Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell, whose claim to fame is his bizarre campaign against the University of Michigan's openly gay student body president, is a perfect example of hatred. After he started getting attention for his website devoted to picking apart Armstrong's life, I checked out his website, which is full of the hallmarks of hatred - nitpicking, obsession, double standards (every time a gay person speaks, it's "harassment"; when a homophobe speaks it's "exercising their First Amendment rights"), hyperbolic language, and hypocrisy.
Hatred doesn't only go in one direction; there are plenty of liberals who have plenty of hatred for the right. I think we're witnessing a period of time when liberal hatred is higher than it has been in a while, what with all the frustration towards the Democratic Congress and the president, and it's toxic and does nothing to help anyone. That's not to say that it outweighs the hatred the right has for everyone else (if there were a Hating Olympics, conservatives would win the gold in every event), but it's important to realize that our criticisms of others are usually based on degree and not quality, that if we're going to "call out" someone else for something we don't like we should be completely willing to examine our own faults as well.
But I wanted to post on Shirvell because his site is filled with so many of those comments that I see on the internet, especially on traditional media sources' stories on LGBT people, that I usually chalk up to the internet just vomiting. It's easy to forget that there are actual people in front of their computers, with families and jobs and hobbies and tastes and pets, typing something like "If GOD wanted man to commit SODOMY He wouldn't have cleraly condemmed it in the BIBLE!!" The internet hasn't brought us closer to one another in the most productive way possible - it forces us to interact with people who we can't see and don't know, eliminating any possibility of us putting ourselves in their shoes. It has, in that sense, isolated people.
So it is nice to see the person behind some of those comments. This one just happens to be a successful attorney.
Going back to Shirvell's hatred of Chris Armstrong and gay people generally, here's a photo he spends over 1700 words deconstructing along with some other, more minor complaints:
He accuses Armstrong of being "disrespectful to police" based on that photo, not omitting the fact that Shirvell assumes that the officer is African American and accuses Armstrong of being racist. It reminds me of all those time rightwingers have taken a single photo of Obama out of context to show that he's bowing to the wrong leader, being disrespectful to the wrong world leader, or checking out a woman. They work themselves into a lather over those photos, not even bothering to check the context or video to see what actually happened outside of that split-second in time in ways that appear humorous to outsiders because we're not looking at the photo with hatred and therefore we don't see the same thing.
In this picture I see someone looking at a phone near an officer, that's it, but then I don't hate Chris Armstrong like Andrew Shirvell does.
Just in his most recent blog posts, he writes about how police went to a party Armstrong was at because of alcohol and noise, calling it a "SCANDAL," as if no other college party has ever been too noisy or had alcohol. In another recent post, he takes a sentence Armstrong made in a speech about how college is about "self-discovery" and accused him of promoting self-absorption recruiting "your sons and daughters to join the homosexual 'lifestyle'" (lifestyle is already the word they made up to deride gay people, so does putting it in scarequotes cancel out that effect?). In yet another post, he calls Armstrong a "Klansman" because some drunks at a nightclub "glared," "shouted," and took his anti-gay sign away from him (if his account is to be believed). Armstrong wasn't even at the club, so I don't really see the connection other than that Shirvell assumed the people who glared/shouted at him were "homosexuals," therefore "supporters of Armstrong," but that's the mind of a hater.
This man is clearly sick, and to be sick doesn't mean that he's evil but it does mean that he shouldn't have his hands on the levers of power in Michigan's criminal justice system.