Say what you will about Kim Davis, the small-town Kentucky court clerk who was recently martyred into a prison cell for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. George Takei, social media's superstar, had some choice - and educational - words on the subject.
While he aptly points out that Davis's religious stance has no merit in civil servitude, he also addresses the media circus surrounding Davis and the conservative pundits who regard her as a modern-day Rosa Parks.
The absurdity of comparing a private citizen like Parks, standing her ground to move a nation forward, to an elected government figure abusing her place to turn back the clock, is barely worth mentioning. I don't want to give the Extreme Right any ideas, but I'm surprised few have mentioned the bevy of court clerks and government officials, including Pennsylvania's own Bruce D. Haines and Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who refused to uphold their own sworn duties on behalf of progress.
Perhaps the Right knows the difference, and knows that attempting to draw a parallel would only expose the fact that those like Kane and Haines were standing their ground to extend rights to more citizens, not to encroach upon those rights under the unconstitutional context of religion.
Whatever the case, Takei drew a profound parallel between Kim Davis and a character from the Civil Rights Movement, and it wasn't Rosa Parks, it was George C. Wallace. But Davis isn't Wallace. Wallace was a cunning politician, a monster, really. Our comic book villains wouldn't be nearly as enthralling if they weren't so smart, and Wallace was one of them. The Alabama governor who infamously blocked black children attempting to enroll in recently integrated schools was a savvy politician. Once endorsed by the NAACP, Wallace found more success in politics by dropping the N-bomb than embracing integration in the Deep South.
As evil as you might think Kim Davis to be, she's a small-town court clerk with a spotty history plagued by divorce and infidelity, and she found a new sense of being through religious devotion. She's also not accustomed to the spotlight and, after landing on the splash page of every major news outlet in the world, was spoon-fed a to-do list by a powerful group of mercenaries using her for their own political gains.
Kim Davis is no George Wallace. She's not devious enough, and probably not evil enough. She's flawed, she made an errant judgement, and when that judgement hit the press, the Extreme Right nailed her to the cross of their own self righteousness and paraded her through the streets like a puppet.
Look, I'm as gay as they come, in that I'm a dude who digs dudes. But I'm also a human being, and as much as I shouldn't say it, I feel bad for Kim Davis. Not because of the scrutiny she's receiving for defying a Supreme Court order, not even because she was sent to jail. But because she's being scapegoated by the Left as everything that is still wrong with this country, and crucified by the Right as a martyr.
The real muck, the real evil, the real bad-guys, are the politicians holding her hand. Those spinning her, brainwashing her and her fans into believing they're trailblazers that history will only remember as nothing but bigots.
There is a fallout zone surrounding great shifts in social order, and the collateral damage isn't solely heaped on the formerly oppressed. There are those who are detached, confused, and uninformed, those like Kim Davis who need time to adjust to the change. The real monsters are those who exploit that confusion to incite fear for their own personal gain. The Huckabees and the Cruzs, the hypocrites like Wallace who pander to the sheltered and promise that change and tolerance is something to be feared.
I'd like to share a beer with Kim Davis, and all the Conservatives who've been groomed to believe that same-sex marriage is un-American. It's unfortunate that in an age where "bully" is a Leftist buzzword, the Leftist press is so quick to corral small-town Americans into a corner and beat them to a preverbal pulp. If we could all just share a few drinks with each other, we'd all be better people.
I grew up in the South. I was born in Birmingham. I went to a small college that happened to be in the last county in the United States to cede integration, and the lingering effects of political exploitation are evident in Prince Edward County, VA to this day. But being a Southern born and raised gay guy, I've had the pleasure of meeting plenty of people like Kim Davis, people with principles - fractured as they might be - who've gone on to form new religious convictions that accompany those of us that they came to realize - through knowing us - are human: good, bad, and flawed like everyone else.
Kim Davis is probably a very nice lady who's never been friends with a gay guy or a lesbian, and because of the press that lauds her, scrutinizes her, and the the politicians that abuse her, she probably never will. If she did, she'd be a better person. To borrow a line from a famous movie, "Sometimes all it takes is a fairy."
Michael Solomonov: The Culinary Emissary
3 hours ago