Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Anatomy of a Hate Crime

On the 27th and 28th of October, I committed a hate crime on Facebook, that of homophobia. This crime has not been reported. But before it is, I must explain.

There are activists of certain progressive causes, who would attribute "hate" to any manner of disagreement. You disagree with X, therefore you hate X. This line of reasoning makes no sense, but in countries like Canada, it can have the force of law. The intention is to prevent violence against those who believe a certain way, when in fact, it has the effect of forcing that belief on others through a form of legalized bullying. Thankfully, this isn't the norm in the United States -- yet.

Nevertheless, by this twisted definition, I am guilty. In my defense, the incident was completely unexpected, and occurred in a family setting, after a fashion.

One of my maternal cousins posted this photo on their wall on Facebook, with the quotation: "BK, thought you'd like this." (Don't ask me why.) What follows is my response, and the unexpected challenge from the son of one of my other maternal cousins. The reader should be advised that the following touches upon mature subject matter in human sexuality. This is clearly is not for everyone. The transcript of our conversation in interspersed with commentary, explaining the process that goes into defending what is known as an "unnatural act" for a reason.

Oh yeah, the name of the other person has been changed.

DLA    sodomy is a sin against nature, and is a risk to the public health. try getting over THAT.
October 27 at 8:47pm · Like

XYZ    Dude, its "stupid uneducated people" that are a risk to public health and of course most homophobs are closet cases, so all I have to say about that is come out come out where ever you are ...
October 27 at 9:07pm · Like

He starts out with an air of righteousness, making a facetious and irrelevant claim, calling me names, and assuming I'm some sort of internet troll. He is quickly proven wrong.

DLA    very well, duuuude. this is in compliance with your request.

i am not a homophobe, in the sense that those with such proclivities do not freighten me. (that is based upon the classic definition of the term, as "phobia" is from the greek word... for "morbid fear," an awareness of which would seem to imply that i am educated. bachelor of science in design, university of cincinnati, 1978, to be exact.) nor do i hate those who practice sodomy. nor do i wish violence upon them. rather, my outrage [is] confined to the activity, which speaks for itself (unless you'd like for me to describe it here).

as to my "coming out," i am no stranger, but a first cousin to jane's husband, mike (which i believe would make you a first cousin, once removed, or a "shirttail cousin" as we used to say). the name you see is my real name, and the picture you see is a picture of me. mike and/or jane can supply you with my resident address (which is in arlington, virginia), so you and i can arrange a time to meet, and you can show me in person (as you seem determined to do so in this forum) what a total bad-ass you truly are.

until then, you will please excuse me if i am not particularly impressed.
October 27 at 9:26pm · Like

At this point, he is bested early on, and quickly resorts to ridicule.

XYZ    Wow, did you have to look that up? Dont worry I wont tell.. Your secret is safe with me.
October 27 at 9:30pm · Like

This is occurring in an open forum, so there is nothing being kept secret.

DLA    at one time i looked it up, yes. it's what happens when educated people read. and since this forum is open to jane's facebook friends, we're both "out of the closet," as it were.
October 27 at 9:36pm · Like

XYZ    Thats true for sure! Isn't it a good feeling to be "out" & to just be yourself.
October 27 at 9:41pm · Like

DLA    well, we may not have certain preferences for life in common, but yes, since you mention it, i am quite content with being my damn self.
October 27 at 9:47pm · Like

XYZ    Yes, I like having a fulfilling life, of course I would rather live by "Dont judge lest ye be judged" Now.. where did I leave that gavel??
October 27 at 10:05pm · Like · 1 person

At least one person gives the thumbs-up to the time-worn canard about judgmentalism, which calls for the necessary response.

DLA    actually, the verse is more precisely translated as "as ye judgeth, so also shall ye be judged." this is a common mistake, not to worry. but fwiw, to accuse someone of being judgmental is to render oneself judgmental, as the statement itself renders a judgment. you will also find that both the old and new testaments are filled with instances of judging. and since, as st paul told the romans, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god," i am loathe to judge harshly someone whom i've never met -- calling them "dumb" or "uneducated" for example -- and confine myself to an activity alone, which i feel safer in judging. if i am to understand that you're a rosselot, one descended from gertrude evans and walter james rosselot, my first assumption, not knowing anything else, is that you would be a great guy. i haven't been proven wrong ... yet.
October 27 at 10:15pm · Like

XYZ    Really?.. I mean really.. so you turned the phrase and it still states and has the exact same meaning. Wow. I am glad though that you thought that the "Don’t Judge" comment was in judgment of you though, guilty conscious? kind of like having sodomy on the brain?? I know a thing or two about reverse psychology and "He who doth protest to much" (IE: Senator Larry Craig" I’m not gay") or are you going to come back with some witty repartee about how its actually the "lady doth protest to much" from Shakespeare and the meaning of the words/meaning of statement back a couple hundred years ago? Just a thought but since you are an expert in "sodomy" cause and effects please, enlighten me. I am always up for learning something new from an expert in their field of study and enjoyment.
October 27 at 10:39pm · Like

Unable to compete on the level playing field of ideas, and unable to take responsibility for the flaw in his reasoning, never mind his incivility, he steps up the ridicule, accusing his adversary of hiding any internal conflicts with his own sexuality. After all, what other reason for non-acceptance could there be? The appropriate response is to continue to apply reason, and meet the compounding of the error with a more careful explanation.

DLA    i'm not sure which phrase it is to which you are referring that i have "turned." let's see if i can figure it out.

while i'm far from being a saint, i have studied scripture over the years, enough to know certain common errors in translation. that's all that amounted to.

i also have some cursory knowledge of the study of logic and rhetoric, and common fallacies used in argumentative discourse. to wit, to call someone "judgmental" is, in fact, a judgment of someone. and i did take it that you were using that phrase in such a manner. i apologize if i was mistaken (although it would beg the need for a gavel).

as to "protesting too much," and the matter to which that refers in our context, you will find from recent family accounts that i am openly heterosexual, and have made peace with it. so has my faithful companion, who was with me at the last family reunion. (sorry we didn't connect.) as to certain other more delicate subject matter, i am not sure that facebook is the best place to elaborate on such things. i am not an expert on those subjects, nor do i require it.

if there is anything else, you know where to find me.
October 27 at 10:59pm · Like

XYZ    I agree and I know just where to look.
October 27 at 11:08pm · Like

The location on his profile is listed as "Phoenix, Arizona," which explains some of what follows.

DLA    oh thank god! it's just that your time zone is two hours earlier than mine here on the east coast, and i've got to turn in.

by the way, which of my cousins is your dad? been racking my brain on this one.
October 27 at 11:16pm · Like

XYZ    Your cousins??? same time zone, I am at my Charlotte, NC home. My father is [name of cousin here].
October 27 at 11:21pm · Like

It's the next morning when I read the latest response.

DLA    ‎(yawn!) good morning. your profile gives your location as phoenix, arizona. [name of cousin] (son of [name of uncle]) and i are first cousins. you and i, then, would be first cousins, once removed.
October 28 at 8:10am · Like

XYZ    Yes, and I will be back in PHX in Nov, I also own a home in Columbus Ohio, To say that I am shocked that we share the same lineage would be an understatement.
October 28 at 8:40am · Like

A little background is in order. I haven't seen much of my country cousins in recent years, and without casting aspersions, this gentleman's father was one of the more silent type. So it's not surprising that he would never have heard of me.

DLA    yes, i hear you're doing well for yourself. as to our common lineage, you'll get used to it. stay in touch.
October 28 at 8:59am · Like

XYZ    Thanks, and some people are gay, you'll get over it. Bye for now.
October 28 at 10:39am · Like

In the face of a light-hearted ending, he has lost a debate which did not go according to his expectations. He continues the insults without forethought, including an assumption that I have no experience with gay people.

DLA    i never had anything to get over. buh-bye.
October 28 at 11:03am · Like

XYZ    It doesn't sound like it.
October 28 at 11:34am · Like

DLA    it doesn't matter how it sounds to you. and even if it did, there's that part where "that I am shocked that we share the same lineage would be an understatement."

was there anything else?
October 28 at 11:55am · Like

Only a last, desperate attempt at superiority.

XYZ    Oh there's quite a bit more although not sure it would be worth my time.
October 28 at 12:09pm · Like

DLA    only you would know that.
October 28 at 12:21pm · Like

XYZ    Understandably so
October 28 at 12:57pm · Like

We'll meet at a family reunion at some point. If he's smart, he'll behave. But the odds don't favor it. He may assume that his extended family is quite comfortable with his choice of lifestyle, and that he can act among the extended family as if he's among his own in another, more "enlightened" setting. They may accept him as he is, but their approval is not implied (nor is it likely).

For my own part, it bothers me less that some distant relative likes to "take it up the @$$," than that such behavior is a license to BE an @$$.


Dad29 said...

It's interesting...

The first response from orientationally-challenged types usually includes a 'come out' phrase.

Sad little twerps.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. You will find much of the argumentation of this type is formulaic.

I always like to say:

If I saw you eating dirt, I'd obligated by charity to tell you that what you were eating is not only not nutritious, but can harbor dangerour organisms that might be detrimental to your health.

Being a dirt-eater for whatever reason (you like it, you don't know better) doesn't make you a bad person per-se, but the act of eating dirt is still unusual, possibly damaging to your health, and at the very least against the natural design of eating which in addition to being pleasurable, is designed to nourish your body.

IrishEddieOHara said...

Hello David --

Interesting repartee between you and said cousin. They never deviate from the norm (excuse the pun) in how they attack and defend. The usual name calling, the vilification of your person, and then the challenge that anyone who is concerned with a country that is legalizing sodomy must be closet homosexual -- that's the same arguments I've been fighting for years.

You look like a pretty tough customer. I'd pay good money to see him try to get frisky with you at you at the reunion. Hell, I might even pay your bail, seeing as how it would inevitably be your fault for inciting him.

Best wishes. Keep up the good fight.