There’s something happening right now that is perplexing to us and disturbing to me personally, and I want to go back to the GLAAD story. I could not believe how the media is just flabbergasted that I would be against burning people in ovens. This happened before I went on vacation. I was on the Piers Morgan show without Piers, I’m happy to say, and here’s what I said that has everybody shocked.
Glenn: I said on the air this week I will stand with GLAAD. I will stand with any, anybody who will stand up and say that’s crazy, that’s dangerous, that’s hetero fascism. That’s what that is. And we’re talking about Duck Dynasty? Really? Really?
That apparently is horrible. They can’t believe that Glenn Beck would actually…what? It’s sad that we have to talk about basic human rights like this in this day and age, but obviously there are crazy people like the Russian bigot that, you know, we have to say. But here’s what’s more tragic, that the media would react like this:
I still don’t like the fact that he’s given Duck Dynasty a pass, but he’s standing up to a much bigger issue, you know?
Noah Michelson: Huge, I mean, I think it’s more shocking to see Glenn Beck say that than to see the YMCA guys say that it’s not about gay people. You know what I mean? Any time like Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly or Pat Robertson says something that’s even remotely pro-gay, I have to like watch it again and make sure that I’m really seeing it correctly.
But it’s awesome, you know? I think we’re seeing this country change more and more and more, and the more that people like that, like Glenn Beck, if he can say something like that, amazing.
And maybe we underestimate Republicans in a certain way because many of them, particularly the libertarian bunch, are saying look, it’s not the government’s business what you’re doing. Whether I have a moral issue with it or not isn’t even the point, because I suspect Glenn Beck as a Mormon would have a certain moral opposition to it. But he’s saying that’s not my business. And even if it were, we damn sure have to do something about this violence.
Noah Michelson: No, it’s true, and I think we’ll take our supporters where we can get ’em. You know what I mean? If he wants to speak out, and he wants to join GLAAD, and he wants to, you know, make this a big issue, that’s awesome.
How does this warrant airtime? Who thinks that this is a good thing? Is there anybody within the sound of my voice that isn’t a psycho that thinks that the ovens is a good idea? They’re shocked. They’re surprised. They have to watch it a couple times because Glenn Beck saying that, what? What does that say about what they think about you and me? Maybe, maybe we misunderstand or underestimate the Conservatives? Maybe? It’s insulting. It’s ignorant.
But if they want to come out and recognize that hey, maybe…I support them. I support them. Now, there is another way to explain the surprise. Maybe if people don’t believe the Russian guy that he’s really serious. He’s just using extreme rhetoric. That’s what they say about Ahmadinejad. Well, he says okay, they’re going to burn in the fires of the Islamic fires, whatever. You know, he’s just saying that for political reasons.
I have a general policy towards people who invoke the Holocaust or mass killing. I take them at their word. It doesn’t even have to be mass. You say you’re going to kill me, I take you at your word. When Iran says they want to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate all the Jews, I think they mean it. If they don’t, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
I made this case when Osama bin Laden said that there would be, you know, blood on the streets of Manhattan, devastation in Manhattan, in New York City. I believed him. Unfortunately, the Conservatives, because Bill Clinton was in office, didn’t. I did. I wasn’t surprised when 9/11 happened. I was just as much in shock and in horror, but I wasn’t surprised when I heard who did it.
Then there’s the Muslim Brotherhood. They say their goal is to dismantle American institutions and turn all of the U.S. and all other nations into Muslim nations, the global caliphate. They mean it. They’re not using hyperbole. They’re not joking. They mean it. And so every time that somebody makes a disturbing statement like the Russian guy did, I don’t shrug it off. I take a stand.
I guess when I was younger I didn’t take a stand because I really didn’t think horrible things could happen in the world. I was naïve. I didn’t think evil existed. It does. It does. There are two sides of every man. There’s good nature and bad nature. Which one do you choose?
So it has me standing up alongside people that, I never stood up before for Israel, but I’ll stand up for Israel, stand up for the Jewish people. I’ll stand up for Egypt and the Egyptians. I’ll stand with GLAAD. I will stand with the Tea Party. Yeah, I will stand with an atheist like Penn Jillette. I’ll stand on the side of basic human rights and individual liberty over party politics every single time, and if I don’t, I expect you to call me out on it.
Good heavens, I walked arm in arm with Al Sharpton. Do you remember that? Yeah, that’s me. He looked at me so dumbfounded and shocked. I didn’t want to be there. I gave him my word I would be, and he looked up at me and he said what the – and I said Al, I told you I would. I’m a man of my word. He was shocked.
Saturday night, it was about 1:00 in the morning, I wrote a note to Melissa Harris-Perry. I don’t know if she ever got my e-mail, but I wrote her after I saw her apology this weekend. Melissa Harris-Perry, we disagree on just about every political issue known to man, but we’re not really talking about politics here in what she did. We’re talking about human beings.
We might disagree, but I’ve never sensed, like I do with Alec Baldwin. Alec Baldwin I think is a bad guy. I don’t think that Melissa Harris-Perry is a bad person, and she certainly doesn’t deserve to be wrecked over one bad segment that quite honestly I’ve seen much, much worse on NBC.
We can continue to have our debates and disagreements, but we have to be able to put all of that aside when true evil rises up like it does in Europe. Right now in Russia, right now fascism is on the rise. It’s appalling to me that people can’t look past the politics of Glenn Beck or of GLAAD to understand yeah, we should stand together.
By the way, this isn’t a gay issue. It’s a human issue. Aren’t we humans first before we have sex with people? But for a second, let’s say it is a gay issue. What part of my personal belief that you have a right to be who you are, and I have a right to be who I am, and that the government should get out of the marriage business entirely, and you should stay out of my church’s business, and I should stay out of your business, what part of that sounds bigoted?
I don’t get my marriage rules from the government. I get them from my church. Don’t tell my church who they have to marry. I won’t tell you who you can and cannot marry – none of my business. Don’t tell me I have to make a wedding cake for somebody, and I won’t tell you, you have to make a wedding cake, you know, for me. Can’t we just let people be who they are? Is that stance bigoted?
But like I said, this isn’t a gay issue. It’s a human issue. You ask me, are you a Conservative? Are you a Libertarian? No, I’m pretty sure I’m a human being first, and I was given inalienable rights, and so were you. Why are we putting each other in boxes? Why do we have to have categories for everything? I know, I know, I know, it makes it easier, but it also makes it easier to become bigoted. Putting us in categories only serves politicians and then limits us from the true freedom of thought.
I am a human who lives and breathes just like the next guy, whoever he’s sleeping with. I have a family. I like to laugh. I like to play with my kids. I like to watch a good movie. Sometimes I see too many bad movies. I’m not angry. I’m not the evil conservative monster they say I am. And get this one, I don’t think they’re the monster either. What?
If we cannot lift ourselves out of the political muck that we are finding ourselves in, mired in deeper and deeper every day, we’re in trouble, because that’s where we’re stuck. We’re stuck in this slimy mess where if you’re opposed to amnesty, it must be because you hate Mexicans. If you oppose ObamaCare, you just want old people to die. If you’re for lower taxes across the board, you hate the needy and the poor. None of those are true. None of those are true.
With Melissa Harris-Perry this weekend, with what she said about Romney and what she was going through, I wrote to her, and I said I’ve never thought that you were a bad person. And I think you’re being made to pay for the collective, the collective mistakes of MSNBC, because I’ve seen bigger mistakes there, and it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference.
Are people not seeing? Forget about them seeing us. Are we seeing them? Are we seeing their faces over fear? Are we seeing freedom over control? We can disagree about everything in politics. That’s fine. But let’s go out on a limb and get really crazy and say maybe we should unite on some big things like, I don’t know, people shouldn’t be put into ovens alive or even farther out on a limb, people just shouldn’t be put into ovens, even when they’re dead.
Eight-year-olds shouldn’t be forced to put suicide vests on and blow themselves up. In fact, no person should be forced to put on a suicide vest and kill others. You want to put on a suicide vest yourself? You’re like I don’t know, that seems like a snappy number for me to wear today, and I want to blow myself up, go out and do it in the middle of a field. I don’t really care.
People shouldn’t be forced to live a certain way. I shouldn’t force my Christianity on you, and don’t you force your atheism on me. If we’re going to survive, we have to be a nation where we can all live next to each other and get along, but that starts here. When someone is bullied, we need to stand up with them, no matter who it is, because once the bully is done with them, he’s going to find someone else to pick on.
It was wrong when it happened on the playground when we were kids. It’s wrong now. When I was a kid, I didn’t think I could do anything about the bully then, because most of the time the bully was pushing me down, and the crowd strangely was cheering. But I’m not afraid of bullies anymore. They don’t hold any power over me. Whether those bullies are Russian, Chinese, Arab, American, Marxist, Islamic, Christian, atheist, Republican, Democrat, I’m not afraid. The only thing I’m afraid of losing is who I truly am, and I can’t lose that, and that can be taken from me.
Unfortunately, I have to give that one away myself. So I stand with the little guy, every little guy, who has the right that we all do, all the rights that we find self-evident, a right to live, a right to pursue his or her happiness in the way he or she believes is right for him. Freedom is the uniting principle of our time, and unfortunately, time is running out. For the seventh consecutive year now, freedom in the world, it’s a report that comes out, says now that more countries are losing freedom then gaining it.
Why is that happening? Because we’re talking about Duck Dynasty. We’re talking about Glenn Beck instead of the Russian guy. Russia, by the way, saw the most dramatic swing after Putin regained power, and surprise, surprise, the Arab Spring has led to strong authoritarian response. You mean it’s not a Jeffersonian revolution? So yes, Virginia, I will happily stand with GLAAD and anyone else who wants to stop real actual hate and real actual human rights abuses.