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The Evolution of Cory Booker from Homophobe to Ally
01-10-2013, 06:45 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 06:46 PM by PoliticalTiger.)
Post: #1
The Evolution of Cory Booker from Homophobe to Ally
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"The thought of two men kissing each other was about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy," Booker confessed. "Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past — I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple."

Booker describes himself as skillfully appearing politically correct. "I was well trained in my tolerance," he wrote. "I stopped telling my gay jokes. Fags, flamers and dykes became homosexuals and people of differing sexual orientation and, of course, I had my gay friend."

But beneath his exterior, he admits "hate" had "clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals. I sheepishly shook hands with gays or completely shied away from physical contact. I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays as thoughts would flash in my mind, 'What sinners I am amongst' or 'How unnatural these people are.'"

He said in the column that his mind began to change in freshman year when he met a gay counselor, Daniel Bao, who "quickly disarmed me with his personal testimony." Bao told him "people who religiously prayed to God to help them become straight. He told me of the years of denial and the pain of always feeling different. And he told me of the violence – violence from strangers and family, horrible images of beatings, destruction of property and the daily verbal condemnations."
{...}

http://www.advocate.com/politics/2013/01...phobe-ally

"Understand that the more deeply you hold your ideals,
the more you are morally obligated to be pragmatic...Idealism without pragmatism
is just a way to flatter your ego." -Barney Frank
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01-10-2013, 09:31 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Evolution of Cory Booker from Homophobe to Ally
I have to admit, I like Cory Booker a lot -- if you haven't seen the documentary 'Street Fight' (I caught it on Hulu Plus) you're missing out. No one is perfect all at once, but some of us are capable of eventually evolving towards a "more perfect union" with the world around us -- I think that's something that distinguishes thinking people from the ideology of today's 'conservatives' -- the willingness to evolve and grow -- Tea Party types -- from what I've seen -- are of the "Gotdammit, I'm ignorant and will fight for my Got Given Freedom to stay ignorant!' mindset. If this is a genuine mea culpa on Booker's part -- and I have no reason to think it's not -- good on him.
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01-10-2013, 10:03 PM
Post: #3
RE: The Evolution of Cory Booker from Homophobe to Ally
(01-10-2013 09:31 PM)janedrake Wrote:  I have to admit, I like Cory Booker a lot -- if you haven't seen the documentary 'Street Fight' (I caught it on Hulu Plus) you're missing out. No one is perfect all at once, but some of us are capable of eventually evolving towards a "more perfect union" with the world around us -- I think that's something that distinguishes thinking people from the ideology of today's 'conservatives' -- the willingness to evolve and grow -- Tea Party types -- from what I've seen -- are of the "Gotdammit, I'm ignorant and will fight for my Got Given Freedom to stay ignorant!' mindset. If this is a genuine mea culpa on Booker's part -- and I have no reason to think it's not -- good on him.

I think there is also an element of this kind of thing on the left -- if at some point you said something that was negative toward a person or a group because of their color, their sexual orientation, etc., then some folks dig their heels in and absolutely will never ever consider that the person who said that negative thing can evolve, can change, can grow, and in the process, can apologize for things they have said in the past. When I see that kind of intransigence, I wonder what folks like that are like with people in their person circles. If their spouse, child, parent, friend says or does something, then learns from that thing and sincerely changes, does the intransigent one fold their arms across their chest, turn their back, and refuse to ever deal with them again? People can and do change.

Silence is consent.
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01-10-2013, 10:22 PM
Post: #4
RE: The Evolution of Cory Booker from Homophobe to Ally
You know, SeattleGirl, that brings up what has long been a sticking point with me. I may not have the 'guts' that Cory Booker does to admit full-frontal evolvement on this issue (suffice it to say it was a lingering issue over being a straight-woman-with-a-gay-boyfriend-who-loved-me-thang -- and it wasn't all quite as amicable as 'Happily Divorced') -- but I can recall multiple pile-ons on other boards where I would dare to bring up that if one were going to invoke the Civil Rights Movement in relation to gay rights -- why not also acknowledge the love and patience of that movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (my hero) didn't fight hate with hate -- even in the darkest of times, he referred to "my white brothers and sisters" and spoke of them with love. I remember the hysteria over Rick Warren at the first inaugural -- I understood the fear and loathing -- but I also knew almost no one would remember a word Warren had said mere days after the inaugural. But most of all -- you can't fight hate with hate. (Admittedly, something it would behoove me to remember more often in these days and times).
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01-11-2013, 04:55 AM
Post: #5
RE: The Evolution of Cory Booker from Homophobe to Ally
(01-10-2013 10:22 PM)janedrake Wrote:  You know, SeattleGirl, that brings up what has long been a sticking point with me. I may not have the 'guts' that Cory Booker does to admit full-frontal evolvement on this issue (suffice it to say it was a lingering issue over being a straight-woman-with-a-gay-boyfriend-who-loved-me-thang -- and it wasn't all quite as amicable as 'Happily Divorced') -- but I can recall multiple pile-ons on other boards where I would dare to bring up that if one were going to invoke the Civil Rights Movement in relation to gay rights -- why not also acknowledge the love and patience of that movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (my hero) didn't fight hate with hate -- even in the darkest of times, he referred to "my white brothers and sisters" and spoke of them with love. I remember the hysteria over Rick Warren at the first inaugural -- I understood the fear and loathing -- but I also knew almost no one would remember a word Warren had said mere days after the inaugural. But most of all -- you can't fight hate with hate. (Admittedly, something it would behoove me to remember more often in these days and times).

When you don't use hate as part of your message or movement history and humanity will remember you fondly. When you are impatient for victory your gains, if any, will be short lived.

My memory of MLK is, as yours, of a man that always spoke kindly of his fellow men but sternly and with conviction about injustices done by some of them. While he talked about and acted on the need to move quickly to put an end to injustice he also cautioned that it would be a long road.

Although I doubt he would approve of it we now have a statue of him in our nations capital. On that memorial are inscribed many of his words to us including the following,

Quote:"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

GOTV in 2014
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