Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

May 24, 2013

We need to work on our narrow minds

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Another week has come and gone and once again the crazies on the right have decided it was national “Use Barack Obama as a Pinata Week.”

This week’s highlights of lunacy involved, among other things, whether the president was wrong to allow a marine to shield him with an umbrella and whether the president used HAARP to create the EF 5 Tornado that wiped out Moore, Okla. in order to distract the nation from Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate and Phone Records-gate.

But today I’m going to focus on something that truly set me off the other day. An email. I try not to pay attention to forwarded emails. They tend to be stupid. And usually divorced from reality. But I made the mistake of paying attention to one the other day calling into question President Obama’s congratulations of NBA player Jason Collins.

The president took the time to call the basketball player in late April, shortly after Collins publicly announced he was gay. President Obama wanted to “express his support” and tell Collins that “he was impressed by his courage,” according to a White House official.

This angered some on the right, allegedly because the president doesn’t personally call the families of those who have died in war — in addition to the fact that there’s nothing brave about being gay … so they say. The use of the term “bravery” should be “reserved for heroes in combat (and such) who have made much bolder decisions under the risk of injury and/or death in the service of others.”

I would certainly concur that being gay — in and of itself — requires no more bravery than my being white. Or male.

But being publicly gay does require a certain degree of courage, as made evident by the comments made by ESPN’s Chris Broussard who quickly pointed out that Collins is — in his opinion — a sinner. While Broussard’s comments weren’t vitriolic or mean, they do illustrate a certain attitude that is still prevalent among many people: Gay = bad.

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