In The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, there is a sign once posted in a white neighborhood warning parents not to leave their children unattended, lest black pedophiles kidnap and harm them. Historically, the crime never changes, only the target so yet another group can be the “Them.” In Oklahoma, during Prohibition, this same group tried to prohibit the use of wine during Catholic sacred liturgy. It wasn’t about alcoholism and the corruption of society. The priest only drank a little; the laity nothing. It was about fear, hate and power, just as it is today.
This is xenophobia, fear of the stranger. But the fear truly is the lack of confidence in self. For no one sees things are they are, we all see things as we are. The reminder that they might be wrong — the stranger, the gay — must be killed.
I was talking to a man about bullying. I noted that while 30 percent of teen suicides are gay kids, that still meant 70 percent were straight and I cared about the seven as much as the three. The man said that he was willing to see the seven die if that meant three less gay kids alive. I was so shocked that I could only say: May God have mercy on your soul.
It is the duty of adults to protect children. Let no cheap political scam divert us from that.