I'm Confused...

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,

I'm Confused...

A few days ago I replied to a comment to Michelle S. She was politely pointing out her point of view on the proposition 8 battle, and I was happy to hear her out. I think we both handled the conversation nicely, pointing out our differences and agreeing to disagree like adults.

As many of you notice, I usually include an image or two in my posts to keep things interesting, and when I posted the reply to Michelle S. I used this equal sign to emphasize my thoughts on equality...



It never once crossed my mind that anyone could see this for something that is wasn't... an equal sign. Well, Michelle S. sent me this message yesterday...

Andee,

When I first saw your response to me, I didn't initially recognize what the symbol at the top of the blog entry meant. I intuitively saw it as a symbol of equality but didn't really take in any further in my mind. Then when I was watching news coverage of the demonstrations that have begun all over the country by advocates for gay marriage, I saw the symbol on some extremely hateful and awful signs. Some were so raunchy that the stations clouded out the words. I tried to be very respectful in my discussion with you and thought you would return the favor. Before I go any further, I wanted to ask what your use of that symbol meant.

Michelle S.

I was confused. What else could an equal sign mean? I replied:

Michelle,

It's an equal sign. It symbolizes equality. I have no idea what else you might think it means... ?

She replies back:

Andee,

The sign that I saw the symbol on was just very hateful, and as you have rightly stated, that type of behavior is not going to further anyone's cause. It just struck me because the symbol was drawn exactly as it looks on the posting and I was unnerved by it and hoping that what was written below it on the sign wouldn't be something you'd align yourself with. Even as you've disagreed with people on religion and sexuality, you've always been thoughtful and respectful, which is why I like reading your blog. If more people could express their thoughts and frustrations about what they view as inequality in this world, maybe they would be taken more seriously.

Michelle S.

My first thought was, "How could anyone think I am hateful?"

Oh, I know that believing Mormons think I am going to burn in Hell for showing photos of garments, but hateful? Of course I wouldn't align myself with something like that. It's just an equal sign?

I replied:

Michelle,

Is there a web link to this sign you saw? I am interested to see it.

I am a firm believer that everyone has the rights to say what they want to say, even if it's hateful and spiteful. It's when those beliefs and actions hurt others that I draw the line, and that is exactly what the Church did in Prop. H8 IMO.

Would you mind explaining it? I am curious because I can't imagine what you are talking about...

Andee
Her reply:

Andee,

The sign was shown during television coverage of a rally in Chicago. The sign had the symbol on it and then below it was the caption, "All Bigots Should Die." And like I said, most of the signs held by this group were blacked out so you couldn't see what was written. Given how lax the guidelines have gotten about what is appropriate on television these days, it must have been pretty bad if it didn't pass muster.

If a person held up a sign that said, "All Gays Should Die" people, at the very least, would have snatched it away from the person holding it in a nanosecond! So I found it odd that a group that is so against being judged and shown such intolerance would then sling that type of language against others in their quest for equality. And I agree that everyone has the right to say whatever they want, no matter how hateful or spiteful, but if you are trying to engage people in meaningful conversation in order to affect a change in attitude, slinging such awful statements around is not the way to do it. Civility in ones language and attitudes will go much further in keeping lines of communication open in order to get ones point across and hopefully be able to affect the change they are looking for.

Michelle S.

Wow.

So, people in Chicago made a sign, put an equal sign on it, and said that people who were being bigoted should die? How is that even remotely promoting equality? Of course I wouldn't align myself with that.

Here's the thing, shouldn't my blog and the things I have said about this issue stand on their own? Just because some jackass used the same symbol I used in ONE of my articles says bigots should die does NOT mean I agree with him... Duh... Why would anyone think I would agree with that?

I have not seen the sign Michelle S. is talking about, nor do I really care to see it. I am curious if anyone else has seen it, and thought anything similar to what Michelle S. brought to my attention... have you seen these hateful signs?

Since I am a member of the SigningForSomething.org team, I need to make it clear that we don't promote hate of ANY kind. That is the only thing I am concerned about at this point. Although, to assume I have the same views as someone else just because we used the same icon is laughable at best.

Michelle,

I hope it would be fairly obvious by the things I have said on my blog that I wouldn't want anyone to die.

I have stated over and over that everyone has the right to their opinions as long as those opinions don't harm the rights of others.

I have to say that just because they used an equal sign and I used an equal sign doesn't mean I agree with their agenda.

It saddens me that you would even think that, for many reasons...

Andee


7 comments:

  1. Demand More Says:

    So that sign is the official logo of the Human Rights Campaign. They are a coallition of people, anyone can join, and they fight for human right. Sadly people will use this log in horrible ways also, but really, people use logos all the time and put horrible images with them. Just because some idiot wants to use it on his sign doesn't mean it is a bad logo.

    Also, most the time at the rallies held by the HRC they sell picket signs that are blank expect they have that logo on them. I know you can also order the signs with the logo on and add your own mess on the internet.

    I would never see you as hateful. I also think you are very fair in your writings. Really, I see positive signs and speeches with that logo attached quite a bit too.

    Forgive my misspellings, I have a killer headache. Need diet coke.

  1. Andee Says:

    Ahh, thanks for the info Demand More!

    This makes more sense to me now. All I did was go to photobucket and do a search on equality. This is what I got. I had no idea it was the official sign of anything... hahaha...

    By the way, I have a killer headache, too. I am also in the need of Diet Coke.

    Cheers.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andee,

    I never said that you were hateful in any way. Quite the contrary actually - which is what I was trying to say with my question. I guess I should have been more clear. The reason I was so surprised to see the logo on your site was because I had seen it used in such a hateful way and I have never, I repeat, never, seen any writings from you that would put you in the same realm as the people who were carrying the signs in Chicago. So my motivation in asking the initial question was just to clarify your use because, as I said, it was contrary to anything I had seen from you up to that point and it was confusing to me.

    I love your site and the links you have on it have led me to some other really great blogs. You have shown that we can have honest, intellectual conversations and as you said, agree to disagree in the end if we have to. The art of conversation and the gift of artful debate have been lost in this society to a great degree and I just hope to be able to keep coming here for the enlightening banter I have come to enjoy.

    Michelle S.

    P.S. What did you think about the upcoming Morman Musical?

  1. Andee Says:

    Michelle,

    I am happy to hear that you didn't assume I was hateful. It did seem as if you were asking me to explain my use of a symbol that I had no idea would be associated with so much ignorance.

    I do believe that the people who used the symbol or icon in their picket signs probably did so without the group's knowledge. It's certainly not a good way to spread the word of equal rights...

    The only reason I made a new post about this is because I a am more than associated with SigningForSomething.org, and I would be sad to hear that people associated that icon with hate and then with signingforsomething. I just wanted to make it clear that there was no connection between them.

    I am not angry or upset with you in any way, sorry if it seemed that way.

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Some of the worst signs (and language) I've seen was from LDS members. I've also seen the cross symbol used on many gay-hating, foul-mouthed signs. (i.e. God hates fags, fags die god smiles, etc)

    No one is lumping ALL Christians (or Mormons) together, as representatives of that hate. I feel like Michelle was a bit extreme in her response. The equality signs means just that - equality. People have, and will always abuse symbols (equal sign, the cross, etc) to promote a hateful message, but most intelligent beings can separate the extremists from the rest of the crowd. I hope that Michelle can do the same, as I have reminded myself that Mormons are not all as hateful as the Mormon families I saw - that stood outside their church chanting "Equality for all EXCEPT FOR GAYS!" Or the fact that is was Mormon boys who killed Matthew Shepard.

    It's amusing to see the Yes on 8 people continue to make themselves the victims in all this.

    That "all bigots should die" protester is no more a mascot for the LGBT/Equality-focused community, than Matthew Shepards murderers are mascots for the LDS community.

    Your blog has never been hateful. Ever. For Michelle to twist your intent around, so that she (and her community) appear the victims is really disappointing.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andee,

    No problem - I think we are good on where we were both coming from :)

    Hey, I love the Christmas Motif on the blog but where did all the cool links go?!

    Michelle S.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    If you had read the dialogue between Andee and I a bit more closely instead of jumping to the obvious completely inaccurate conlcusion that you did, you would see that the very first time I asked her about the symbol, I was asking her out of concern because I KNEW that she was NOT a hateful person. You would also have noticed that not once did I speak to her in an inflammatory or accusatory way regarding the symbol. I gave her a chance to explain her use of the symbol before I jumped to an erroneous conclusion - and she did - respectfully - unlike you!

    I did not once portray myself as a victim - you need to go back and reread my posts before you go slinging mud because now you just look ignorant! In fact, I even admitted to Andee that I couldn't come up with an intellectual arguement against homosexuality or gay marriage. Would a hateful victimized person give in to that thought? I think not!!!!!!!

    It's people like you who immediately jump to a conclusion without fully investigating a situation that puts activists in a bad light!

    Michelle S.