Since last week’s charges of “race-baiting” against the National Organization for Marriage, I have had some time to reflect on the political climate in America today. My responses in the National Review and on MSNBC were not enough to quell the uproar from those who seek to redefine one of the greatest foundational blocks of human civilization. They have called NOM and its supporters cynical, bigoted, divisive and arrogant. They have leveled personal attacks against Executive Director Brian Brown and many of his colleagues. Here’s the bottom line: I am the author of the 2008-2009 Board Update and I take full responsibility for the language and the ideology represented in that document.
I find it rather naïve and maybe even a bit laughable for political leaders such as Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP, and Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, to feign outrage at NOM for looking at the ethnic backgrounds of its supporters. Have these men never pandered to their minority bases? How else did they cultivate such broad spheres of political influence? One need only look at the recent Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida to see this very same strategy in action. How quickly was Al Sharpton down there, arranging marches, petitions and squeezing himself into every press conference? This is the political climate we live in and yes, it is cynical and divisive and it does use ethnicity as its most reliable form of currency. To pretend otherwise is simply a lie.
The supposed shock expressed by the liberal media is equally disingenuous. Let’s be honest here: this is how politics works in America today and everyone knows it. It’s a dirty, vicious game and it involves millions upon millions of dollars. If you want to play to win, you can’t do it without knocking a few heads. What is especially hypocritical about this media manufactured outrage is that they’re using the notion of “race baiting” itself to sell newspapers. If journalists did not have such a loaded phrase to bandy about, the consumer would not be interested in this otherwise hollow news item. Just like NOM, they too get to profit from the “race baiting” fearmongering.
I would also like to point out that this private document, which everyone from Buzzfeed to the HRC finds so controversial, is essentially a piece of marketing material. Yes, it’s upbeat and visionary. It’s meant to be self-promotional. For example, this statement could be considered a bit too boastful but it is ultimately the truth:
“Most of the world may never know the crucial role that NOM played in the Prop 8 Campaign. It is likely no overstatement to suggest that without NOM’s early leadership, the Prop 8 Campaign would have never gotten off the ground.”
We use very positive and direct language in our internal memos to promote our cause. This should not surprise anyone. NOM can only survive with the generous financial support of its donors. We need to sell the idea of the homosexual threat in the most egregious way possible to motivate people to give. If you do not fear the imminent gay disaster we’re predicting, you won’t buy the political insurance NOM is selling.
For me, the most impressive thing about the strategy that I envisioned several years ago is that it has been so successful. NOM has achieved a great deal with the help of our African-American allies. From my personal friend Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, to esteemed faith leaders Bishop Harry Jackson and Bishop George Dallas McKinney, to civil rights heroes such as Dr. Alveda C. King, NOM has energized the minority community to action against homosexual activism. We have made it very clear to influential members of the black and Latino communities that it is cost-prohibitive for them to support the gay marriage agenda when there is a multi-million dollar organization such as NOM in the mix. The unspoken truth here is that our power extends far beyond the influence of our substantial financial budget. We also represent the vast wealth our of nation’s strongest religious institutions and our wealthiest citizens. The power of the almighty dollar is one of our greatest tools for securing the support of minority leaders. This understanding is crucial in today’s fast-paced and often unpredictable political scene. When something is bought and paid for, you own it.