Earlier today, I learned via Instapundit that a Nation of Islam official served on the Illinois hate crimes commission. I could not imagine an elected official appointing an active member of that anti-gay, racist and anti-Semitic organization to such a commission. Not only did Governor Rod Blagojevich’s administration appoint this woman, but a few days ago, the Governor himself “expressed support for Claudette Marie Muhammad, director of community outreach for the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim group led by the Rev. Louis Farrakhan.” Blagojevich saw no reason to dismiss Ms. Muhammed although she had “recently invited commission members to attend a Farrakhan speech in which he accused ‘Hollywood Jews’ of ‘promoting lesbianism, homosexuality’ and other ‘filth.’”
The Malcontent‘s Robbie reports that this is the “top story in Chicago today.” So, given the prominence of this story and the fact that Ms. Muhammed is a member of an anti-gay organization, I was certain that such national gay groups as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) and Log Cabin would denounce the Illinois Governor and demand that he remove Ms. Muhammed from a commission whose work is central to their mission.
But, after I picked up my car from the dealership, I returned here and checked their websites, eager to read their strongly-worded statements, but could find no such statements on their websites — or via google searches. It didn’t make sense. I mean, a representative of an anti-gay group invites hate crimes commission members to a speech where a man whom a leftist blogger calls a “hate monger” preaches hate, lumping gay men and lesbian in with filth. (She didn’t invite them to investigate this man’s hate-filled rhetoric, but because she was a member of the speaker’s organization.) And the Governor expresses support for the woman who issued the invitation!
The gay groups should be rushing to condemn him — and her. It would seem they would want it on the evening news while they clamored for a commission to investigate how the Governor could have appointed such an official of a group which promotes hate to a commission which investigates it.
But, as I wondered at their silence, something occurred to me. Governor Blagojevich is a Democrat! And according to the gospel of HRC, NGLTF (and even occasionally Log Cabin), Democrats, by dint of their party affiliation, can’t possibly be anti-gay.
I mean, even though the Republican of Governor of California signed five pro-gay bills, HRC attacked him because he vetoed one which would mandate gay marriage in the Golden State. Meanwhile, that group failed to fault the Democratic Governor of the Old Dominion who, while joining his California Republican colleague in opposing gay marriage, departs from this good Republican (and his noble Connecticut Republican colleague) in also opposing state recognition of same-sex civil unions.
That a Governor would appoint a member of this anti-gay (and anti-Semitic) group to a state commission, particularly one on hate crimes, is troubling (to say the least). That the Governor would stand by her after she invites her colleague to a speech by a hate monger is appalling. That gay groups would remain silent while all this is going on is inexcusable. Given the political affiliation of the Governor, however, this is something we have come to expect from national gay organizations, even the one that calls itself Republican.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
UP-UPDATE: While Log Cabin’s national office remains silent on this topic, Erik Linell, president of the Chicago chapter of Log Cabin writes to inform me that his chapter has asked Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to Remove Farrakhan Adviser from Hate Crime Panel. Linell say that the Governor is “wrong” and “needs to be held accountable” for failing to dismiss Ms. Muhammed:
He expects the LGBT vote and then makes such an insulting appointment. You can bet no Republican governor would ever get a free pass if they made an appointment of this nature. It makes a mockery of the fight against hatred and intolerance in Illinois.
Just as it was when I was involved in Log Cabin, it’s the local chapters doing all the work and standing up to Democrats. Kudos to Linell and his chapter!