Retiring Rep Barney Frank appears in new online video from the Mitt Gets Worse project resoundingly condemning Mitt Romney's poor record on LGBT rights, although as always Rep Frank doesn't come off so well during a brief mention of trans* issues.
That the liberal icon isn't a big fan of Mitt Romney is about as shocking as the Mets having a bad season, but the congressman wades into interesting waters when he compares former Massachusetts governor Romney to infamous segregationist and former governor of Alabama, George Wallace. It's a shaky, but internally consistent argument. But gods, I wish he hadn't made it.
The issue of comparing the struggle for LGBT equality to that equal rights for African Americans is contentious enough already. I don't see how a white New Englander appropriating the struggle against segregation and Gov. Wallace in particular, with its powerful imagery and cultural associations, can possibly advance the cause of solidarity and mutual understanding between the LGBT and African American communities. That he does it purely to paint his ideological opponent in a worse light than Romney's admittedly crappy record would seem to warrant, serves to compound the issue.
I respect Barney Frank as a politician, and as a gay elder who broke down barriers to helped make the level of equality I enjoy today possible. I even wrote a post supporting the underlying premise of his "Uncle Tom" comments at the DNC. And Like many people, I do believe that there are points of congruence between the LGBT civil rights struggle and that of African Americans.
That said, I sure wouldn't mind if he'd shut the hell up on the topic. He comes off like a privileged white guy who doesn't know what the word "discrimination" means, which is both counterproductive, and untrue.
With all that said, here's some things you need to know today:
The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta has put together an intriguing, if somewhat dispiriting website that clocks the use of homophobic language on Twitter in nearly real-time.
The magnificent Mars Curiosity Rover has delivered conclusive proof that the Red Planet wasn't always so red. NASA scientists have announced that data and images from Curiosity confirm that Mars at one time had significant amounts of swift-flowing water.
Finally, few forms of political advocacy as galvanizing, not to mention out-and-out fabulous, as Samuel L. Jackson telling complacent American's to "Wake the F*ck Up." And that's exactly what Mr. Jackson does in a new and brilliantly constructed pro-Obama advert: