a hardcore liberal.This is an invitation for anybody who privately messages me saying what i say is wrong and ignorant, name the time, topic and place, and i will debate anybody anytime on whatever you want to talk about. I will make you look like a damn fool. Any person who defends these activists for going into the oval office and showing disrespect to one of the greatest men, should be jailed and penalized does not deserve to even step foot in the white house

I suppose I am a damn fool, but not for the reason he thinks.

I’m mentioning this here only to note that thinking like this still openly exists in America. As a straight man, I’m passionate about gay rights precisely because of bully rhetoric like this. It’s tragic that so many people still refuse to have an adult conversation about this. I defended some gay activists (or, more accurately, explained the real anger behind their misguided gesture) and not only does this guy automatically assume I’m gay, but unleashes all the fury that he thinks being gay deserves. To say nothing of his call for those who disrespect Reagan to be jailed. (Jailed!!)

I’m a straight stranger who made a very mild point in the face of toxic anger. For a gay person, far worse often happens. Many have DIED just because bigots had a problem with who they were. That, not what someone thinks of a public figure, is the real goddamn travesty.

If I have to choose between being an open-minded liberal and an arrogant, bigoted “patriot,” I’ll be the first every time. Unlike sexual preference, that IS a choice.

Our future depends on making the right one.

UPDATE @ 8:51 p.m.: After sending me several more messages reiterating his main points and spewing many more irrelevant points and character assassination, he blocked me on Facebook. I didn't get to tell him that most of the stuff on his wall fails the Snopes smell test. Also, his friend chimed in with some very choice, homophobic insults. Had she known the "feminine ass bitch" was me, she might have felt differently about one of her favorite former employees.

1 comment:

GDad said...

You are, as they say in the old country, "da man."