Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ron Paul: "This guy's a queer."

I have never enjoyed the humor of Sascha Baron Cohen. I don't think he's funny. Actually I find him rather revolting. His most recent target was conservative congressman Ron Paul.

In this stunt Cohen, playing the gay stereotype Bruno, is supposedly interviewing Paul in a hotel suite when a bulb goes out. While the crew is fixing the problem Bruno asks Paul to wait with him in another room, which turns out to be the bedroom. Paul sits on the bed.

Our stereotype Bruno starts dancing in front of Paul. Paul grabs a newspaper and pretends to read it. Paul asks Bruno what is happening. Bruno tells Paul not to worry and then drops his trousers.

At this point Paul wisely heads for the door. Unfortunately, at the same time, he unwisely makes remarks in the process of leaving, which included calling the Bruno character "queer".

An aide to Paul, Rachel Mills, tried to sell the claim that what Paul really said was "weird" but then she tries to excuse the other term as well. "In any case, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer as Folk... it's not exactly a shocking term." Of course, much hinges on how one means it.

Unfortunately, the press article on this incident is headed, "Libertarians Gone Wild." Paul is a conservative, not a libertarian. And this sort of brand contamination is not good for libertarianism.

Given Paul's relatively consistent record (voting to keep sodomy a crime in D.C., supporting Don't Ask, Don't Tell) and his generally conservative viewpoints on social issues (ban abortion, pro censorship at the state level, denying separation of church and state as a constitutional principle) I suggest he used the term "queer" with the same sort of intentions that a Southern sheriff might call a black man a "nigger."

Paul, however, doesn't win an award for putting his foot in his mouth by way of a bigoted remark. That honor, at least this week, belongs to the police chief in Homer, Louisiana, Russell Mills.

Homer is in an uproar because of the police killing of 73-year-old Bernard Monroe. Police said they wished to speak to Monroe's son who ran into the house. A rookie officer ran after the man, who was not actually wanted for anything. A minute later the officer came out of the house as Monroe was walking up the steps. The officer pulled his weapon and shot the elderly man to death.

Witnesses then say that the police realized they were in trouble. Monroe, a gun owner, always kept in open view on his porch. One of the officers went over to the gun and using a latex glove picked it up. A few minutes later witnesses saw the gun now lying on the ground next to Monroe. One witness says he saw the office pick up the weapon from the porch and asked him, at that time, what he was doing. The officer told him, "Shut the hell up, you don't know what you're talking about."

As you can imagine a lot of investigations are going on. So how does the local police chief handle it. He publicly justifies harassing people just because they are black. He said, "If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names. I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested."

I suggest this moron won't be police chief for long.