In the days following the release of confidential strategy documents from the National Organization for Marriage, the silence from NOM has been deafening. Thus far, their only response to the revelation of their explicit ‘gays against blacks’ proposals and Latino identity engineering tactics has been a few paragraphs buried in their weekly newsletter, and a softball interview with Maggie Gallagher on MSNBC. Most tellingly, everything they’ve said in their defense is completely in accordance with the talking points outlined in their documents.
NOM president Brian Brown says:
Let me be the first to say that the tone of the language in that document as quoted by the press is inapt. Here’s something I know from the bottom of my soul: It would be enormously arrogant for anyone at NOM to believe that we can make or provoke African-American or Latino leaders do anything. The Black and Hispanic Democrats who stand up for marriage do so on principle – and get hit with a wave of vituperative attacks like nothing I have ever seen.
He continues, saying:
To Joe Solmonese and the Human Rights Campaign and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry I would say: This is your movement. You are its leaders. Only you can hope to change the vicious attacks being made on Black and Hispanic Democrats (or white Republicans for that matter!) who don’t agree with you on gay marriage.
This is a textbook example of NOM’s plan to “find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right”, and “provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” So while he may claim it was “inapt” to say that “the strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks”, that’s exactly what he’s doing right now by accusing marriage equality advocates of attacking black and Latino people!
On MSNBC, Maggie Gallagher added: “I don’t like the language because I think it makes us sound way too big for our britches”, and “it makes me seem much more – or NOM seem much more powerful than it is. It’s insulting to suggest that these African American or Latino leaders are standing up because NOM is manipulating them.” But Maggie Gallagher was chairman of the board at NOM when all of these documents were circulated to the board of directors. If she doesn’t like the language, why did she allow this to be published as an official document “prepared by the National Organization for Marriage”?
And if she and Brian Brown think it’s so impossible that NOM could influence black and Latino people to oppose gay marriage, why did NOM budget $1.1 million for targeted radio and TV ads to black neighborhoods, $50,000 for African-American “next generation leaders conferences”, $70,000 for their “black bloggers project”, $180,000 for an African-American outreach coordinator and spokesman, another $180,000 for a Hispanic outreach coordinator, $100,000 for radio and TV ad production under their “Latino project”, $1 million for Spanish radio and TV ads, $100,000 for YouTube productions and viral marketing outreach, $70,000 for PR outreach to Hispanic publications, $100,000 for Hispanic “next generation leaders conferences”, $200,000 for direct mail and email, and another $200,000 on robocalling to Latino zip codes? That’s over $3 million NOM spent on selling their anti-gay message specifically to black and Latino people, and now they tell us they couldn’t possibly make blacks and Latinos do anything. As Joe Biden Sr. said, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Brian Brown had the gall to say: “Rich white guys like Mayor Bloomberg, Tim Gill and Howard Schultz are determined to push gay marriage on us ‘whether we like or not!’” This, coming from a white guy whose multi-million dollar organization privately admits to using black and Latino people as human shields to deflect criticism of the anti-gay movement. A man who intentionally exploits a history of violent racial strife to make people too uncomfortable to call out homophobia is really trying to claim that “rich white guys” are “determined to push gay marriage on us”. This is just one more shameless, disgusting step in their continued attempts to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks”.
And to top it all off, Maggie Gallagher made this asinine offering on MSNBC:
…if we could get together with the gay community and take the idea that it’s bigoted or discriminatory to stand up for marriage off the table, for black people or for white people, we’d be happy to do it.
Yes, Maggie, I’m sure you would be very happy if we believed there was nothing bigoted or discriminatory about calling gay relationships unworthy of marriage. That would just make your job so much easier! It’s no surprise when political figures are out of touch with the public, but it’s really impressive when they manage to be so out of touch with human decency itself.
And throughout their mendacious orgy of denials, excuses and victim-blaming, the most notable thing is what they haven’t said. Not once has anyone from NOM renounced their strategy of turning blacks and gays against each other and making “Latino identity” inherently homophobic. No, their only defense is that they weren’t able to make it happen. It’s not that they didn’t want to, it’s not that they weren’t trying – they just couldn’t get it done. If they honestly wanted to repudiate this, all they would have to say is: “We do not want to drive a wedge between gays and blacks.” But they haven’t. We’re still waiting – and I suspect we’ll be waiting a long time.