January 21, 2010
By Rick Jacobs
Back at 10:15 after the break
David Thompson (T): Reads NYT story about the ugly specter of people getting death threats and white powder being mailed and boycotts. Does that make the LG position tougher?
Dr. Gary Segura (S): To the extent that these acts make the already weak position of the LG community weaker, I’d agree with you. Boycotts are separate. Difficult to imagine the success of the civil rights movement without the Montgomery Bus Boycott. We can all the way back to the 1770s when women in Boston organized a boycott of English tea to see that boycotts are often instruments used by weaker parties.
Judge Walker: Just occurred to me since T is exploring this line of questioning, have you considered the riots and vandalism and other inappropriate behavior associated with the civil rights movement and associated largely with blacks and how that affected civil rights movement?
S: Yes. Any form of violence or disorderly behavior has a negative impact on the public. Non-violent protests play better. That said, it is conceivable that such outbursts may serve the long-term impact of the group. Eg, post Rodney King violence that spurred “Rebuild LA” that brought about investment in south LA. Not endorsing such acts, but there are times when such acts express powerlessness.
Judge: Is it possible that the effects Mr. T describes had the same effect?
S: I’m a little concerned about making that leap. First, Mr. T mentioned NYT article of things that occurred after Prop. 8. We’ve heard Mayor Sanders talk about vandalism at his house, about Ms. Zia being attacked. Heritage Foundation reports about violence against Prop. 8 intellectually dishonest because did not take into account any acts against NO side. We know there were over 100 hate crimes reported in 2008.
T: Reads LAT article by Steve Lopez saying that police were called because of El Coyote boycott.
S: I have no problem with underlying boycott of business that makes money from gays and lesbians that used that money against them. If it got out of hand, not good.
T: Reads LAT article about teacher who called kid a fascist for supporting Prop. 8 after the election.
S: Yes, adverse publicity against a group is not good.
T: Reads definition of hate crime. Assailant is trying to create sense of fear… Trying to show that hate crimes were committed against majority.
pPlays Bill O’Reilly, who says courts want to support gay marriage, there is no doubt. Brings on 21-year-old guest who is Christian (named Christine Cloud) who plays Christian music and has been doing so in Castro for three years. We don’t stop people. “Are you trying to convert from being gay to straight?” “No, but we are hoping they’ll accept Jesus Christ and have that revelation.” “We wanted to be sensitive to these people. We were singing Amazing Grace. Man took my bible, “hit me upside the head with my bible, knocked me on back and kicked me.” Police arrested guy, but I said I would not press charges, that I forgive you.” O’Reilly tries to say that police should have arrested him. She says police did not see crime. “I don’t know if we are going to be back. We are going to use wisdom, we know it is a politically charged situation.” BO: “You turned the other cheek.” ]
Boutrous: Objects. A number of Mr. O’Reilly’s questions were leading.
[LAUGHTER, but B made the point perfectly.]
T: May fit my your definition of hate crime?
S: Might, but it could also be like yelling fire in a crowded theater. If an AA approached an Anglo and said, “You racist bastard you are evil” and then that person hit the AA, not a hate crime. I don’t know what to make of that video.
Judge: (In annoyed tone) Very well, can we move on Mr. Thompson?
T: Document in TIME Magazine. What happens if you are on gay rights enemies list? AA, 70% of whom voted yes on Prop. 8 according to CNN exit poll, racial epithets have been used against blacks, some of whom are fighting to repeal Prop. 8.” Bad?
S: As I keep saying anytime there is adverse publicity, not helpful.
[Just need to point out here that the 70% number has been debunked. About 57% of blacks voted for Prop. 8. The church relationships as disclosed yesterday also help to explain the vote of the black community. Thompson is trying very hard to show that gays hurt ourselves because we were violent. He’s saying that we are bad for us, but he does not take into account that a group that has been put down for so long by so many gets frustrated. Did Stonewall, which was violent, help our cause? Of course it did. Does vandalism help our cause? No. Should we be violent? No. But again, Mr. Thompson is trying to say that gays are powerful and hurt our own cause.]
T: Reads from Time Magazine story about the Cabinet, a secret cabal of rich homosexuals who met with two sitting governors in California at the same time. Doesn’t that show power?
S: It is clear that if people have money, politicians will show up to take it.
T: We can agree on that.
T: Tries to show that homosexual power is evidenced by the increase in AIDS Funding.
S: Deeply troubled by your assertion that this somehow shows political power. This is a disease that has ravaged and killed people all over the world and its incidence continues to grow. So the increase in funding is likely due to the fact that AIDS is so dangerous to so many.
T: Doesn’t right of adoption exist for gays and lesbians in 40 states?
S: Yes, but those laws predate gay movement. Adoption laws silent in those states about gay and lesbian adoption. Says one man or one woman may adopt. I predicted that once the anti-marriage movement peaked, the next frontier would be anti-gay adoption. Arkansas unfortunately proved me right. Florida, Miss., Oklahoma, Arkansas have taken this up by ballot measure. More will follow.
T: Goes through hate crime incidence rate of hate crimes. Jewish population per census is 2.2%.
S: I dispute this. Table you presented under this next tab has to do with religious observance so I think it’s 4-4.5%.
T: So there is a higher incidence rate of hate crimes against gays and lesbians less than Jews. Notwithstanding hate crimes against Jews, Jewish community is politically powerful?
T: Look at African American rights in 1964 before civil rights act. Do you think gays and lesbians in California in 2009 are better off than AAs before the passage of civil rights legislation?
S: Depending upon your definition of “better off,” yes.
T: Shows that before civil rights there were two AA members of congress when AA were 10% of population.
T: Women had between 10-16 members of House and 2 women in senate maximum before 1975 in 1970s.
T: Women are less cohesive group that gays and lesbians.
S: I suppose.
T: Talked about politicians making disparaging remarks about gays and lesbians, most specifically Tom Coburn?
T: Can you identify one statewide elected who made negative comments about gays and lesbians in last quarter century?
S: I would be shocked if there were zero. I don’t have encyclopedic knowledge of everything said in last 25 years.
Judge stops Thompson from putting in an article questioning whether its time to go to Supreme Court, apparently written by opposing counsel. “That’s at the edge of the pale, Mr. Thompson.” Judge is not happy with the way Thompson is handling himself.
T: Young people will support homos?
S: Quite likely that in time we will have majority that support gays and lesbians.
T: “shift in opinion (to support gays and lesbians) was frankly astounding.” Article by S:
S: Yes, but read on.
T: Reads on. Support for at least civil unions climbed to at least 61-64%. Outright opposition to any recognition dropped to 29% when President was reelected largely on anti-gay wave.
S: With respect to subject matter about which I was writing, correct.
Theodore Boutrous (B): Explain what that article is about.
S: Article was about civil unions. Once Massachusetts had a court ordered adoption of gay and lesbian same sex marriage rights, support for civil unions climbed partly as a strategic move by those opposed to marriage. That notwithstanding, there has been growth in public support for gay unions.
B: Do the views in that article affect your views of powerlessness of gays and lesbians?
S: The fact that attitudes toward gays and lesbians are changing for the better is good, but does not always have to move in one direction. There can be ceiling and floor.
B: Civil unions similar to enhanced domestic partnerships later passed in CA.
B: What happened to Grey Davis to whom Mr. T referred before as having signed D bill?
S: He was recalled from office.
S: Regarding boycotts, when you teach a course on American political history, David Thoreau’s civil disobedience and it was used again by AA and by Cesar Chavez t help grape harvesters.
B: Boycotts were used as a means for AAs to achieve equality?
S: Boycotts are difficult to maintain. They only work if there is long term and wide spread adherence. One of strategies by whites in south was to insist that their African American domestic help to shop at white boycotted stores. One of ways they resisted was to wear maid’s uniforms to show that they were not breaking boycott.
B: MLK preached a philosophy of non-violent actions. Were there times when certain members of the AA community engaged in violent activity even though MLK wanted non-violent?
S: First, remember that MLK rose to prominence due to Montgomery Bus Boycott started by Rosa Parks. He was chair of boycott. Notwithstanding, some AAs lashed out. Did it help cause? No. Bad PR? Yes.
B: Does fact that AAs engaged in boycotts suggest that they were powerful?
S: No. Powerful people do not do that.
B: Is this activity deeply entrenched in our history?
S: Boston Massacre was British troops opening fire on a protest mob.
B: Talks about Claiborne Hardware Case of 1982 v. NAACP.
S: Reads: “Boycott of with merchants at issue in this case too many forms. Nonviolent.”
S: Speech itself was also used to further the aims of the boycott. Nonparticipants repeatedly were urged to join the common cause via churches and to join via social pressure….
B: Supreme Court found that the speech and boycott were protected under 1st Amendment?
B: Hardware sued because NAACP caused violence that spilled over. Supreme Court found for NAACP.
S: (Compares with violence and vandalism against Prop. 8 supporters.) Not clear that the violence and vandalism are applauded by American political process. Individuals sometimes behave badly. Individuals whose emotions run high frequently behave badly. Not endorsed or supported by No campaign.
B: Any electoral effect of the cases Mr. T. mentioned?
S: I know of none. Some individuals may have been motivated to vote based on those acts. Doubtful in the extreme that this would have affected outcome of Prop. 8 Idea that lots of people changed their minds from no to yes on 8 because of vandalism is almost impossible. Some might have, but not enough could have.
B: Refers to Heritage Foundation.
S: Conservative think-tank. I do not know of the author. Never heard of him. Heritage Foundation backgrounder does not conform to social scientific standards. In a social scientific journal, we’d want to look at evidence selected. Flaw in logic where you only study cases in which incidence occurred. Imagine if we wanted to study the cause of war, must look at cases where war did not start as well as did start or could not learn why wars start.
B: Do you think news reports Mr. T put up could have reached enough viewers to change outcome of election?
S: Almost impossible.
B: T only put up examples of harassment of yes side, but here’s Ms. Zia’s testimony from last Friday that shows that she was harassed.
S: Need to look at acts of violence and harassment on both sides. Takes me aback that someone would walk up to someone on the street and say you are going to burn in hell. What’s the right response to that? Have a nice day?
[NOTE] I’ve moved over to a new thread, where Judge Walker lets the Gathering Storm video be played.