New York Magazine has an article about “Grooming” is the 2022 take on the 1950s and 1960s Lavender Scare of the Sen. McCarthy and Anita Bryant era. It worked for the Republicans back then and now they are at it again stirring up their hate. There were over 300 comments on their Facebook page and growing most of the comments are coming from very angry conservatives spreading their hate.
The Long, Sordid History of the Gay Conspiracy Theory Today’s right-wing campaign against “groomers” is America’s latest moral panic.
New York Magizine
By James Kirchick
May 31, 2022
A specter is haunting America — the specter of sexual degeneracy.
Across the country, Republican state legislators are proposing bills to prohibit discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms, purportedly to “protect” students from the perverted designs of predatory gay teachers. Prominent right-wing activists bandy about groomer as a term of opprobrium, accusing their political adversaries of trying to sexually exploit children while invoking hoary stereotypes of gay men being pedophiles. According to PEN America, a third of the books banned in public schools over the past academic year contain LGBTQ+ characters and themes. And in a troubling sign that a movement once confined to the fringes of American politics may be shaping its contours for years to come, some 30 candidates pledging fealty to QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory envisioning a ring of cannibalistic child-sex traffickers at the heart of the American republic, are running for Congress.
Sensing political opportunity, some Republicans in Washington have exploited the passions brewing in the provinces. During last month’s confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley attempted to outdo each other in flinging accusations that the newest addition to the Supreme Court had betrayed a soft spot for child-sex predators during her tenure as a federal district court judge. Outgoing representative Madison Cawthorn raised eyebrows with his tales of “the sexual perversion” — specifically, cocaine-fueled orgies — “that goes on in Washington.” Responding to news of an infant-formula shortage, Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, blamed “pedo grifters.”
Moral panics are nothing new in America. “We ought to learn by our mistakes,” President Harry Truman bitterly complained in 1950 as Senator Joseph McCarthy accused him and his administration of knowingly harboring communist subversives. “We’ve repeated this sort of hysteria over and over in our history,” Truman continued, reeling off a series of dates referring to the Salem witch trials, the Alien and Sedition Acts, an Anti-Masonic Party presidential campaign, the cresting of the anti-Catholic Know Nothing movement, the founding of the Ku Klux Klan, and the first Red Scare.
While McCarthyism would exhaust itself several years before the death of its namesake in 1957, a concurrent mass frenzy, chillingly resonant with the present-day fixation over sexual degenerates atop the commanding heights of American politics, would continue for decades. In December 1950, just a few weeks after Truman issued his gripe about the perennial susceptibility of his countrymen to moral panics, a Senate investigative subcommittee released the bipartisan report “Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts in Government.” Commissioned in response to the shocking revelation, uttered in passing by an undersecretary of State at a congressional hearing earlier that year, that the State Department had dismissed 91 employees on the grounds of homosexuality, the report stated, “One homosexual can pollute a Government office.”
And it is starting up again the Republicans know that it worked once demonizing a whole population of people to get votes and campaign donation so they are try it again.
What is different from back then is that now violence has been added to mix of fear and hate. Look what happened in Idaho…
Idaho officers getting death threats after arresting 31 Patriot Front white nationalists near Pride event
The majority of the threats being made appear to be from groups outside of the local community, the Coeur d’Alene police chief said.
By Doha Madani
June 13, 2022
Idaho police said they've received death threats since arresting 31 men affiliated with white nationalist group Patriot Front near an annual LGBTQ+ event over the weekend.
Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White spoke to reporters Monday, saying that his department has fielded about 149 calls in the aftermath of the arrests. He said about 50 percent of the calls have been praise from the community, who offer their names and express pride in the department.
"And the other 50 percent — who are completely anonymous, who want nothing more than to scream and yell at us and use some really choice words — offer death threats against myself and other members of the police department merely for doing our jobs," White said. "Those people obviously remain anonymous."
Officers have also received threats of doxxing, a practice in which someone publishes personal information such as phone numbers or addresses online, White said. The majority of the threats being made appear to be from outside the Coeur d’Alene community, according to the chief.
It all started with a 911 phone call of men loading into the back of a U-Haul truck…
"This one concerned citizen rather than pulling out their phone and recording this for their 15 minutes on YouTube — or Snapchatting it or something like that — took the time to call 911 to report some suspicious activity," White said.
"And as a result, we likely stopped a riot from happening downtown."
That is what is different, social media, guns, and hate it is a deadly mixture.
PBS also had an article on the hate.
Online right-wing extremists amp up anti-LGBTQ rhetoric during Pride Month
By Rebecca Boone, Associated Press
June 13, 2022
Around the same time, a lawmaker from the northernmost region of the state, Republican Rep. Heather Scott, told an audience that drag queens and other LGBTQ supporters are waging “a war of perversion against our children.”
A toxic brew of hateful rhetoric has been percolating in Idaho and elsewhere around the U.S., well ahead of the arrests of the Patriot Front members at the pride event Saturday in Coeur d’Alene.
In the same way that it mobilized against Black Lives Matter in the nation’s capital in December, the Patriot Front harnesses what’s in the news cycle — in this case, drag queen story hours, disputes about transgender people in schools, and LGBTQ visibility more broadly.
A “massive right-wing media ecosystem” has been promoting the notion that “there are people who are trying to take your kids to drag shows, there are trans people trying to ‘groom’ your children,” Lewis said.
The rhetoric has been amplified by right-wing social media accounts that use photos and videos of LGBTQ individuals to drive outrage among their followers.
Several posts have falsely sought to label teachers and librarians who accept the LGBTQ community as abusers or groomers of children. Others have lambasted pride events or drag performances as “depraved.”
One photo shared widely on social media this week falsely claimed a “Drag Queen Story Hour” performer flashed their genitals to children while reading aloud. But the photograph, from a suburban Minneapolis library in 2019, clearly shows the performer was wearing tan undergarments.
They are generating hate, just look at Board of Education meetings, those peaceful commission meeting have turned combative. Reuters reported that…
Local school officials across the United States are being inundated with threats of violence and other hostile messages from anonymous harassers nationwide, fueled by anger over culture-war issues. Reuters found 220 examples of such intimidation in a sampling of districts
People are taking there anger out on anyone who opposes them, the intimidation preventing good people from speaking out.
The NY Magazine goes on...
As the long tail of the “Lavender Scare” demonstrates, and what the current spate of bills stigmatizing gay people as sexual predators lamentably still shows, fear of homosexuality has played a large, yet largely unappreciated, role in American politics and society. It has impacted not just gay people but the country itself, poisoning perceptions of reality and dividing us unnecessarily. Thousands of qualified people lost their jobs, and untold numbers more refrained from entering public service because of the irrational terror homosexuality once inspired in the hearts of most Americans.
Center to all this hate and violence is the right-wing belief that sexual orientation and gender identity is a choice. Even after all these decades people still believe that we choose to be gay and that people can be converted to be LGBTQ+ that is where the term “grooming” comes from the belief that it is a “lifestyle.” They still believe that “Gay” people (I use “Gay” people because the haters don’t see any difference between gay, trans, and queer.) are like rabbits having sex with anything that moves… or doesn’t move. They don’t not believe that “Gay” people are in long term relationships. They still see us as “mental illness” and since many of them are evangelical Christians as immoral.
Much in the way QAnon has emboldened a new generation of far-right media outlets dedicated to exposing the depraved sexual peccadilloes of America’s corrupt ruling class, so did the Eulenburg affair mark a major moment in the ability of the mass media to instigate and shape populist passions. By leveraging public anger over an elite circle of “pederasts,” the German popular press exerted unprecedented influence over traditional institutions of authority such as the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the military. In 1914, five years after the furor subsided, the Berlin correspondent for the New York Times observed that “the upheaval caused by Harden’s revelations was the most stirring victory wrought in the name of public opinion which Modern Germany has yet witnessed.” Some faulted the attitudes inflamed by the scandal for the policies that plunged the Continent into war. In 1933, the year another authoritarian and militaristic political movement took power in Germany, the pioneering gay-sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld reflected that the Eulenburg affair was “no more and no less than a victory for the tendency that ultimately issued in the events of the World War.”
As fascism spreads once again it need hate to grow on, it worked in the 1930s and it is working again; liberals are morally corrupt and conservatives carry the sword of Damocles to strike down the unmoral.
What is different from the 1950s is that we are now on the verge of being a one party country, over half of the states are controlled by one party dominating the state legislatures by a super majority. And they are solidifying their control by gerrymandering, and controlling who can vote.
For those engaged in it, the moral panic over “grooming” accomplishes what earlier iterations of the Homintern, like any conspiracy theory, did: offer soothingly simple explanations for perplexing phenomena. If the latest anti-gay hysteria could be attributed to a single statistic, it would be the one reported by Gallup last year that the percent of adults identifying as other than heterosexual has doubled over the past decade from 3.5 percent in 2012 to 7.1 percent. Much of this increase owes to the 21 percent of Gen Z that identifies as LGBTQ+. While it’s certainly possible the LGBTQ+ proportion of Americans born between 1997 and 2003 is twice that of millennials and nine times that of baby-boomers, a more likely explanation is that as societal acceptance of nonnormative sexual orientations and gender identities has increased, so has the propensity of young people to claim those orientations and identities for themselves — or at the least experiment with them.
Many of the comments on the Facebook page commented on the rise of the LGBTQ population as proof that we are grooming children. And totally ignore the fact that many LGBTQ+ people feel safer to come out because it goes against their narrative of grooming. They see all the Pride events as “grooming” and drag queens reading at libraries as recruitment.
One of the driving forces is that conservatives fear change, they are stuck in the 1950 image of the “Father Knows Best” where Blacks knew “their place” and LGBTQ people were tightly closeted and anything other than the lilly-white Christian imagine of their dreams they fear.
I don't like writing about hate and violence, I much rather write about the good times. However, I feel it is important to know what we are facing out there, all this anger is directed at forcing us back into the closet and I feel that we have to stand up to the violence.
We can do that by getting out the vote.
I never was a member of a political party but I realized that we can only bring change about in the ballot box and as an activist I realized that I had to join a political party. I also realized that it took more than being a party member, you also had to take an active part.
I worked for the US Senate campaign of Lamont against Lieberman and I again when he ran for governor. I have gone to Washington DC twice to lobby for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) once in 2008 and again in 2014.
You cannot and sit on your butts, we need everyone to take an active part in the upcoming elections… stuff envelopes, drive people to the voting places on election days, on the phone banks, going door-to-door and wherever they needs you.
Lives depend on winning the national elections! Can you imagine what the Republicans can do with control of the federal government, you thought Trump was bad, in today’s climate it will be even worst with the anti-trans and anti-LGB legislation they could pass.
I am worried about the future of our country.