Los Angeles, CA–Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin and blogger king Glenn Reynolds of www.Instapundit.com recently praised our Campaign Protesting DART’s Father-Bashing Domestic Violence Ads on TV. To learn more, click here.
Village Voice writer Roy Edroso didn’t like this. In Rightbloggers’ “Conservatism 2.0” Closely Resembles Earlier Versions (12/1/08) he wrote:
Last week top rightbloggers Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin held a video conversation about “Conservatism 2.0.” Their 1990s-Fast Company cognomen refers to a future direction for the Right, but from their discussion their new direction is rather like their old one…
They also discussed the “tolerance bullying” of gays angry about Proposition 8 [the CA. anti-gay marriage ballot initiative], who’d pressured a film festival director out of his job. While allowing that “people have a right to speak out,” Reynolds said that he was “absolutely certain that had Proposition 8 supporters done this… we’d be hearing cries of McCarthyism.” Then he mentioned the efforts of radio host Glenn Sacks and others to get some public transit ads about domestic abuse pulled. (Sacks was offended by the ads’ suggestion that many boys grow up to beat women.) The Sacks squad “made a very big point about being polite about it,” said Reynolds.
This politeness is evident in Sacks’ own account, in which he said that “several financial contributors” to The Family Place, the service provider that placed the offending ads, “withdrew or reduced the financial gifts they planned for the end-of-the-year giving season” as a result of Sacks’ efforts. But Sacks added, “I don’t say this with pleasure — I would have preferred that The Family Place do the right thing from the beginning rather than lose the funding they did.” So Conservatism 2.0, it would appear, will distinguish itself from its gay enemies by getting their targets bankrupted rather than fired, and by acting sorry about it afterwards.
I voted against Proposition 8 and favor gays’ right to marry, but I am disturbed by some of what I’ve heard about gay marriage advocates’ post-election “bullying” tactics. However, to consider what we did to be similar “bullying” is quite a stretch.
We didn’t seek to “bully” The Family Place’s financial contributors. Instead, selected activists politely brought the ads to the contributors’ attention and pointed out that they are unfair to fathers, bad for children, and an embarrassment to The Family Place. Many of their financial contributors agreed. It was executed very well.
On a larger level, I can’t think of any kind of effective protest anywhere on behalf of any cause or issue that can’t be criticized as rude or inappropriate or whatever.
Boycotts are often called “bullying,” as are angry demonstrations.
Demonstrate on a bridge and you’ll be crucified for blocking traffic.
Angrily protest and you’ll be portrayed as bitter and half-crazed. Protest in a humorous way in costume (like Fathers 4 Justice does in the UK) and critics will label you clowns who aren’t serious.
When the gays marched here in Los Angeles to protest after Proposition 8’s passage, people got mad at them for blocking traffic. They were protesting in largely friendly territory, so people said “Why inflict this disruption on us? We voted against Proposition 8. Go protest in areas which voted for it.” Of course, if they go to conservative areas (perhaps like Orange County) and protest, they’re called bullies and residents will say they’re afraid of them.
All in all, it reminds me of a sign a former colleague of mine posted over his classroom door:
Say Nothing, Do Nothing, Be Nothing
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