UPDATE 6.22.09 – Perez Hilton PUNCHED OUT (Allegedly) – Click HERE
UPDATE: 6.10.09 – Carrie Prejean FIRED! See story HERE.
After the initial Perez Hilton and Carrie Prejean story broke, I had a casual conversation with my friend Dave about the strategy and political implications of Hilton’s actions and what might be the ripple effects. Dave and I attended high school together and Dave is openly gay.
We mused about the level of importance of Hilton’s remarks during and subsequent to the Miss USA pageant. I had already written a scathing editorial, alleging that Hilton’s actions indicated that he wasn’t “ready” for gay marriage in America. His intolerance of opposing viewpoints was little different than the intolerance for gay marriage.
Dave was terse and to the point. Not only did he argue that the fight for the “title” of marriage was misguided, he also alleged that the fight over “the title” would galvanize the Christian conservative right-wing. Going further, the actions of Hilton would likely ensure that Miss California USA Carrie Prejean would end up being recruited to help lead the anti-gay marriage movement.
Then, the other shoe dropped.
Thursday, Prejean released a statement and became the “unofficial” spokesperson for the anti-gay-marriage group National Organization for Marriage.
Right on time. Score two for Dave.
Not only did Hilton’s actions further galvanize the Christian right, they turned Prejean into an anti-gay marriage
“American Idol” of sorts. That can’t be good for the gay marriage movement, no matter how one attempts to spin it.
The question now is, what exactly was accomplished by the public grandstanding by Perez Hilton as a “judge” during the Miss USA pageant? There are those who would argue that when given such a platform, you must use and even abuse it. But such methodology ignores strategy. Carrie Prejean is no longer an insignificant runner-up beauty contestant…she’s now a figure-head for a movement.
That can’t be good for the gay marriage movement, no matter how one attempts to spin it.
If the gay marriage movement should have learned anything from the Proposition 8 fight in California, it’s that the anti-gay marriage movement was both organized and well-funded in its efforts to disseminate its message. Why further help it out? Only respecting those who agree with your viewpoint is not respect at all. It’s discrimination in its most insidious form.
If the gay marriage movement should have learned anything from the African-American civil rights movement, it’s that the opposition isn’t browbeaten into submission, it must be won over. For all the Dr. Martin Luther King quotes posted on Perez Hilton’s website, in his attempt to connect to the African-American civil rights movement, he curiously misses the most salient point. Being “right” isn’t 1/10th as important as being righteous in one’s actions. The distance between “right” and “righteousness” is the distance between failure and success in winning over the hearts and minds of those who may oppose you. The essence of Dr. King’s philosophy can be gleaned from this singular quote on the strategy of non-violence.
“Another thing that we had to get over was the fact that the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding. This was always a cry that we had to set before people that our aim is not to defeat the white community, not to humiliate the white community, but to win the friendship of all of the persons who had perpetrated this system in the past. The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community.”
Perez Hilton sought only to humiliate Carrie Prejean with his ill-advised “dumb bitch” and “cunt” oratory. To King’s point, Perez as a recognized voice in the gay community neither won any friends nor increased any understanding. He did though increase bitterness, divisiveness and ultimately solidified the opposition to gay marriage. He ensured a more-organized and more-focused anti-gay marriage campaign.
Mission not accomplished.
If Carrie Prejean was a “dumb bitch” when Hilton queried her…what does it mean now that she’s a “dumb bitch” with a verifiable voting constituency? What have Hilton and the gay marriage movement gained?
Correct. More organized opposition, that is what was gained.
BREAKING NEWS: (Case in Point): Proposition 8 Upheld in California – CLICK HERE:
But back to Dave…
The continuing evolution of the Carrie Prejean phenomenon has proven my friend and classmate Dave right. She went from relative obscurity to a household name. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you by name who actually WON the Miss USA pageant if my life depended on it if you quizzed me. But I CAN tell you who is the “unofficial” spokeswoman for the National Organization of Marriage without a crib sheet.
As they say, don’t tug on Superman’s cape.
So back to the question about the “rights” to the “title” of marriage issue. I understand the argument that legalized marriage is more than just about the “title,” it’s about inheritance, child-custody and the public and equitable acknowledgment of a romantic union. Intellectually, I, Mo’Kelly, understand that. But I, Mo’Kelly also understand that the premise of the end justifying the means. If the “end” is equal rights…which is separate and distinct from “equal title,” then why would Hilton consciously throw a brick through the window of the opposition? Cutting off one’s nose to spite their face applies here. How many moderate and undecided voters swung to the side of opposition due to Hilton’s behavior?
The Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson was both right and righteous in his actions. Baseball was subsequently compelled to change for the better because of it. The The Little Rock 9 who entered Central High School in Arkansas were both right and righteous in their actions. The integration of public education could not have happened without it. They were already “right,” even before they stepped foot in Central High School thanks to the ’54 Supreme Court decision of Brown V. Board of Education. They were “righteous” in the manner in which they took their strides one year later.
Right vs. righteousness. It is not simply enough to be “right,” progressive change requires righteousness.
King also went on to say…
“The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community. A boycott is never an end within itself. It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption.”
What sense of “shame” has Hilton awakened or inspired in the hearts of those opposed to the gay marriage movement? What attempt at reconciliation has Hilton made? Where is the beloved community in the wake of Hilton’s behavior and castigation of Prejean as a “dumb bitch?” It is not enough to simply quote Dr. King to argue the moral imperative of justice, one’s actions must also retain the moral high ground in the process.
And just FYI, it’s HIGHLY offensive to appropriate Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement, yet also disrespect African-Americans who intellectually disagree with you. To do so flies directly in the face of everything Dr. King stood for. It’s not enough to “quote” Dr. King and cherry-pick text. You actually have to be sincere and in concert with what King believed.
Hilton has simply set his movement back many years for the sake of self-aggrandizement. That’s not the fault of the heterosexual majority, the blame should be laid at the feet of Hilton for his stupidity which trumpets the very insensitivity he allegedly seeks to eradicate. The movement for gay marriage is not better off or furthered because Perez Hilton used and abused Carrie Prejean before a national audience. Hilton only ensured that the fight will be even more arduous and the opposition will have a face and focal point in which to rally behind going forward.
Hilton’s page views are up and his search engine optimization is at an all-time high. But what has the gay marriage movement gained? Correct, absolutely nothing. But don’t blame the new “unofficial” national anti-gay marriage spokeswoman Carrie Prejean, blame Perez Hilton who willingly created her.
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://www.MrMoKelly.com. Mo’Kelly can be reached at Mo@MrMoKelly.com and he welcomes all commentary.
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