Tag: hate speech

Rebecca Bradley: Neglecting her duty and saying that LGBT people should get AIDS

Scott Walker-appointed Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of America’s worst judges.

First off, Bradley is completely neglecting her duties as a state supreme court justice. In one instance, Bradley left the state supreme court chamber while the court was hearing oral arguments in a case before Wisconsin’s highest court to attend an event hosted by a right-wing political organization:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley cut out of oral arguments last week so she could give a political speech to the state’s chamber of commerce — a group that has spent heavily in the past backing conservative candidates.

Bradley refused an interview request, but a spokeswoman for her argued it was routine for justices to leave arguments early. So far, her campaign has not been able to cite an instance of another justice stepping out of arguments for campaign reasons.

[…]

(Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine) Geske, who served on the court from 1993 to 1998, said (to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) justices rarely left arguments early while she was on the bench.

If a justice leaves a state supreme court chamber, it better be for a good reason, such as illness, illness or death in the family, or something along those lines. What Rebecca Bradley did was the moral equivalent of a child staying home from school so that the child could play in the sandbox at home. If the people of Wisconsin don’t tolerate schoolchildren being truant from school, they shouldn’t re-elect a truant state supreme court justice.

Earlier today, the progressive group One Wisconsin Now uncovered multiple newspaper columns that Bradley wrote for the Marquette Tribune, a Marquette University student newspaper, in which Bradley, among other things, referred to LGBT people as “queers” and claimed that people who contract AIDS are effectively committing suicide:

Newly appointed state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley in student newspaper columns 24 years ago said she had no sympathy for AIDS patients because they had effectively chosen to kill themselves, called gays “queers” and said Americans were “either totally stupid or entirely evil” for electing President Bill Clinton.

In one column, she wrote people were better off getting AIDS than cancer because it would get more funding.

“How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments,” she wrote.

You can read more about the Bradley columns here.

The truth of the matter is that not all people who are affected by HIV and AIDS are homosexual, in fact, former NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, who was heterosexual, died as a result of AIDS three years before Bradley wrote those columns. Furthermore, hurling hate speech at LGBT people is a form of bigotry, and that is absolutely unacceptable. Regarding her remarks about Bill Clinton, claiming that Clinton burned the American flag is, to my knowledge, absolutely false.

Bradley’s remarks about LGBT people in 1992 are eerily similar to homophobic remarks that Michael Savage made on an MSNBC program in 2003:

If MSNBC could fire Michael Savage for making homophobic remarks about a prank phone caller, then the people of Wisconsin should fire Rebecca Bradley for making homophobic remarks about LGBT people. The people of Wisconsin will have that opportunity on April 5, and Bradley’s opponent is JoAnne Kloppenburg.

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Bernie Sanders strongly criticizes Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric

From Bernie himself, via a recent campaign email:

I want to say a few things about Donald Trump and specifically about his comments tonight that we should ban all Muslims from coming to the United States, even American Muslims returning home from overseas.

It’s fun for the political media to treat Donald Trump like he’s the lead character in a soap opera or the star player on a baseball team. But the truth is his language is dangerous, especially as it empowers his supporters to act out against Muslims, Latinos, and African-Americans.

Poll after poll shows that I am the candidate best suited to take on Donald Trump and every other Republican running for president.

With multiple opinion polls showing Bernie being the most electable Democratic presidential candidate in hypothetical matchups against Trump, it’s clear that we need to do everything possible to help Bernie to win the Democratic nomination. One thing you can do is vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democracy for America (DfA) online poll. Should Bernie get at least two-thirds of the vote in the online poll, DfA will endorse Bernie.

Refusing to provide a certain type of product is not the same thing as refusing to serve customers because of who they are

In the wake of Republican-controlled state governments in Indiana and Arkansas passing religious discrimination laws, right-wing bible-thumpers have tried to frame small businesses who refuse to bake cakes containing messaging that LGBT people would find highly offensive. The bible-thumpers are doing this by trying to order a cake containing anti-LGBT messaging and, when the business refuses to make such a cake for them, claiming that the business is discriminating against them.

Azucar Bakery, a Denver, Colorado small business that makes cakes and Peruvian-style desserts, was the target of a bogus legal complaint for refusing to make a cake that contained offensive anti-LGBT messaging. Bill Jack, an anti-LGBT bigot from Castle Rock, Colorado, tried to order a cake from Azucar Bakery that featured icing depicting two groomsmen with a red “X” over them and messages claiming that homosexuality is a sin. Marjorie Silva, the owner of Azucar Bakery, refused to write the messages that Jack wanted on his cake, and Silva offered to bake a cake that contained no messages whatsoever and give Jack a pastry bag and icing so that he could decorate the cake with bigotry himself. Jack filed a state civil rights complaint against Silva and Azucar Bakery, and the Colorado Civil Rights Division rejected Jack’s complaint, ruling that Silva and Azucar Bakery did not discriminate against Jack. Azucar Bakery is selling t-shirts with anti-hate messages printed on them; you can buy the t-shirts here.

Cut the Cake Bakery, a Longwood, Florida small business that also makes cakes, has been subjected to threats and negative online reviews for refusing to provide bigoted televangelist Joshua Feuerstein with a cake decorated with anti-LGBT messaging. After Feuerstein uploaded a video of his phone call with Cut the Cake Bakery to YouTube, Feuerstein’s bigoted followers posted negative reviews of Cut the Cake Bakery online and left phone messages threatening the owner of the business, Sharon Haller. Cyndol Knarr, Haller’s daughter, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to support Cut the Cake Bakery; you can donate to that campaign here.

What the bible-thumping bigots in this country don’t understand is that refusing to provide a certain type of product, in this case, cakes decorated with hateful messages that gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people would find highly offensive, is not discrimination, so as long as their policy to not provide certain types of products is applied equally to all customers. What is discrimination is when a business refuses to serve customers because of who they are, such as the Walkerton, Indiana-based pizza parlor Memories Pizza publicly refusing to cater to the weddings of same-sex couples because the people who are getting married are of the same gender. Business owners have the right to refuse to manufacture and/or sell a product that they don’t want to provide to anybody, whether it be because the product in question conflicts with their values or otherwise.

I strongly oppose this effort by right-wing hate mongerers to frame small businesses who are unwilling to sell anything with bigotry and hate speech on it.

Four Minnesota newspapers publish full-page ad calling for transgender people to be banned from playing sports

An anti-transgender group called the Child Protection League (CPL) paid for a full-page ad in four Minnesota newspapers calling for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), the governing body of high school sports in Minnesota, to reject a proposal to allow transgender athletes to participate in high school sports in Minnesota and ban transgender athletes from participating in Minnesota high school sports.

The ad ran in Duluth, Mankato, St. Cloud, and Winona newspapers covering parts of northeastern, central, south central, and southeastern Minnesota.

These ads amount to anti-transgender bigotry, right-wing fearmongering, and hate speech being published in Minnesota newspapers. Unlike the anti-transgender bigots, I firmly believe that transgender people should be allowed to play in sports with athletes of the same gender identity (i.e., transgender people who identify as male should be allowed to play on boys’/men’s teams, and transgender people who identify as female should be allowed to play on girls’/women’s teams).