As anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm gay. When I heard what radio host Michael Savage told his listeners about us, I was chilled to the bone.
No matter what motivation led Savage to say these things on Monday, the result is simple. What he is doing is creating the rationale for the destruction of me and my people.
If his listeners believe him, then at some point shouldn't they consider imprisoning us, or even worse?
Could we call such a thing genocide if it ever happened? I don't know, but I do know that genocides are built on statements just like Savage's.
Media Matters reported Savage's attack.
And I want to tell you something, and I'm going to say it to you loud and clear. The radical homosexual agenda will not stop until religion is outlawed in this country. Make no mistake about it. They're all not nice decorators. You better get it through your head before it's too late. They threaten your very survival. They went after the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is now caving into the homosexual mafia. They will not stop until they force their agenda down your throats. Gay marriage is just the tip of the iceberg. They want full and total subjugation of this society to their agenda. Now, if you want that and if you don't think it's a threat -- believe me, that is what's going to occur in this country.I have to agree with Andrew Sullivan that the importance of this quote becomes clear if you substitute the word "Jew" for "homosexual."
Savage's words remind me far too much of what I learned in 2000 when I interviewed several social psychologists at the University of Kansas. The story was published in Catalyst Magazine and is long gone from the web. However, I still have a copy.
KU Professor Chris Crandall's studies are the most relevant to Savage's quote. Crandall studied the influence of social norms and leaders on prejudice and people's actions.
"People report almost exactly the amount of prejudice that the culture tells them is OK," Crandall told me.
The role leaders play is crucial, he said. With their actions and rhetoric they can either discourage prejudice or promote it. Ethnic groups in Yugoslavia and Rwanda had not only tolerated one another, but also had lived together peacefully for years until suddenly the norms changed. Leaders began to openly promote intolerance, even encourage discrimination against certain groups.
"When that happened," Crandall said, "the population changed its behavior very quickly."
I can't say how much of a leader Savage is. But if his listeners believe him, what will they do? Will they see themselves in a life and death struggle with me because I threaten their "very survival?"
Yet, all I'm doing is getting up, going to work and going home. I see my son once a week for dinner. I'm planning Thanksgiving and the celebration of my son's 21st birthday. I don't want to hurt anyone. I certainly don't want to take anyone's religion away, but what happens if people believe what Savage says?