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Today I have two contenders for the asshole trophy. First there is John Joe Thomas of Philadelphia, about whom this headline was written. Police: Killer invoked Old Testament in ‘stoning’ death. Not the sort of headline you expect to see in America in 2011. And, unsurprisingly, it hasn’t been covered by any major news network. I would never have found it if I didn’t regularly read Russ’s Filtered News, which does a good job of catching some of the stories that the media doesn’t see fit to cover.
From the Philadelphia Enquirer:
John Joe Thomas, 28, of the first block of Sunshine Road in Upper Darby, allegedly told police he killed Murray Joseph Seidman, 70, because the older man had made sexual advances and that the Old Testament spelled out stoning as the punishment for homosexuality.
An American citizen was stoned to death because of his sexual orientation. In America. In this century.
The second contender was connected to this story by New Civil Rights, and again, it’s fairly shocking that I have seen no comment on it. And it’s especially troubling because the culprit is someone I would hope to have a lot of respect for. But apparently Rev Keith Ratliff Sr, president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the NAACP, has been shooting his mouth off in a profoundly offensive way. The Des Moines Register reports the following asinine statements from the not-so-reverend at an anti gay marriage rally on March 17:
He complained that supporters of gay rights have “hijacked” the civil rights debate and have wrongly contended the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., would have supported gay marriage. But Dr. King, he added, was a “Bible-believing Baptist preacher” who would have supported traditional marriage, he said.
“There is no parallel” between gay rights activism and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Ratliff said. “That is an insult to the civil rights movement.”
Ratliff added , “Deviant behavior is not the same as being denied your right to vote.”
Video of the speech:
Never mind that Bayard Rustin was publicly gay (in the 60s, no less). And never mind that the mission statement of the NAACP is “is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” (emphasis mine). Now I’m certainly not saying that gay rights are or should be a primary (or even major) concern for the NAACP. In fact its quite appropriate and healthy for them to intentionally limit their objectives to issues of race, and allow independent groups to evolve to fight for other causes. But the idea that a chapter president of the NAACP could publicly refer to homosexuality as “deviant behavior” is mind blowing.
You can sign a petition here.
So folks, who wins the mug today?