Dana Milbank is one of the reasons we can't ever have an honest debate. He and his fellow Villagers love to play the "everyone does it false equivalence" game. His latest suggests that while it was wrong for the Family Research Council to blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for last week's shooting, it really isn't very nice of the SPLC to call the FRC a hate group.
Milbank seems to have a problem with the aggregation of Stormfront, the KKK, Aryan Nations, and a fine upstanding Christian group like the FRC. Because somehow racial hate is hate-ier than homophobia, in his mind.
I disagree with the Family Research Council’s views on gays and lesbians. But it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church. The center says the FRC “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.” Exhibit A in its dossier is a quote by an FRC official from 1999 (!) saying that “gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
Offensive, certainly. But in the same category as the KKK?
To which I answer, yes. Simply look at what they say, the language they speak, and the harvest they reap.
In 2011, the LA Times reported that violent crimes against gays and lesbians had increased by 13 percent in one year. And those weren't robberies or theft. They were things like this:
An 18-year-old gay man from Texas allegedly slain by a high-school classmate who believed his friend was making advances toward him; a 31-year-old transgender woman from Pennsylvania found dead with a pillowcase around her head; and a 24-year-old lesbian from Florida purportedly killed by her girlfriend’s father, who disapproved of the relationship.
Harvested hate, right there.
You don't think any of that was sparked by statements like this one, do you, Dana Milbank?
Rather, Perkins says, there is another factor that leads kids to kill themselves.
"These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict."
Homosexuality is "abnormal," he says, and kids know it, which leads them to despair. That's why he wants to confront gay activism in public schools. For example, his group supports the Day of Truth, when Christian high schoolers make their case that homosexuality is a sin.
Nothing hateful about saying kids are "abnormal" for being gay. Nah, nothing at all. Substitute the word "black" or "hispanic" in there for the words "gay" or "homosexuality". Tell me that doesn't read like the hate Mr. Milbank says is "legitimate hate" as put forward by groups like Aryan Nation or the KKK.
Or this, which gets a double hit on Muslims and LGBT individuals in one single swipe. Nothing hateful there? Nothing the KKK or Aryan Nations would do?
Perkins: The Islamists and the homosexuals work out of the same playbook. They knew that if what they do and what they subscribe to is scrutinized, people will turn away from it, so what they want to do is they want to marginalize and eventually silence anyone who challenges their ideology and their agenda.
I can't think of a more apt candidate for a hate group than the FRC as represented by Tony Perkins. He goes on the air at least once a week and slams the LGBT community in ways that we would never, ever tolerate if he were aiming at the Latino or African-American community. If it were either of those two groups, there would be an outcry and clear hate group identification. But because Perkins chooses LGBT people to aim at, people like Dana Milbank are allowed to whine about how the SPLC might have been too harsh.
If anything, the SPLC has been mild. Just watch what comes out of the mouths of Tony Perkins and his cohorts over the span of a week. It's hate, it's hate writ large, and it's intended to steep their followers in it, keep them engaged, and keep them ready for battle. Who will they battle? Teh gays, of course, and their librul supporters.
Get out of the village, Dana. Live with the real people in the real world for awhile. Quit pretending hate comes in color and not other flavors.
Update Here's a bonus: James Fallows thinks there may be progress toward breaking the false equivalence barrier. Hope springs eternal.
Update 2: From the comments, a pointer to John Aravosis' excellent post about how the Family Research Council lies.
What did I find when I went through the original sources cited in the footnotes? I found that nearly every single footnote was a lie. Not a lie in the conventional sense - meaning, they didn't make up a source that didn't exist. Rather, they did things like quoting a damning opinion from a judge in a court case without mention that the judge was in the minority, that the gays had actually won the case they were citing.