Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maggie Gallagher evades question about NOM's 'race-baiting' during interview

Maggie Gallagher
President Obama's announced support of marriage equality yesterday seems have the media running towards everyone who considers themselves an expert on marriage.

The Huffington Post just published an interview with National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher in which she claimed that Obama's position on marriage equality would help his opponent, Mitt Romney.

It's to be expected that she would say that. But what she didn't talk about, or rather choose to evade, during the interview is something which caught my eye.

Lila Shapiro, the Huffington Post reporter, asked Gallagher directly about the scandal which erupted when it was discovered that NOM had planned to exploit the difference of opinion between blacks and gays on the subject of marriage equality:

Shapiro: Were you involved in drafting the National Organization for Marriage's internal documents recently unsealed in the court case in Maine? Do you think that the president's announcement will effect the "wedge" strategy laid out in the section "Not a civil right project"?

Gallagher: I think African-American church leaders will continue to teach Christian understanding of sex and marriage to their flocks. African-Americans in their flocks may well continue to vote for Pres. Obama and also oppose gay marriage. NOM did not create these divisions. I'm happy to apologize for the aggressive sounding tone of that long-ago memo, but not for the project which involves white, suburban, Republican girls like me reaching out to people of all races, creeds and colors on the marriage issue. Marriage truly forges a unique political coalition.

Gallagher did not really answer the question. If her explanation sounds rehearsed then trust me when I say that it is not your imagination. This is what she said when the controversy broke in March:

"The documents used language which I would call 'inapt' - - in part because it's tremendously vain to think that I or NOM or any other white Christian conservative can manipulate black and latino church leaders. I don't think so. They speak out of their own convictions and become subject to tremendous vituperative for doing so."

So in March, Gallagher said the language was inapt. Now she is saying that sounded too aggressive.  The language is as follows:

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.

And Gallagher continues to miss the point, deliberately no doubt. It doesn't matter that NOM did not create the division between the black and gay communities over the subject of marriage equality. It matter that NOM is trying to exploit the division.

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EvilI said...

Is it just me, or does she always sound incredibly racist when describing how not-racist she is?

I like how white and black people working together is a unique coalition that never before existed. It's my favorite.

ColdCountry said...

What brought me up short amidst all the usual blather was the phrase, "Republican girls like me reaching out to people of all races, creeds and colors on the marriage issue." It sounds elitist and condescending, and "girls?" Seriously Maggie?

Jarred said...

Is it just me, or does she always sound incredibly racist when describing how not-racist she is?

In my experience, that's what happens when just about anyone tries to explain how not-racist (or not-sexist, not-homophobic, or not-anything-else) they are.