OpEd: Elite media should look beyond anti-gay reports
by Lawrence Lockman
It's beginning to wear thin: the relentless effort to paint Maine as a hate state where gays and lesbians are in constant jeopardy of being beaten and abused by ubiquitous bigots. Citing nothing more substantial than a collection of meaningless statistics compiled by his office, Assistant Attorney Steve Wessler has persuaded Maine's media elite that there's an epidemic of anti-gay bigotry and violence sweeping our schools and communities.
Now that news reporters and editors have bought into the manufactured crisis, Wessler is busy selling his solution. Once again, he is getting a free ride from journalists whose work has become virtually indistinguishable from gay-activist propaganda.
The truth is that Wessler is abusing the power of his state office to advance the counterfeit victim-status of the Gay Left. Wessler was a vocal and committed advocate for this cause as far back as 1990, when he was a financial contributer to lesbian activist Dale McCormick's extravagantly well- funded campaign for a seat in the Maine Senate. Since last year, Wessler has funneled thousands of dollars in federal grants from the Clinton administration to gay-extremist associates of McCormick posing as "educators" of Maine schoolchildren.
Wessler procured the federal money to set up "civil rights teams" within the schools, ostensibly to combat rampant harassment of minority students. In his grant application, Wessler argued that threats and violence are invariably preceded by a chain of harassment which began with the use of "bias language" both within and outside the schools. "It is this fact which is the genesis for the pilot project," Wessler wrote.
The student teams and their faculty advisors are under the direct supervision and control of Wessler's office, and are required to report the alleged use of "bias language" to law enforcement authorities. There's even an in-school rehabilitation program for offenders. But Wessler has failed to provide his student snoops with any definition of what constituted so-called "bias language."
Guess who will fill in the blanks?
Lesbian activist Betsy Sweet (Dale McCormick's domestic partner and the mother of their child) is the author of the curriculum and training material for Wessler's pilot project. Wessler awarded Sweet a no-bid contract worth nearly $15,000 to do the work. Karen Geraghty, president of the Maine Gay Lesbian Political Alliance, pulled in at least $1,200 for her services as an advisor to the project.
Not surprisingly, Sweet's curriculum is remarkably similar to the diversity-mongering rubbish embraced by educators in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. It can be fairly described as gay-activist sensitivity training imposed on a captive audience of impressionable school children. A thoughtful person, having reviewed Sweet's handiwork, might reasonably conclude that she and her homosexual-activist accomplices have fashioned the perfect tool for driving a wedge between parents and their children.
Since the primary offense--use of bias language--is undefined, gay activists have a blank check to install speech codes that punish any communication they deem to be hostile towards their social and political goals. First Amendment free-speech rights are being thrown overboard to accommodate politically-correct liberal fascism. The process is already well advanced on college campuses, and now it's coming to a junior high school near you.
The Thought Police have arrived. Their mission is to serve as the eyes and ears of Big Sister.
The most compelling objection to this indoctrination program is not the one commonly cited by the religious right, that the curriculum promotes homosexuality as the moral equivalent of heterosexuality--that's been going on for a long time in Maine schools. The Wessler/Sweet project isn't about sex, so much as power. Its objective is to lay claim to victim status and all the advantages it confers. Sweet's curriculum is designed to inculcate the Big Lie of the Gay Left--that homosexuals are an oppressed minority group entitled to the same legal status and benefits as truly disadvantaged racial, ethnic and religious minorities.
Just in case the press hasn't noticed, protected class status for minorities isn't about equal opportunity anymore. Protected classes have evolved into preferential categories that divide America into favored and disfavored groups. Minority status today means preferential treatment in employment, contracting and college admissions, and the ability to threaten taxpayer-sponsored lawsuits against anyone alleged to be guilty of "discrimination."
For the first time in American history, a wealthy and powerful special- interest group is on the verge of hijacking civil-rights law. Gay activists are spending millions of dollars to prove how poor and powerless they are.
And not just their own money, but everyone else's as well.
If we're going to go down this path, let's do it with our eyes wide open in the full light of day. That means reporters and editors will have to re-learn their profession, which is to uncover the facts rather than playing the role of obedient stenographers.
They might want to start with the sweetheart contract Steve Wessler entered into with Betsy Sweet. Or they could look behind and beneath the hate-crimes statistics from the Attorney General's Office. Both areas are fertile ground for any reporter in Maine who wants to earn the title of investigative journalist.
--Lawrence Lockman lives in Seboeis Plantation.
The Bangor Daily News Home Page
Email Bangor Daily News
The Maine GayNet Archive