Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Conservatives Call for Violent Response to Glitterers

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | June 20, 2011 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Andrew Breitbart, Get Equal, GetEqual, Glenn Beck, glitter, glittering, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, Rachel Lang

gun.jpgConservatives have every right to be upset about their candidate Michele Bachmann being "glittered" by LGBT rights activist Rachel Lang of Minnesota. This is clearly an "over-the-top" tactic that involved the indignity of (almost) getting colored confetti on her Sunday-best, and worse, calling unwilling attention to her ex-gay and anti-gay rhetoric.

But the conservative response is going far beyond outrage about rainbow glitter, indignity or off-messaging. Their calls include not only demands for jail, but extend to calls for assault, assault with a weapon, battery with intent to commit bodily harm, corrective rape, shooting and hanging. On at least one website, the workplace of the glitterer has been published online, along with oblique suggestions of retaliatory violence against her.

Who Are The Violent Ones?

There is no recognition of the fact that the vast majority of the calls for violence, as well as the recent actual violence has, in fact, come from the right. The shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The assassination of George Tiller. The bomb planted along the MLK day parade route in Spokane. The Glenn Beck follower who got into a shootout with police after being stopped from attacking the Tides Foundation. The Unitarian Church murders. The arson attack against the mosque construction site in Tennessee. Rocks thrown through the windows of the offices of at least three or four congresspeople and one local Democratic committee. The antigovernment/militia father and son who bombed a bank in Oregon, killing two police officers and wounding a third. Another anti-government father-son duo who murdered two police officers who stopped them on the freeway. The tax protester who flew a plane into an IRS building. The anti-Obama right-wing nut who killed three police officers in Pittsburgh because he was convinced that Obama was going to institute a fascist state.The Hutaree militia members who conspired to murder police officers as the beginning of a war on the government. The murder of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum by a neo-Nazi. Mail bombs sent to Janet Napolitano and other administration officials.

But no matter, the glitterers are the "violent" ones who deserve to be shot, hung, stabbed, raped, beaten and jailed.

Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck Get Angry

Mike Huckabee himself argues vehemently that glitterers should be jailed.

Meanwhile, on Glenn Beck's The Blaze website, it calls for arrests. Commentators advocate violence, and this refers to nearly all of the hundreds of comments, not merely a few here and there. One calls GetEqual a terrorist group, and suggests sending them, as well as police officers who fail to prevent glittering, off to Guantanamo Bay prison:

"This group "GetEQUAL" should be held accountable for supporting, aiding and training terrorists to do terrorist acts. It doesn't matter if it's glitter or anything else because it could just as easily be something deadly that they attack with and if they get to believing that the cops will not do anything at all to them, that will empower them to use deadly force soon and then the cops should also be held accountable for the terroristic acts! Put them ALL in Guantanemo with the other terrorists!"

Here are a number of other individual comments, and that is just on the first page of ten pages of comments:

...[The] left would be looking at their very violent end. I think that would be the spark that would open the floodgates to anarchy.

...you'll get lead thrown back at you...you come at me with some crap like that, you're history.

...this is exactly what Concealed Carry is for: our self-defense against these democrat deviate criminals..

Bust a few heads and they'll stop.

BreibartTV.com Says It's Open Season On Liberals

Andrew Breitbart's website showing a video of the glittering features comments posting Rachel Lang's workplace address and suggesting violence against her. Here are some of the comments:

...start taking liberals down en masse

...someone is going to get dropped like a wet sack of cement. Got it pinkos?

They should of tackled her and led her off in chains

...you silly little proggies are going to get tackled and beaten to a pulp!

...Secret Service should have tackled her arse to the ground (and I'm talking about a linbacker takedown)

The Congresswoman's protectors should have shot and killed this liberal bitch

Well, I say screw the lawsuits ...tis OPEN SEASON - every second of every day until these mean-spirited, anti-American bastards either leave this country or change their evil ways.

I forgot Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords. Liberalism is corrosive on all levels. On the street, in the courts, and in all levels of government.

I need to stock up on some of that hollow-point glitter.. (nudge-nudge, wink-wink)...

...Taser, arrest, jail and prosecution for assault

...I say we nominate the next lib male troll here to try and get her back into men

...those knuckleheads needs to be leveled by security...a bloody nose or a sprained arm

Personally, I would have tased her

If I was security, I would have done a 'Bill Goldberg spear' ( youtube it) on that hermaphrodite and then rubbed that glitter in her eyes in the 'struggle'.

Maybe if some of them do 10 to 20 in Maximum Security, it might change their minds. Although a gay person in prison might think he's in a candy shoppe.

I'd say something about "lock and load" or "crosshairs" ...but I'll save that for later. Let's get 'em !!!

MichelleMalkin.com Says Beat The Sh*t Out of Them

Michelle Malkin's website, which tried to make the point that the glitter never actually touched Rep. Bachmann, also had a majority of comments advocating violence. On MichelleMalkin.com:

A really hard Dick Butkus style hit that blows the perp about 20 yards away in a pile of pain? Glitter should stick pretty well to the bloody pulp.

A attack by glitter should be treated equally with a chemical attack.

...on the receiving end of a right hook.

...I pray the next person who pulls this stoopid stunt gets the ever loving sh*t beat out of him.

Another conservative website, Weasel Zippers, also has a majority of comments advocating violence:

Really???? I would like to welcome glitter girl into the broken front teeth hall of fame.

...SLAP THE TOTAL SHIT OUT OF THE LOSER FREAKS

Secret service should jump them hard, take them down

Bachmans people should have put this person down in a heartbeat...

I would love to throw everyone of the code pink bitches off a cliff

Somebody get a rope.....

Someone should have tackled the dumb bitch

This Is Not Just A Few Angry People

Make no mistake, this is not simply a few disgruntled, angry and violent people, this is the Conservative zeitgeist, a worldview which revels in anger about a changing world, use of law to demonize those whom they view as different - African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants, gays, the poor, and, when they think no one is looking or it is somehow justified, violence.

The Glitterers are exposing something much more nasty than simply anti-gay rhetoric. This is anti-gay rhetoric stretched paper thin over anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-liberal violence. It is just waiting and yearning to be brought out. And make no mistake -- it will come out. Now is the time to call it out.

This is the maelstrom into which we are all descending, regardless of how reasonable we may be. Sure, glittering is over-the-top, undignified, and even improper if it puts someone in reasonable fear of bodily harm (though that is unlikely), but violence it is not.

But that don't make no never mind to these people, to whom violent thought is a habit, calling for violent deeds is a political modus operandi, and who are silent when their violent thoughts and calls for violence result in violence, instead seeking for some way to blame the "liberals" for the violence they created but for which they seek to disown responsibility.

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Jillian I guess I've missed something as I don't quite understand the point of throwing glitter at someone who you known will NEVER change their point of view to me it's kind of pointless and gets the opposite reaction of what you want which is support for your cause, it instead fire's up the opposition and makes them even more adamant in their intent to fight against everything you want or believe. Its kinda like poking a rattlesnake with a stick...don't be surprised if you get bit.

Brandi, glittering is not about changing the anti-gay person's views, it's about calling attention to those hateful views.

This has to be one of the most ironic comments I've seen in a long time...

Wow... the response is even stupider than the initial act... but as Gwynne Dyer pointed out, that's the intent of most insurgent tactics: Provoke a retaliation that delegitimizes your target.

I hate to spoil this "But I didn't do anything wrong" party, but ...

... if verbal abuse is violence, if bullying is violence, if anti-gay fire-and-brimstone is a form of violence, if the emotional absence of a parent is violence, then "glittering" is also violence.

It is an act of force done in spite of the target's objection.

Now, I am not saying it is equal to other forms of violence, nor am I claiming that people are physically harmed by it -- but like throwing your drink in someone's face during a cocktail party, it is not a civilized thing to do under unprovoked circumstances.

I regret all the anti-gay crap that Michelle Bachman spews out, but until she creates an immediate threat and danger by pointing to a particular person and yelling, "Kill that fag!" she is exercising free speech -- and this is America, after all.

Glittering shouldn't be used on "merely" political opponents, because it corrodes the standard of civil discourse that this country so desperately needs to adhere to in times like these. If it were used on a Jesse Helms or Jimmy Swaggart who was just caught with a male hustler -- that's a different situation.

Still violence against political opponents. Doesn't matter if you detest the guy. I'm not going to shower Dr. Zucker with confetti made of reprinted children's death certificates, despite the fact that his program at CAMH puts people, children at the time, at risk of severe emotional damage and an increased risk of suicide and other self-hate related death.

I'm not going to soundbomb Janice Raymond's house with Olivia Records productions that Sandy Stone had a hand in.

Just because something is apropos and makes you snicker, doesn't make it the kind of action that one should take in a democratic society.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 20, 2011 10:35 PM

Any attempt to compare the violent behavior and violence inducing hate speech of christer and rightwing bigots and childish pranks like pie throwing and glittering is dead wrong on all counts.

Right-wingers like Limbaugh, Huckabee, Beck, Gallagher and others are trying to reintroduce brownshirt politics of the into US political life as they did in the 1930's and 1950's, Their goal is to build a mass middle class based for a future fascist movement. (Middle class does not mean working class, it means small business owners, professionals and etc.) They have to be taken seriously and glittering or pie throwing doesn't cut it.

In order to survive what dominationists and theocrats have in store for us (think Uganda) we have to break from the twin parties of bigotry and encourage our allies to do the same. The AFL-CIO has already taken steps in this direction, threatening to cut Democrats off at the knees if they don't stop busting unions, which they won't.

Secondly we and our allies have to create and build united, militant mass movements and actions to unite our own communities and cow our enemies. The passage of the limp Hate Crimes Bill followed immediately on the heels of the last March on Washington which terrified both the WH and Congress. They were afraid, and correctly so, or what the 2010 elections would bring, a drop of 30,000,000 voters for the Democrats from 2009 to 2010.

Glittering doesn't cut it. Nor does silence in the face of calls for violence by the right.

What if she said the equivalent of "jail that fag for holding me against my will"?

(its on the front page as the quote of the day, lol)

Since glittering is a form of assault, I expect that a little jail time might be a reasonable possibility -- especially if the corrupt, local justice system has right-wing connections. And if we want to glitter, then we shd be prepared for the consequences.

Remember, these are virtually Nazis we are dealing with.

Marja Erwin | June 21, 2011 4:00 PM

Well, having been assaulted by neo-Nazis - and I don't mean glittered - I know they shove, kick, and beat people, and there's no frakking comparison between that and getting glittered.

What is an appropriate, reasonable protest action? Remember Anita Bryant getting a pie in the face? How about the journalist throwing a shoe at George Bush. Does the end justify the means? How did our country come to exist? Glittering is a rather innocuous action not so different from yelling at someone, holding protect signs, etc. Still is it an appropriate tool of protest?

What I think is truly surprising, is the extreme and violent rhetoric of some. Such reminds me of the bullying which I endured on the playground in my younger days. Why is it that some resort to physical violence doing bodily harm in order to persuade others to follow? In retrospect, I see such action as evidence of real weakness, fear.

BTW, the man who threw the shoe at Dubya was arrested, convicted, and I feel confident he served jail time. Although Dubya may have deserved to have a shoe thrown at him, throwing an object at the POTUS is never a laughing matter, not with all the presidents that have been assassinated or near-assassinated.

And although Obama has his politically sleazy days ... I wouldn't want to see him glittered. (Actually, glitter might look good on Sarah Palin, but only if applied carefully.)

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 20, 2011 10:06 PM

BTW, the man who threw the shoe at Dubya was arrested, convicted, and I feel confident he served jail time. By the Quisling, US appointed, US maintained government of US occupied Iraq. The key fact here is that he wasn't murdered because tossing a shoe at someone is a hevy insult there.

While I'm not surprised that you point to their hateful rhetoric of gays why doesn't anyone ever point to the gays and lesbians that help feed conservative discrimination against T people especially Transsexuals. I had the misfortune of reading this gem yesterday http://www.couragerc.net/Transsexual_Issues/Sex_Reassignment.pdf
If Lesbians and Gays want me to feel sympathetic towards them for being discriminated against then they need to step up to the plate against their own that are causing hatred and discrimination towards me and others like me. Good luck reading your way through the article it is long winded full of purposeful deceit except for when it comes to the fact that some Lesbians and Gays are allies to religious conservatives when it comes to transphobia and discriminating against us.

My apologies to the lesbians and gays for also not pointing out that it is Transsexual and Transgender identified people that are also helping religious conservatives against the best interest of all T people.

And Janice Raymond is also a classist who testified for the prosecution in the recent court decision that, if it hadn't been quashed would've decriminalized prostitution. I can't run around calling out every HBSer with an axe to grind, and I don't expect, especially without a thirty word summary that highlights a relevant person or quotation, cis people to get fired up about a report from the "National Catholic Bioethics Center."

We know they're illiberal on agency the moment we hear their name. That there are transphobic feminists and homophobic trans people, and subversivist straights doesn't surprise me. It upsets me, yes, but it's not a deep internal rot in an ostensibly good organization. It's not hate wrapped in a fight for injustice.

Shortlisting Julie Bindel for an award from stonewall, that's rot. The NDP sending out a fundraising letter from Michelle Landsberg or not calling Vancouver Rape Relief an organization that has, among other things become a hate group, because "they do good things for [cis] women," and to let Judy Rebick slide for that one? That's internal rot. Barney Frank being in charge of G *LBT* issues? That's internal rot, and all of these should be called out by people who ostensibly claim to be allies.

A bunch of transphobes getting together to produce a manifesto? That's just a hate group. They were never on our side to begin with and really, we need to argue with people who can be convinced.

Oooooh, I'm shaking in my combat boots.

So, does Lisa remind anyone else of Andrew W?

Carol one could also make the case that you are similar to Andrew W. Just in case you didn't notice your the only one that didn't leave a comment only an accusation. My comment points to a problem that comes from within the LGBT that is giving those who most reasonable people would view as enemies of all of us ammo to use towards transsexuals.Are you one of the Transsexuals that support Ann Lawrence or positions that the religious right uses against us?

Lisa, you could make a case for pretty much anything. I was referring to how he would pop up in every single thread with the same issue.

And though I am quite sure you will not believe me since it doesn't fit with demonizing me so you can just discount everything I say out of hand, is that I don't even know who Ann Lawrence is.

Oh, and I am about as anti-religious right as you can get--really, anti-religious period. I feel any religion has a lot to overcome to be a very positive endeavor, and mostly religion is used to control others and as a reference to authority for ppl to support what they already believe, in general to 'prove' that something that other ppl believe or how they live is not legitimate.

And as far as this thread goes, it just blows my mind that ppl think that physical violence is ok if you glitter bomb someone. Morally and legally, isn't the idea that you cannot use more force against someone than is necessary to protect yourself or others? I mean, if you are a public figure, and someone comes out of the audience toward you, I can see freaking out a bit in general. I know I would.

On the other hand, as far as I know Get Equal has never physically harmed anyone. Why would anyone reasonably espect that they would start now? I don't agree with them in a lot of ways, but they seem to be into civil disobedience, not violence. I guess in a red state you prolly can just blow someone away, but I think even there you can't attack someone and beat them senseless if they aren't trying to hurt you.

I have to say, though, that for the most part it doesn't surprise me coming from some of the ppl it has. If you're hardcore in one area, you prolly are hardcore in other areas, too.

Carol Like usual I think you went for the attack and didn't read my comment. There is no way you can make the case that the original comment is about the same thing I always post about. Did you even bother to spend the hour or so it takes to read through the link? Its pretty seriously insulting and it becomes even more so when you see who the author uses to make his case against all transsexuals.That comment isn't about separatism its about going after those who claim to be like us or represent us that is feeding ammo to the far right and in turn discriminating against us. You might want to read the link and google Ann Lawrence I think a lot of the reason you object to my comments is that your really not all that familiar with whats going on around you and you don't bother to really read them. The best advice I can give you is to learn, learn and learn some more about these issues because they are effecting you in ways you can't even imagine. Your right Glitter is harmless but glittering the wrong person can get you killed or someone else who had no part in it killed simply because someone see's them as being just like you.

Geez, I so don't want to get into another pissing contest with you. So I'll just try to clarify *your* jumping to conclusions, then admit you win, ok? I get so tired of talking to plp who won't open their mind even the tiniest bit to try to understand what someone else is trying to say, and just projects their issues onto it (yes, yes, I know, you feel that is exactly what I do).

I *did* read your comment. I just didn't read your link. Yes, I know you were ostensiably talking about a very specific group of gays and lesbians who are aiding fundamentalist conservatives, and you addended that some trans ppl are involved too.

However, my point was that yet again, in some context that had nothing to do with trans ppl, you are jumping in with complaints about the GLB relative to trans ppl. Is it possible for there to be a thread without a trans derail from you? I just get sick of seeing it in every single fucking thread I go to. (And disclaimer for the millionth time: I do not have much love for the GLB, either, and don't consider myself a part of them. I am not interested in helping them oppress you or anyone else. I just would a break from trans-trans-trans for once.)

Wait, though, I know I am wrong, I admit it! Please, though, give me a nice semi-incoherent rant about why and how. It will make us all feel better, I am sure.

You don't want to get in another pissing contest with me could have fooled me. Carol you started this conversation by attacking me by comparing me to Andrew W I didn't attack you. In case you didn't notice they're glittering religious conservatives. My post and my link is relevant to this because it points to people connected with this community that are giving the religious conservatives ammo. If your so all fired up in support of glittering people shouldn't you also be in support of glittering any LGBT or Transsexual that is basically assisting the Religious conservatives in attacking all of us?

Yes of course your right as always Lisa I am sorry I was wrong I wont make that mistake again.

Carol if you have NO LOVE as you put it for the LGB and you don't care or or want to discuss trans issues the what the F%^ are you doing here ? quite frankly this is a GAY blog and therefore the only issues discussed her are LGB & T vs T issues so if none of those interest you your wasting your time being on this blog.....peace out !

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I don't think glittering is a good idea and I haven't ever thought it was. But how do you combat the vitriol and hatred that has emerged from these glittering? We do, of course, know that anti-queer violence and hate is still rampant in this country, but the more people in the queer community utilize these tactics, the more endemic the call to violence appears. So what constitutes substantial or effective action? Surely, everyone on here can agree that these responses are wrong, but what will it take to come together on the strategy to speak out against this violence?

Al Qaeda's 9/11 attack pushed the same buttons. I think the planners of that attack were geniuses, providing a cheap catalyst event to push American society on to the path of self-destruction.

Glittering seems to have that same potential to push the Rights' emotional buttons.

Clearly, if Glittering continues, people will get hurt - the perpetrators of an act of glittering AS WELL AS an increase in backlash violence against those whose only 'guilt' is to have some characteristic that associates them with the group that the militant glitterers come from.

And if the glitterers stop? People in the LGBT community, and those mistaken to be members, will continue to get hurt by those in The Right who self-deputize to police 'the deviants,' and by the systematic denial of equal treatment and equal participation in American society. But we preserve our dignity that, while we continue to get hurt by systematic marginalization and random acts of violent policing, we've shown ourselves somehow better by 'turning the other cheek'. While our homes are vandalized and grafitti'd and burned. While two brothers are clubbed with baseball bats for appearing to be a gay couple. While murder suspects use gay panic and trans panic defenses.

IF glitter-bombing continues, the operatives need to know their chances of being injured or killed are skyrocketing and will only continue to get worse. The Right is itching for a good old-fashioned town-square lynching. I don't want it to come to that. But if it were to come to pass, I pray the incident is thoroughly and unbiasedly documented, and the documentation is freely available.

Well I'll be sure to blow the brains out of next person who throws glitter on me or hang them from a tree.

Better yet, the next time someone calls me a name, I'll hog tie them and bury them in a ditch.

This is ludicrous. Are we seriously sanctioning homicidal violence as a natural result of public protest? Yes, a glitter bomber should be prepared to be thrown to the floor and arrested.

But I can't believe that, as the comments here would suggest, what they should also be prepared for is to die for it. Any of you care to bring the twine?

Things get out of hand. People get carried away.

The intent of the glitter-bombers is to subject their targets - authority figures to the right, and afforded the highest respect - to public ridicule and shaming. Glitterbombing is milder than hitting someone with a pie in the face; there's little property damage (although there is a medical risk if glitter gets in the eyes.)

Have you ever attended a Transgender Day of Remembrance? Or a Service of Remembrance? The respective communities honor and remember those who were murdered during the past year. For stupid stuff. Like acting 'flaming'. Or the heinous crime of being femininely attractive while occupying a male body. The dead we honor? Well someone went apeshit over their heinous crimes. Often, there's what cops call 'overkill' involved in the murder - enough force/trauma/blows/stabs/bullets were used to kill 5 or 6 people. An attempt was made to obliterate the victims identity during the frenzy. IDs often have to be made through dental records/fingerprints/DNA - the face/head is beaten beyond recognition.

And the glitter bombers have so far been largely from the LGBT community. A swishy fruit (their sort of term) glittered Newt Gingrich - just the kind of person that ignites a rage in a wingnut conservative. "How DARE the little fruit sully the Great and Powerful Gingrich!"

Right Wing Authoritarian leaders keep getting glittered, someone's going to go too far in public. It won't be a bloody nose. Or a few missing teeth. It will be enraged attackers pulled bodily off a near corpse by other 'wingers concerned that things are getting, y'know, a LITTLE out of hand. followed by the closing of ranks and getting stories straight before the paramedics and cops arrive.

I hope that sort of event never happens. But if it does, I hope that the event is discreetly captured by several cameras from several different points, and that most of the shot video makes it out of the event and is distributed freely and widely.

Tina (IL) | June 20, 2011 3:31 PM

Not to belabor the point, but the man who shot Gabby Giffords was not from the right wing. Also, how about the attack on the Jewish Community Center...again, not done by a right winger, but a mentally deranged person. (sorry, I'm not a mental health expert, but those experts present both individuals in that manner).

My point...it isn't just the right wing, and by suggesting it is, you are undermining your argument...which makes me question the validity of the rest of your remarks.

Loughner, who shot Rep. Giffords, was led along by various right-wing conspiracy theorists, such on as the message board Above Top Secret and the views of conspiracy theorist David Wynn Miller. The attack on the Holocaust museum was by a person with right wing views.

The violent rhetoric like, "...start taking liberals down en masse..." is exactly the kind of language that convinced David Adkisson to walk into church with us and start pumping buckshot into my friends.

Stuart Wilber | June 20, 2011 4:25 PM

You know, a pie in the face and some glitter sprinkled (carefully so as to avoid the eyes) are such benign forms of violence (yes I concede they are acts of violence) compared to what our Gay, Lesbian, Bi and especially Transgender and Transsexual brothers and sisters not to mention our Queer youth and you and I experience on a daily basis that to equate it with the violence represented by the threat of imprisonment and bodily injury is truly farfetched. But that is a danger of protest - whether you hold up a sign, chain yourself to a marriage license bureau or a fence, drink from a water fountain designated for another race, refuse to sit at the back of the bus or walk a picket line there is a chance that you will be arrested, beaten, imprisoned or worse. The point of Non-Violent Civil Disobedience or even legally sanctioned protest is to call attention to a perceived injustice. It is not necessarily meant to change the attitudes of the person(s) or institution(s) being protested – although that would be an ideal outcome if it produced a change of action as well as attitude – but to bring attention that injustices and inequities exist so that hopefully pressure from likeminded or fair-minded people will produce change. Glitter seems to me to be an appropriately Gay form of protest. And it brought attention (and not a small amount of gratification to the glitterer and those of us who sympathize with them.) So I say, “Glitter and Be Gay”!

Brad Bailey | June 20, 2011 4:27 PM

I have a feeling that the FBI already has files on more than a few of the posters. For better or worse, the Patriot Act allows for more scrutiny of "lone wolf" domestic terrorists. It's not smart to post threats of violence online. It may be encouraged by Breitbart or Malkin, but it's a virtual invitation to surveillance agencies.

i remember glitterbombing cops at pride in portland maine back in 2008, only we weren't dumb enough to get caught. these get equal folks need to take a cue from the biotic baking brigade. get in there, do your thing, get out, and don't get caught.

oh, and next time use more glitter. like at least a liter if not more. and get the extra fine cut stuff, you can't get that shit off you for weeks!

and for some historical precedence:
http://youtu.be/dS91gT3XT_A (antia bryant taking a pie in the face!)

"What is an appropriate, reasonable protest action?"

In my book, there is no substitute for taking the high road. Consider what happened during the Civil Rights Movement -- and recall how many, within the movement and without, thought that non-violence would not and could not work.

The absolute watershed moments during that movement include: (a) black people boycotting a bus service until it almost goes bankrupt, (b) white policemen using fire hoses and attack dogs on black protesters, which caused an enormous backlash when it got onto national TV news, (c) Freedom Riders being willing to go to jail and work on chain gangs in order to overload the prison, (d) school children skipping out on their classes in order to participate in a protest their parents have been jailed or intimidated out of conducting themselves, (e) thousands of times when MLK and other leaders refused to insult white people even though they clearly were racists, sometimes even murderously so, (f) MLK, Malcolm X and others saying things such as, "They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream," and "They can kill my body, but I am not afraid of any man."

Nobody said it would be easy.

Nobody said success would be instantaneous.

There is no guarantee that anyone alive today will be alive to see the final outcome.

Finally, you cannot strengthen society's likelihood of respecting your rights by disrespecting other people's rights -- you either set a high example, or you undermine the principles and social standards that you yourself are fighting to enlarge.

Look at history, including also India and South Africa. Notice what has already been shown to work.

Imagine MLK throwing glitter at Bull Conner, and ask yourself, "What is wrong with this picture?"

uh... yr historical revisionism/naivete is astounding. things you've chosen to exclude or do not know:

American Civil Rights: Malcom X also said "stop singing and start swinging" meaning he supported armed struggle and gave rise to rise of militant Black Nationalism and the Black Panthers.

South Africa: the ANC blew shit up all the time (power plants, rail roads, etc)! are you saying we should be blowing up conservatives' houses instead of just throwing glitter at them!? holllllla....

India: what about the goa liberation movement that claimed it's fight against colonialism by any means necessary?

let's stop pretending that we need to "take the high road" or "be better" than the scummy politicians and that are working towards our death and erasure. and let's also stop pretending that non-violent (whatever that means) is the only tactic employed successfully both historically and presently.

a lil glitter never hurt anybody... jeeze.

Of course all the movements I cited had violent components in them -- but the leaders that history remembers were the non-violent ones, and the victims that are remembered were themselves mostly non-violent, such as Medger Evers and such.

Even Malcolm X -- the violence he supported was returning violence in self-defense, he did not go around starting riots. Too bad the Nation of Islam was not as discerning in its use of violence as he was. And by the way, Malcolm X was already dead by the time Black Panthers and Black Nationalism started getting major attention in the US press.

By mentioning the Goa Liberation Movement, you are comparing apples and oranges -- the Indian independence movement associated with Gandhi was against the British, and the Goa campaign did not ascribe to non-violence and was against Portugal.

As for South Africa, again, the ANC did not ascribe to non-violent philosophy, particularly in its early years. And again, it was the leaders in South Africa that encouraged non-violence, such as Mandela and Tutu, that history most remembers. The relationship between Mendela and Tutu, and the ANC, is a mixed and complex one with many ups and downs throughout those years, but it is simple to say that Mandela and Tutu did not support the violent events precipitated by the ANC and were often very critical of the ANC.

Finally, although glittering is indeed technically a violent act, my main objection to it is that it is both trivial and a very bad PR move. In the end, the damage to our own movement does not justify the little good that it achieves.

Tina (IL) | June 20, 2011 7:27 PM

no, you missed the point...they were by people with psychological problems. Of course I don't expect you to "get that."

I got your point.

I also got that you said they were not members of the far right.

That's two things -- that they are mentally ill and that they are members of the far right. One you stated, the other you denied.

The point of this article, however, is that they are not alone. Are you willing to say that all the people whom she quoted in the article are mentally ill as well?

Have you gone to that site and seen the full breadth of the commentary there? Are you going to say that the hundreds of people commenting are all mentally ill?

That's a mighty big jump to make when the more likely common denominator is the far right (occam's razor) connection and the rhetoric of fear, uncertainty, condemnation, and exclusion that populates it.

This is the *far right* -- not the moderate right, not the middle, not the moderate left, not the far left.

Are you going to say that they are all crazy, when they are the very people who are saying that someone should do this sort of thing, the sort of thing that admittedly led to the death of George Tiller, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the assassination of the GOP's very own Abraham Lincoln.

It is not mental illness that is the problem here. And you seem to have missed that point.

Tina (IL) | June 20, 2011 9:43 PM

and you are so intelligent. I was in Tucson shortly after it happened...and it wasn't about politics. how about we talk about the black panthers, the weathermen, etc. wait, they must have been conservative republicans. I'm sorry my views don't mirror yours and that I find half-truths to be lies...whether they come from Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon...or contributors here!

Why, thank you for the compliment.

I live in AZ.

Yes, how about we talk about those groups? Were they all mentally ill? Were they as broadly based in the society as the far right is? Did people who were not members of the organizations go around and speak about beating and violence against those who opposed what the Panthers were about?

As for my personal politics, would you be so kind as to explain what you know of such? I am genuinely curious given my current campaign -- always useful to see how someone sees your politics.

FOr example, what's my position on immigration, or fiscal prudence, or on small business?

If LGBT people are going to throw glitter, they need to take total responsibility for their actions and the risks they are taking. They need to also know that if they throw stuff at republithugs, then republithugs can throw what they want at LGBT activists. A real direct action has a win attached to it - and the usual wins are kicking down a door to open negotiations for change, otherwise it serves no purpose. So if these glitterers are willing to risk being tazed, beat up, or shot they need to acknowledge that they are taking that risk and should not complain when what goes around comes around. They are headed down a slippery slope and would like to take more people with them.

Hmmmm...If I thought that being tazed, beaten or shot would bring the rest of us one step closer to equality then I'd do it twice.

what if "the win" is humiliating those fuckers, even just for a lil bit. hell i'd take that over the empty promises of the gay marriage campaigns that tell us that all but world peace is attainable once we can exchange vows...

Humiliating them might gratify the ego, but from a political strategy standpoint it is totally pointless unless you do something to substantially damage their reputation, which glittering does not do -- and we are damaging our own reputations if the general public doesn't support our tactics.

This is weak stuff.
You can find stupid comments calling for all sorts of violent, sick acts upon innocent people of all political persuasions....from gay men and transsexuals.
It all amounts to noise...

Jillian some days you chase your own tail.

This is nothing new to me. This kind of rhetoric is fairly common, though the internet has made it more prevalent.

I have a tendency to use violent rhetoric as a metaphor for my sentiments at times -- right or wrong, its a habit that no doubt comes from a long association with the Republican party.

There is a strong level of thoughtlessness prevalent throughout it, which is significant to me.

My feelings on the act of glittering folks are that more of it needs to be done, not less. That same long experience with the party also tells me that it has a grave effect on the more moderate individuals within the party, and this overall reaction is exactly part of why it does so.

It gets people talking.

That is, in the end, the critical aspect of this. When people talk about things like this -- or nail polish, or who should be able to work, or who should be able to by a gun -- then the movement is gaining.

To posit the efforts as "winning" implies there is a loser -- and there are not supposed to be losers in equality. There aren't supposed to be winners. For there to be winners and losers in equality, then someone basically has to be more equal than someone else.

I look at much of the above as "trash talking" -- with a wary eye that in some cases, it might go a bit beyond trash talking in much the same way that giving someone the bird while driving can occasionally lead to road rage incidents where pregnant women are shot on the freeway.

I also don't find the act of dropping glitter on people to be outside the realms of what has historically been considered non violent resistance to oppression.

It has humor -- sadly, it is the sort of humor that relies on someone else as the butt of the joke, but it is still humor. It has a very specific point: you reap what you sow.

It strikes me as a perfect example of reciprocity.

Then again, I'm aware that a militant activity does not seek to appease, does not support assimilation, and will annoy those who seek to support appeasement and assimilation.

I'm stubborn, though. I prefer success to "winning" -- winning is so charlie sheen...

Actually, I have pointed out repeatedly on Facebook that, in my opinion as a Ph.D. historian, in the U.S. at least, the right is almost always the source of violence as the means to political ends, starting with slavery and secession, and continuing with lynching, segregation, violent intimidation of civil rights protestors and ordinary African Americans trying to register to vote (how dare they!) and continuing with attacks on abortion providers and LGBT persons, and vigilante defenders of the border w/Mexico. It's just embedded in their political DNA. They see themselves as sole owners of the nation, with unbridled rights to defend what they see as their property with murderous violence as they deem necessary.

I'd hate to see what folks thought of the lgbt community if they based their opinion solely on the comments section of Bilerico.

What would folks think of the LGBT community if they based their opinion solely on the comments section of Bilerico? They'd think we're nuts, of course, but harmless. They wouldn't think we're violent people bent on advocating violence towards our opponents. In fact, quite a few comments have been taken down on Bilerico because they advocated violence.

i think a question you aren't asking that supersedes this assertion that some of us advocate violence is "what is violence?" "where does it begin?" or "how are our reactions to be understood when we are already under attack and in a violent situation?"

and please people... throwing glitter at someone = violence? glittering is not the same as gay bashing!

My definition of violence is an act of force that violates another person's rights of person, property, and wellbeing, both physical and psychological.

Generally, civilized people feel that they has a right to circulate in public without having objectionable things dropped or thrown on them, including glitter.

Thus: glitter = violence.

By the way, also: anti-gay hate speech = violence.

And: threats of violence = violence.

But meeting violence with violence only serves to escalate things -- and that is exactly what is happening in the hateful comments that Dr. Jillian cites in her main post.

Actually, I would say their's a difference between using comments on internet sites and Breitbart, Huckabee and Beck, who are well respected by the right, to pass judgments and reach conclusions.
-Jeremy

Thank you so much for bringing this up. As a Minnesota lesbian it's nice to know exactly what may be coming our way over the next year. I will make sure that I talk to everyone I can about the violence these people are calling for in reaction to such a harmless thing as throwing glitter. You are right that this goes beyond just calling for violence against activists, this is a call to arms against not only homosexuals but minorities in general.

I don't consider glittering to be a peaceful or for that matter legitimate form of protest, but it most certainly isn't violent enough to justify the use of lethal force. It is, however, utterly counterproductive, disgracefully unprofessional, and dishonors the entire LGBT movement.

Exactly! ... Thanks, Desiree!