Saturday, July 30, 2011

'Raging Elephants' Target Texas House Members for Pro-LGBT Votes

'Raging Elephants,' a Republican activist group targeting the African-American community, has begun a series of robo-calls attacking African-American and Hispanic house members for their pro-LGBT votes. In the last two weeks the group has targeted 20,000 minority households in the districts of Senfronia Thompson, Dawnna Dukes, Joaquin Castro and Marc Veasey, all Democrats.

Raging Elephants took issue with the member's efforts to defeat 82(1) Amendment 148 to SB 1, Wayne Christian's (R-Center) attempt to ban LGBT resource centers from Texas' college campuses (read LQ's post on the defeat of Amendment 148). The four targeted house members were some of the most vocal in standing up for the queer community, delivering impassioned speeches on the House floor:
"Everybody’s not straight, people who are gay are born gay and they deserve the same rights, liberties and protections that everyone does."
-Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth)

"You may say ‘if they’re gay, and somebody hurts them, then so what?’ But let me just remind you that those persons are somebody’s child..."
-Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston)

"I have the same feelings elicited in me about the hate and bigotry put forth by measures like this as [measures that] were [introduced] back in the pre-civil rights period when certain buzz words and statements to create fear about certain individuals [who were] different [were] brought before legislative bodies and certainly before the Texas House of representatives on multiple occasions just to create a vote based on hate, because someone was different."
-Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin)
Raging Elephants, which is lead by "Apostle Claver T. Kamau-Imani", is claiming that that the members' defense of basic human rights and dignity equates to funding “homosexual education and activities in the state budget” and of waging an “attack on biblical morals”.

Bizarrely, by attacking house members who opposed amendment 148 Raging Elephants is, by default, supporting the amendment's author: Wayne Christian. After a procedural maneuver forced Christian to retreat from his attempts to defund campus resource centers he defended his position, and rebuffed accusations that his amendment was discriminatory by saying:
“I'm one fellow that was racially discriminated against. Back in the '70s I was on the first team in basketball at high school, my sophomore and junior years, and we integrated my senior year, and I rode the bench because I couldn't play as good as they did. White boys can't jump. So I received discrimination.”
-Wayne Christian (R-Center)
That's right, in Wayne Christian's mind racial discrimination is what happens when people of color are permitted to compete on an even playing field against white people, and less skilled white people are replaced by more skilled people of color. It's hard to read Christian's quote and not think he is secretly pining for the days of segregation, when nonathletic white boys didn't suffer the 'discrimination' of fair competition.

For anyone to defend this kind of racism is deplorable, but for an African-American organization, even a Republican one, to suggest that Wayne Christian should be the arbitrator of what is and isn't discrimination is unfathomable, reckless and borderline suicidal.

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