Some people simply get better with age and George Takei is one of them. He is high on my favourite person list and his response to former Arkansas school board member Clint McCance, was absolutely classic. McCance recently made headlines when in response to Spirit Day, (a day created to bring attention to the deaths of gay teens) he wrote on his Facebook page:
“Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide,” McCance wrote. “The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”
In responding to a commenter who wrote, “Because hatred is always right,” McCance wrote: “No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.” (source)
McCance has since resigned stating:
“I’m sorry I’ve hurt people with my comments,” he said. “I’m sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum.” (source)
He apologized, but that in no way erases the harm that he did with his homophobic commentary. Not only was what he said absolutely hateful, he was in a position of trust because he worked with children. This is exactly how privilege and isms get transferred from one generation to the next. No child is born believing that homophobia is correct, we actively teach them this on a daily basis.
Hello, I’m George Takei and over the years, I’ve spoken out on civil rights issues from the Japanese American internment to proposition 8 in California. The recent suicides of LGBT youths across the country from anti-gay bullying, compels me to speak out again — in particular against Clint McCance, a school board member in Arkansas — a school board member who publicly encouraged kids to kill themselves. Mr. McCance has since resigned and claims he regrets saying things like, “I enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die.” Mr.McCance, you are a douchebag — that’s right a douchebag. No person, let alone an elected school official whatever their personal or religious beliefs should ever wish death upon another human being. You apologized for your “poor choice in words,” but you are always going to be a total douchebag. I can only suspect that you have some, shall I say issues to work out, so I’ve gone and bought this countdown clock. I predict that sometime soon, you will find yourself in the headlines again — this time caught with some rentboy from some South American country and when that happens, I sincerely hope that you do not kill yourself Mr. McCance because no one should ever wish that upon someone else. And if you are a victim of gay bullying, I say this to you, it does get better and there is help out there. Call the Trevor project lifeline at 866 4-U TREVOR and don’t listen to the douchebags of the world.