Friday, August 10, 2012

Did NOM's anti-gay pastor lie about involvement in Civil Rights Movement?

Rev. William Owens
Know Your LGBT History has been postponed this week because of this HOT piece from the Huffington Post.

And the hits keep coming at CAAP (the Coalition of African-American Pastors), the astroturf group of black pastors that the National Organization for Marriage is using in an attempt to sabotage President Obama's African-American support as a part of its wedge strategy.

Earlier today, we learned that CAAP had received monies from anti-gay hate groups such as the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

But now, via the Huffington Post, comes the explosive possibility that the leader of CAAP, William Owens, may have been lying about his history as a civil rights leader:

Owens, who runs a group called the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), has claimed that he participated in protests and sit-ins in Nashville in the late 1950s. “I didn’t march one inch, one foot, one yard, for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman,” he said during a news conference last week at the National Press Club.

. . . But Adam Serwer of Mother Jones spoke to several prominent civil rights leaders who were involved in organizing the Nashville sit-ins and who said they have no recollection of Owens. A librarian at the Nashville Public Library, which maintains an extensive library on the sit-ins and protests, could find no mention of Owens either, outside of a 2004 interview that Owens himself gave with the library in which he said he was involved. 

Here are more details from the Mother Jones article linked in the Huffington Post:

Rev. C.T. Vivian, an ally of Martin Luther King Jr. who helped organize the Nashville sit-ins and who is now president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said he did not recall crossing paths with Owens. Rev. James Lawson, the famed practitioner of non-violence who trained the sit-in activists, did not remember Owens either. The same goes for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), one of the major student leaders in the Nashville sit-in movement who went on to lead the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

The only evidence Mother Jones could find of Owens' involvement in the Nashville civil rights movement was at the Nashville Public Library, which maintains an extensive collection of historical materials on the subject. In 2004, the library conducted a 60-minute interview with Owens, in which he describes his role during that era. Other than attending some activist meetings, the only protest he mentioned participating in was the picketing of the drug store where he once worked, according to Jennifer Quire, the Nashville Public Library's educational outreach librarian, who handles the civil rights oral history project and who reviewed the tape for Mother Jones. Even this could have been something of a fluke: Owens told Quire he came across the drugstore being picketed and held up a sign to show his solidarity with the protesters. "There definitely was no leadership role, certainly not on the level of James Lawson or Diane Nash or anything like that," Quire says. (Owens did not respond to repeated queries about his civil rights role in Nashville, including a detailed request concerning his oral history interview with the Nashville library.)

In addition, that same article reveals that Owens' group, CAAP, is in fact receiving funding from NOM.

It's up to Owens to fill in the blanks, but most likely he won't.

I don't think it takes a palm reader to guess that Owens will play the victim. He will probably claim that there is a plot underfoot to undermine him because CAAP's protest is resonating.

Let me kill that lie right now.

CAAP's protest is not resonating and this is not a plot to undermine Owens.

What's going on is a bit of truth-telling.

Owens and his cohorts should try it sometime.

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'Black pastor group received money from anti-gay hate groups' and other Friday midday news briefs

Black pastors group has deep conservative ties, records show - Surprise, surprise! That supposedly non-biased group of pastors (CAAP, led by Rev. William Owens) attempting to get the black community to withhold its vote from President Obama because of his support of marriage equality has a history that it failed to mention. USA Today gives the scoop, including the following choice tidbits:

Frank Cannon, head of the American Principles Project, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, confirms his group's political action fund is paying public relations firm Shirley & Banister to assist CAAP's communications strategy.

CAAP received loans totaling $26,000 in 2004 from the conservative Family Research Council, American Family Association and Mississippi Tea Party activist Ed Holliday, according to its IRS filings.

Owens, . . . endorsed 2008 GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee and Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell.

Remember that the Southern Poverty Law Center has declared the American Family Association and the Family Research Council to be hate groups because of the lies they spread about the gay community.

In other news: 

 Thanks for taking my call, Bryan; long time listener, first time stalker - My blogging buddy Jeremy Hooper has crazy Bryan Fischer on the run.  

Washington State Bishop: Oppose Marriage Equality To Keep Heterosexuality Special - Well now I have heard EVERYTHING!

 Restored Hope Ex-Gay Network Will Not Oppose Criminalization Of Homosexuality - Well that makes me feel special.

 Anti-Gay Ex-Michigan Attorney Taken to Court - Oh mercy! Andrew Shrivell again! 

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Anti-gay General Mills arsonist gets schooled by Alan Colmes

That crazy man who set fire to cereal at General Mills (to protest the company's support of gay equality) was recently interviewed by Alan Colmes.

While I despise giving any certifiable nut 15 minutes of fame, I think this interview is important because it illustrates just how ignorant some people are when it comes to actually knowing the Bible.

Colmes practically hands this man his ass and no, I don't want to know why gays like Cheerios.

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