You know the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say it on Facebook?” Well, Arkansas Midland School District vice president Clint McCance took it to heart recently when he posted some vile antigay hate speech to rival Fred Phelps and his band of “God Hates Fags” loonies.
What set McCance off was a call for supporters of LGBT youth to wear purple in memory of the young people who recently committed suicide after being bullied.
“Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide,” he posted. “The only way im wearin [sic] it for them is if they all commit suicide. I can’t believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed therselves [sic] because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”
Yes, really. Did I mention he was a school board member? Oh, to be a gay kid in Midland. Those lucky devils.
One of McCance’s friends commented, “Because hatred is always right … ” To which he responds, “No because being a fag doesn’t give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then don’t tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I don’t care how people decide to live their lives. They don’t bother me if they keep it to thereselves [sic]. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags can’t procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids [sic] and die.”
Did you catch that last part? He “enjoys” when gays get AIDS and die. Ha ha. You know, typical LOL stuff.
Another friend commented, “You know this is somebody’s kids here how would you feel if they were talkin [sic] about your kids like this. It would make you feel like SHIT.”
No worries, McCance knows exactly how he’d feel. “I would disown my kids if they were gay,” he posts. “They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid Christian beliefs.”
Where these “solid Christian beliefs” will come from I don’t know. Certainly not from their father.
Needless to say, McCance’s comments caused quite a stir, with many people calling for his firing.
A visibly uncomfortable and maybe even contrite McCance appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper and apologized for his comments, saying they were “too emotional” and “went too far.”
As for the terms “fag” and “queer,” he told Cooper: “I know those are hurtful words and like I said, I picked the wrong words to use. And used them poorly. I didn’t bring honor to what I was about.”
I’m not sure there’s an honorable way to wish all gay people dead, even if he had used different words to do it. He also stated that he doesn’t “wish death on anyone” and that “it does look like I’m a hatemonger or a horrible person and that’s not me at all.”
Um, yes. It does look like that. Very much like that, in fact. It’s kind of hard to accept that a person who thinks “Hey, I have a minute to post on Facebook before I head off to this school board meeting and here’s something totally appropriate to say” isn’t a hatemonger. No matter how much he apologizes or whether he resigns from the school board on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
So, yeah. He resigned. And he’s sorry. But the boot print of mistrust and fear on the backs of LGBT school kids, especially those in the Midland school system, isn’t going to wash out so easily.
D’Anne Witkowski is a Detroit-based freelance writer and poet (believe it!).