I know, the title leaves little to the imagination. I’m really trying to do two things here: express my disapproval of the National Organization for Marriage in a vivid and hopefully funny way; and more importantly, for the purposes of this article, I want to play directly into NOM’s hands.
A NOM document was leaked this week that is causing in an uproar. By “leaked,” I mean they were compelled by a court order to disclose this information. They fought a long legal battle to keep this document, along with the identities of their donors, a secret. What needed to be so secret about this secret?
NOM’s ten-step “action plan” to fight marriage equality includes race-baiting and a bag of other dirty tricks that, and I say this as close to a fact as possible, are terribly cynical.
From the NOM document, they list one of their tactics is to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks,” two key Democratic civil rights communities that NOM hopes to keep from harmonizing. If you think that sounds like a platform to ignite a race war and keep the melting pot from melting, then by God, you are an uppity liberal who hates black people and their value system. DAMN! NOM’s tactics are already working on me.
How else does NOM hope to drive a wedge between gays and blacks? Well, for starters, they drowned Whitney Houston in a bathtub, causing all sorts of callous “witty” gays to take to their Twitters for some good old “too soon” jokes. NOM hoped to further this tension by planting gay porn in the trunk of Trayvon Martin’s killer’s car. It would have worked too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling justice system.
Maggie Gallagher, a former head of NOM, has been putting out press releases all week claiming this is a non-story for a slow news week. Boy, is she right! I mean, any document that you fight a long, expensive legal battle to keep secret is a total wet firecracker. But I shouldn’t harp on about how expensive legal battles are; NOM can afford it. If I had $20 million annually that was misappropriated through church tills into a Catholic hierarchy shell company called NOM, I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff either.
So, how do we heal the divide between gays and blacks that NOM has spearheaded?
For starters: gay club kids? You can stop saying things like “I’m not racist, but my dick is.” It’s only going to get you fewer and fewer giggles as the years go by. Also, and this is a note to me, we need to stop snickering through Tyler Perry movie trailers. Yes, he’s a patently ludicrous filmmaker, but there’s a race war on: do your bit and stay quiet.
Democratic congressman Mike Honda has skillfully taken the first step towards bridging this NOM-caused divide. He proposed at an appropriations subcommittee (a Where the Money Goes party) that the $1.5 million that House Republicans were hoping to use to fight legal battles to keep the odious Defense of Marriage Act in place would be better used to investigate the killing of Trayvon Martin.
For those of you who don’t know the Trayvon Martin story, probably because NOM and the white GOP would rather you bitch about gay marriage (See, NOM, tickling racial tensions ain’t just for you anymore), Trayvon was a Florida black kid who was shot and killed by Neighborhood Watch guy George Zimmerman. Trayvon’s crime? Being a black kid in a hoodie at night. You probably thought I was gonna say he was a criminal or had a gun or something. Nope. I don’t blame you, though. NOM wanted you to think that. (Woo! Tensions tickled again!)
There’s no word yet on whether or not George Zimmerman also worked for a Florida office of NOM. (Hey, misleading readers is REALLY effective! I wonder if NOM knows about this tactic?)
So, the big secret document dropped. What has the fallout been? Meh.
No one on our side seems very surprised, and no one on NOM’s side seems particularly ashamed. That’s the downfall of today’s culture of information transparency. As more damning evidence comes to light, the mindset of the guilty must wall itself off, admitting the guilt becomes impossible and the ensuing red-handed reaction is one of shrugging non-denial. Or worse. Newt Gingrich’s reaction during the Republican debates to a question about divorcing two of wives when they were both seriously ill was met with self-righteous, angry non-denial.
Let us focus less on saying to NOM, “You’re busted!” Because we’ve busted them on a million things a million times, and their reaction has always been, “What?? Yeah, we tricked people. Jealous?” Provoking our petulance is part of their mission statement. I say we stop calling them bigots, which is what they are, yes, but it’s also what they want us to call them. Let’s instead call them other accurate things: Voiceless. Relics. Vanishingly unimportant. Sad.
Let’s use this document to adjust our strategies, and not expect it to do much else.
It’s a smoking gun, for sure. But, like George Zimmerman’s gun, smoking or not, it’s not indicting anyone anytime soon.