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UA News

Hardly Good News

By Cory Spiller

Thursday August 23, 2001 |

The Arizona Daily Wildcat has a rival publication on campus. Not really, but I'll entertain the idea for the length of this column. It's called Good News. I picked it up in front of the Park Student Union, realized it was a right-wing Christian tool of propaganda complete with biblical quotations, threw it down, and due to some subconscious masochistic tendency, decided to read it. What I found was a newspaper that attacks legitimate social issues only to push the conservative agenda.

In the most insulting and simply damaging article in Good News, Michael Medved attempts to deconstruct a new report on gay bullying by attacking the estimated number of homosexual students in America. There's no problem with attacking statistics, but Medved does so only to somehow prove there aren't as many gay kids as the report had estimated. He only does so because he is scared of the gay youth. He doesn't want to see high estimates of gay students because it means that those who have attacked gay issues for decades are losing their fight to keep everyone God-fearing, straight and prude.

Medved is wholeheartedly against the estimated figure of 2 million children in the nation who are the victims of gay bullying. He logically retorts that to reach the total of 2 million gay students in America, you would have to conclude that children from the ages of 5 to 10 years old have made decisions on their sexual preference. He asks, "Does anyone seriously suggest that 5 percent of America's 5-year-olds·would be identifiable to their classmates, or even to themselves, as gay?"

Of course he's right. Most preadolescents don't have a sexual preference at all. However, children don't have to be gay to be labeled as gay. They do not need to carry pink purses or bring in Barbara Streisand posters to show-and-tell for bullies in their classes to mutter "faggot, gaywad or homo." In fact, they don't have to do anything at all, and they will still be abused verbally, emotionally and in the worst cases, violently.

Gay bullying, which begins in elementary schools and is perfected in high schools, does not disappear in college. Medved's article insensitively ignores the terrible attacks on homosexual college students in the past few years.

Medved's article has come out only three years after Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student, was brutally murdered by two "gay bullies" turned murderers. Shepard was beaten with the butt of a gun, robbed, tied to a barbwire fence and left in the freezing cold of the Wyoming prairie to die-because he was gay.

Medved's article came out only one and a half years after the issue of gay violence was brought center stage to our campus. Zach Hansen was a junior when he was stabbed at the Rainbow Planet on Fourth Avenue, not a mile from campus. We cannot forget Matthew Shepard or Zach Hansen because their stories are tragic and unforgivable. Homophobic violence is a hate crime just as serious as lynching, and it will not be tolerated. Homophobic tendencies must be stopped in the early stages of an individual so that these individuals won't develop into monsters like the two men who took Matthew Shepard's life.

Medved goes on to completely discredit himself by relating the "supposed" exaggeration of 2 million affected students, to the - get this-"wildly exaggerated number of deaths from anorexia, or figures of homelessness in the 1980s, or death tolls of slaves in the Middle Passage."

Give us a break, Medved. Your pompous, right-wing propaganda stains every word you write. How dare you claim that the suffering of African-Americans during the slave trade was less than is currently being claimed? The point is, it was much worse. That's why some African-American groups demand reparations - they still feel it. I haven't a clue why Medved would attack statistics on anorexia. But I do know that it is a major problem with college women and that his type of hollow skepticism has no place on a college campus.

The Good News is, ironically, full of bad news. It reaffirms the fact that the Christian right uses dogmatic arguments to criticize and attack progressive elements of our society that they are simply scared of. They hide behind the Bible and label anyone that doesn't fit their mold as a sinner.

If you happen to pick up a copy of the Good News on campus, do the moral thing - recycle it.


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