Do you remember in last week’s column, when we talked about Florida state representative/ McCain presidential campaign co-chair Bob Allen? The guy who sponsored a bill to tighten Florida’s public sex laws, and recently got busted for offering a male cop $20 to blow him in a public bathroom?
The story has taken an almost surreal turn. According to the Orlando Sentinel (and a big thank you to the Bilerico Project for the story and the link!), Allen is now claiming that the scary black men made him do it.
I’m not kidding. Quote:
“‘This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park,’ Allen, who is white, told police in a taped statement after his arrest. Allen said he feared he ‘was about to be a statistic’ and would have said anything just to get away.'”
My question is this:
Let’s back up for a moment, and take this one piece at a time.
First of all: Racist.
That’s just obvious, and I don’t have much that’s interesting or original to say about it. So I’ll simply say it once more and move on for now: Racist.
Allow me to quote from the police report:
“I was standing against the far wall of the stall. Allen closed the door behind him and stood against it. I said ‘what’s up’ and Allen said ‘Hi.’ Allen then said ‘this is kind of a public place isn’t it.’ I said ‘do you have somewhere else where we can go?’ Allen said ‘How about across the bridge it’s quite [sic] over there.’ Allen engaged me in a conversation in which he agreed to pay me $20.00 in order to perform a ‘blow job’ on me.”
Just to clarify: This conversation happened after Allen peered over the cop’s stall — twice — and then pushed his way into it. (Read the whole story for more details.)
And he’s telling us he was frightened of the big scary black men and trying to get away? Liar, liar, pants on fire. This guy was cruising.
Which brings me to my central point:
Just how stupid does he think we are?
I’m reminded of something I wrote during the Ted Haggard kerfuffle. When Haggard’s “counselor” said that, after three weeks of therapy, Haggard discovered that he was “really” completely heterosexual and that “It was the acting-out situations where things took place,” I had this to say:
“Right. Because straight men “act out” by sucking cock all the time.
“No, really. It’s a natural stress response. Long hours, money problems, illness in the family, trouble at home? Every straight guy I know would be running to the nearest male prostitute to suck his cock. It’s a perfectly normal reaction. Very common.”
And that’s exactly my reaction to Bob Allen’s latest statement.
Right. Every guy I know, when he’s in a public place in a situation where he feels threatened, tries to get out of it by offering the purported threatener $20 to suck his cock. I mean, that’s just self-preservation. It’s not like he actually wanted to suck the guy’s cock. He was simply trying to defuse a potentially dangerous situation.
Really. You’ve done that, guys… right? You’re in an alley or a deserted park at night, you see a guy you think might be a mugger… you offer him $20 to give him a blowjob. It’s in all the police brochures on urban safety. It’s just plain common sense.
I said it about Ted Haggard, and I’ll say it again now:
Just how stupid does he think we are?
So here’s what I think is really going on.
I think it’s a bad enough PR problem for Allen’s Republican constituents that he was in a public bathroom offering $20 to suck another man’s cock. But I think it makes the PR problem worse, by several orders of magnitude, that he was offering $20 to suck the cock of a black man.
That’s not just faggotry. That’s race treachery. Not something you want to screw around with in the Republican South.
And I think that’s why he’s offering the “scary black men” defense.
I don’t think the “scary black men” defense is racist by coincidence. I think it’s very deliberate. He’s trying to play on his constituents’ racism — and in particular their racist fears of black men’s sexuality — by shifting the perception of the incident, away from “middle-aged man offering $20 to suck a black guy’s cock in a public bathroom,” and towards “panicked victim of potential mugging or rape by big scary black men, handling it as best he could.”
That’s an image his constituents can probably identify with. And he’s hoping they will. He’s trying to create a smokescreen of racist sex panic that his constituents can sympathize with… in hopes that the racist sex panic will be more emotionally compelling, and more what people want to believe, than the image of the right-wing crusader for sexual morality secretly cruising the public toilets for men to suck off.
I just hope that his constituents aren’t as stupid as he thinks they are.