VIDEO: Kirk Cameron: My remarks on gays not hate speech interview on NBC Today Show Mar. 20, 2012 (See blog post by Wayne Besen, "Crazy Kirk Cameron Says He Loves Gay People on Today Show," posted Mar. 20, 2012) The actor and producer best known for his role in the 1980s sitcom "Growing Pains" talks about criticism of his recent reference to homosexuality as "unnatural."
My letter to the editor (see below) was inspired by President Obama's introduction to the Cartoon Network documentary that can be seen at Cartoon Network StopBullyingSpeakUp.com (Note: this link redirects to www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/promotion_landing_page/stopbullying/index.html) The home page says: "Stop Bullying: Speak Up. How do you stop bullying? Just by speaking up! If you or someone you know is a victim of bullies, tell your parents, teachers or another adult you trust. By letting other people know about it, you can help make sure it stops. Join Cartoon Network and help us spread the word about bullying awareness and prevention with Stop Bullying: Speak Up."
Also see the opinion columns by:
- Jay Michaelson, "Can suicide be a hate crime?" Newsweek, Mar. 19, 2012, published online Mar. 12, 2012 as "Is It Fair to Punish Dharun Ravi Because Tyler Clementi Died? Dharun Ravi may be a jerk, but he shouldn't go to prison for it."
- Michelangelo Signorile, " Tyler Clementi and the Dharun Ravi Trial: Why the Verdict Is Just," posted Mar. 19, 2012
- John Aravosis, "CNN's Piers Morgan takes down Kirk Cameron's bigotry, deliciously," AmericaBlog posted Mar. 21, 2012
My letter to the editor below is on bullying and President Obama's appearance on the Cartoon Network special about bullying (NOTE: this is the unedited version -- the printed newspaper version had edited out the Kirk Cameron section, probably to fit the layout space.):
I sincerely commend President Obama for introducing the Cartoon Network television documentary, "Stop Bullying: Speak Up." Children tell their own stories of being bullied.
Boys, in particular, routinely risk being physically assaulted if they are perceived as acting "so gay." Girls can similarly suffer for not following society's prescribed gender role.
Both Obama and the program instructed kids to tell an adult, teacher or principal. However, the children said that adults would often blame the child instead of the bully.
One child also blamed himself for not being able to "man-up and fight back" as his father instructed him. The boy intuitively knew this would only cause insensitive adults to blame him, not the bully.
Self-loathing homophobia is insidious. For example, movie star Kirk Cameron, an artistic and effeminate man, is clearly trying to prove he is not gay by biblically condemning gays and constantly bragging about his six children.
Hate and bullying can lead to more tragic results, such as the suicide of a Rutgers student. Another student was convicted of a hate crime and faces a potentially harsh sentence for what some dismiss as "normal locker-room teasing."
Even partisan LGBT columnists are asking the judge to compassionately send the right message by giving justice to all instead of vengeance. Nobody wins with bullying.