Earlier I blogged about a black actress’s self-deprecation in the Vagina Monologues presentation at my school and wrote a Skiff article about bigotry in the vanguard of the GOP, especially in a place like Tarrant County, Texas. An article from the other day reminded me of these two instances and prompted me to write this post about all of them and the common theme they share. Dan Savage, leader of the It Gets Better Project, went on an anti-Christian rant about the Bible’s views on homosexuality at a high school journalism conference, prompting a walkout by about 100 people. Like the previous two instances I mentioned, this is a terrible embarrassment for the gay rights movement, as it makes the rest of them look anti-Christian when a leader of a major organization makes such statements.
It should be noted that many instances on the other side of the political spectrum have troubles of their own, like Rush Limbaugh calling someone who advocated for free birth control a “prostitute.” In my view, both Savage and Limbaugh are factually correct in that the Bible is strongly anti-homosexual and stealing from others (through taxes) to pay for a product that one uses for their own sexual practices (different from actual health need) is, by a literal interpretation, prostitution. However, both made mistakes in saying it so bluntly. From a PR perspective, image is everything, not veracity. Both of these men gave their causes a bad image as a result, as did the black actress and the GOP big wigs I mentioned earlier.
The demands of professionalism and a squeaky-clean image remove the liberties of saying what really needs to be said, which is an unfortunate yet true reality. It’s up to those in high places, or just in the spotlight (as in the Monologues example) to keep their audience in mind and plan accordingly.