Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Obama Tells Heckler to Hollar at Others

A couple of nights ago, President Obama was heckled in Los Angeles during a fundraising speech he gave on behalf of California Senator Barbara Boxer who is facing a tough re-election bid.

The heckler was peeved at Obama for not repealing "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays and lesbians in the military. President Obama told the heckler that he was in the midst of doing just that. But when the heckler persisted Obama said, "It would make more sense to hollar that to the people who oppose it."

So it seems that President Obama thinks it's perfectly alright to heckle people with whom you disagree as long as you don't heckle him. I'm afraid his skin isn't getting any thicker.

At least one blogger believes the heckler was a plant. I disagree. The LGBTQ community is peeved with Obama over both "don't ask, don't tell" and for defending the Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, a week ago at the Cantab a poet named James Caroline was handing out flyers for a planning meeting. A week of direct action is planned for the week of May 17-22 (Harvey Milk would have been 80 on May 22nd).

Tonight, I am planning to read James (or J*me as he likes to be called) a poem which focuses on Ronald Reagan's role in the defeat of Proposition 6 in California in 1978. Milk's role in mobilizing people against the Prop 6 was, of course, the centerpiece of the film Milk which starred Sean Penn and garnered him an Academy Award.

I hope it will get J*me to look at Reagan in a new light but I have few illusions. Even though I'm in general agreement with the Cantab poets and their audience when it comes to gay rights somehow I don't think it will matter. I am sure I will be heckled for opinions that aren't mine. It's par for the course. But that won't stop me from trying.

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