I’ve been disturbed by a blog post written and forwarded to me by someone I know (“Steve”) who has worked for my nonprofit. I read it about a week ago and it was pretty late at night and I am sure I was pretty tired. But regardless I had this overwhelming urge to respond to his post. I wrote a response but did not submit it to his blog, which was a long post about how gays and lesbians are horrible people and sinners, etc.
I know Steve would like to get a full-time position with us in the fall. This young man is exemplary in so many ways and a very intelligent and affable hard worker. However I do not think it is appropriate to hire someone who publicly spouts such discriminatory material.
Let me know what you think 🙂
Transplanted to Texas
Thank you for your email, your time on the phone this morning and the links to the blog in question. I wish I could post the link here for everyone to see, but I don’t think it’s right to put this young man on blast for a few reasons:
1. Your identity will be obvious if he ever reads my blog, although that’s doubtful because I think he spends most of his Internet time on grindr. More on that in a moment.
2. He is young and naive and obviously doesn’t grasp the irony of his dual status here: member of a historically oppressed group of people (black) and oppressor of another (fashionable men and very unfashionable women).
God-damn it Ellen, you can do better!
3. I don’t want to promote these anti-gay ideas by passing them along. Also, I don’t promote other writers’ blogs. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and I’m out for the Number One Bitch.
I poked around on the Internet and this young man is pretty impressive. He came from a large, poor and VERY religious family and made his way through college on his own dime and hard work. He seems to be deeply committed to the causes of equality and social justice, at least insofar as racial minorities go. Gay folks can apparently go suck a bag of dicks as far as Steve is concerned.
Since Steve forwarded his blog to you, you have every right to comment upon its contents. My advice to you is to have a conversation with this young man that is non-confrontational yet educational. If you are not satisfied that he will be able to treat equally and respectfully everyone who works at or comes into contact with your nonprofit, I would go with your gut and not hire him in the future. You might want to check your website, though, because he is currently listed as a “Director.”
Steve uses the Bible to justify his position that homosexuals are deviant sinners. My suggestion is you send him some more modern-day literature. For example:
Sociology for the South, written by lawyer George Fitzhugh in 1854. Mr. Fitzhugh, a southern lawyer and a bit of an eccentric, believed that slavery was good not only for slave owners, but for the slaves themselves.
Fitzhugh did not care for capitalism – not one bit. He believed capitalism created a system of vast social inequality which could only be alleviated by a system of universal slavery, including enslaving whitey! My favorite Fitzhugh quote? “Nineteen out of every twenty individuals have… a natural and inalienable right to be slaves.”
How about something a little more modern? In 1957, William F. Buckley, Jr. posited that southern whites were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, where they do not prevail numerically,” because the white race was “for the time being, the advanced race.”
I could go on and on. When women created the suffragist movement, do you know who the most vocal opponents of women getting the vote were? Women.
This is a great learning opportunity for Steve and for you as well, because making difficult management decisions are part and parcel of running a successful organization. Call him up, bring him in and explain why the material he is publicizing makes working for you impossible. Show him the historical justifications for treating groups badly and try to reason with him regarding how inappropriate it would be for a member of your team to promote discrimination.
Steve has every right to express his views about homosexuality, but he does not have any right to work for your organization. The problem with the Internet is that everything we put out there is stored and easily retrievable by future employers and a whole host of other people, including those who would contribute towards or approve grants for your nonprofit.
If Steve wants to hurt his chances for continuing the good work he’s done for you by promoting the anti-gay agenda, so be it. However, I think it is profoundly unwise to hire this man while he is making such discriminatory proclamations about homosexuals, especially since the purpose of your nonprofit is to lift up and benefit the disadvantaged.
On a final note, I read the entire blog and Steve seems very preoccupied with gay men and what they do to each other.
He also posted a VERY long poem about a struggle to remain “pure” that included the lines:
“the pain is unbearable”
“I can’t let anyone know”
“the secrets I keep”
“praying that God covers my tracks.”
If Steve’s goal is to remain firmly planted in the closet, I sure as shit hope God does start covering his tracks, because blogging this poem alongside his ranting about homosexuals isn’t exactly selling me on his heterosexuality.
Good luck and let me know what happens. And keep up the good work!