This is a blog of populist and liberal information and ideas, advancing the cause of truth and justice while fighting the ugly tyranny of right-wing oppression in Oklahoma and its surrounding environs.

Rinehart Continues Oklahoma’s Gay Bashing Tradition

Image of Brent Rinehart

(Isn't it time Oklahoma college students get a break on rising tuition rates? Read DocHoc's commentary this week in the Oklahoma Gazette.)

“…lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom.”—U.S. Senator Tom Coburn during his 2004 campaign

“I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”—U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe on the Senate floor, June 6, 2006

“I honestly think it’s [homosexuality] the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, which I think is a big threat.”—State Rep. Sally Kern’s comments posted on Youtube, March 7, 2008

“It sounds to me that Brent’s political enemies like the homosexuals and liberal good ol’ boy politicians have tried to criminalize everything he’s done.”—from a 2008 reelection “comic book” prepared by Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart

Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart, who faces a trial on felony charges, says he is going to use a self-written comic book disparaging gay people as campaign material in his reelection bid.

In the comic book (you can access it here), an angel and Satan battle over, well, the righteousness of Rinehart’s campaign. The angel is on Rinehart’s side. (No, I’m not making this up.) Rinehart targets gay people and his supposed political enemies, such as Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

Rinehart, a Republican, pictured right, faces felony charges for allegedly participating in the illegal funding of his 2004 campaign, according to media reports. The trial on the charges is slated for September.

Rinehart, who said he plans to mail the comic book to voters, told a reporter for The Oklahoman: "The history of my office is that I do expose the homosexual agenda, and that it does exist in the state of Oklahoma, and my history also would show that I am very much opposed to the homosexual agenda.”

The comic book is bizarre and hateful. It reeks of misguided paranoia. It is poorly written and poorly drawn. It is an Okie spectacle on a grand level, and it has already made national news. Here we have an Oklahoma county commissioner, who is facing felony charges, putting together an anti-gay comic book in order to convince people to vote for him.

But the larger issue here is Oklahoma’s corporate media outlets and most state leaders have allowed prominent Republican politicians to consistently scapegoat gay people. These prominent politicians, such as U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, do so without any real penalty in terms of media support. (Read the above quotes and follow the links.) They, in turn, create the dark, hateful un-cultural milieu that gives rise to Rinehart’s and Kern’s anti-gay rants. This damages the state’s image. It teaches our children hate and intolerance.

To its credit, The Oklahoman has editorialized against state Rep. Sally Kern’s recent controversial remarks about gay people. It also published an editorial criticizing Rinehart’s comic book. It provided a pdf file of the comic book as a download. But it is simply not enough.

Until the prominent political extremists, such as Republicans Inhofe and Coburn—not just the small-timers, such as Rinehart and Kern—are held accountable by the corporate media structure and other state leaders here, the gay scapegoating will continue. This means the corporate media must vehemently oppose politicians, regardless of their party affiliation or stances on issues, who disparage gay people out of bigotry and hate. Only in this way can the state restore its current national image as a place of hatred and intolerance.

Rice Takes On Billboard Bully

Image of Andrew Rice
(Isn't it time Oklahoma college students get a break on rising tuition rates? Read DocHoc's commentary this week in the Oklahoma Gazette.)

“It would have been naive to think we could have permanently transcended our differences as Americans out of 9/11, but it is not too idealistic to hope that we could have found common ground on how to protect our country and preserve our common values.”—state Sen. Andrew Rice.

State Sen. Andrew Rice, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, has written a courageous response to a Florida man who has put up billboard advertisements with the message “Please Don’t Vote for a Democrat” beside an image of the burning World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Rice’s bother, David, was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Rice, 35, pictured right, who is running for the U.S. Senate this year against incumbent Jim Inhofe, 73, criticizes Mike Meehan’s “divisive and desperate attempt to scare Americans” with his right-wing attacks.

Image taken from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-rice/my-brother-was-killed-wit_b_113305.html

“There are those in politics who will continue down this road because they simply have nothing else to offer,” Rice writes on the The Huffington Post. “They have no coherent policy to marginalize extremism in the Middle East. They show no willingness to ask Americans to commit themselves to the shared sacrifice that is needed to deal with the climate crisis and transform our energy policy. They have no message except to demonize their political opponents and, in turn pollute America's faith in our otherwise inspiring democratic process.”

You can read the full post here.

The Oklahoman Matters






Here is a link to a story about the lawsuit. Here is the apology given on the site maintained by the Husker fan, James Conradt.

(The above video is a spoof, parody and satire.)

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