If there’s anything more annoying than a bigot, it’s a bigot who can’t own his prejudice.
During last week’s CNBC Republican presidential primary debate, Ben Carson was asked why he would sit on the board of a gay-friendly company such as Costco, given his views on homosexuality. (He resigned from that board, as well as that of the also gay-friendly Kellogg Co., earlier this year.) These views would include asserting that homosexual activity in prison proves that being gay is a choice, categorizing gay-rights activists as “hateful people” and the “enemies of America,” and referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as the “flavor of the day.” Carson has also compared gay people to pedophiles and those who engage in bestiality.
Yet in response to the debate question, Carson said, “You don’t understand my views on homosexuality. I believe our Constitution protects everybody regardless of their sexual orientation. I also believe marriage is between one man and one woman. There is no reason you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community.”
In other words, Carson is willing to forgo his anti-gay beliefs when there’s an opportunity to make lots of money. (He reportedly earned millions while sitting on the Costco and Kellogg boards.) Oh, my God, I’m so touched by this beautiful display of moral growth. Be still, my gay-ass heart.
Meanwhile, this is the same person who called for the removal of pro-marriage-equality judges because his stated position is that it is a “finger in your eye to God” when two people of the same sex tie the knot. Now we’re to believe that he suddenly believes in “fairness” toward the gay community? Carson went on to say during the debate that “the left” has perpetuated the “myth” that opposition to same-sex marriage is equivalent to being homophobic.
At this point, I find Carson to be nothing more than the Negro Pat Robertson, and an ongoing study in how even a brain surgeon can be as dim as your average village idiot. Even so, his two-step around the obvious and pussyfooting around his real feelings toward the LGBT community remind me of so many others. Those individuals who, like Carson, want to have contemptuous views of the LGBT community but who don’t want the label of “bigot” and the consequences that come with it.
You know, even if it’s true.
A little over a week ago, former 106 & Park co-host and radio-and-TV personality Free took to Twitter to ask the loaded question, “How come when anyone ‘disagrees’ with the homosexual lifestyle they are automatically considered to be gay bashing/hate?”
There are some folks in this world who believe that there is no such thing as a stupid question. I am not one of those people. There are indeed dumb questions, and this is the Raven-Symoné of examples.
I responded to Free on Twitter, but my feelings bear repeating. When you say you don’t “agree” with the “homosexual lifestyle” (mind you, the use of “lifestyle” is a dead giveaway of your intolerance), your stance is more than likely rooted in popular interpretations of religious dogma that has and continues to be challenged (for Christianity and Islam alike). What’s funny about people of this ilk is that for all the crap they talk about the sanctity of marriage, there has never been some religious uprising against the state over common-law-marriage laws. Nonetheless, no matter the root of your tolerance, it is still intolerance. Moreover, like anything in life, there are levels.
Just as racism and sexism and every other form of prejudice have variances, the same goes for biases against sexual orientation. For every Klansman, there is your casual racist co-worker. For every member of the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club, there is someone like Drake, who serves his sexism in falsetto and his “inside voice.” Similarly, for every Carson and Bryan Fischer, there is someone asking why he or she can’t disapprove of someone’s sexual orientation, when there is mounting evidence that it is beyond a person’s control.
And even if you claim that you simply “don’t agree” with homosexuality, that viewpoint only helps foster a climate in which politicians can draft anti-gay legislation that wreaks havoc on LGBT folks or emboldens the bashers who go one step too far in illustrating their disapproval. So I don’t care why you disapprove of people like me—be it religion, homophobia, ignorance of science or some combination. You’re no better than the others who are just louder about it.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.