Last night I was enjoying a cocktail with my friends Eric Magnuson and Kay Tuveson at the Heartland bar. It was Kay's birthday, and they were celebrating before leaving for New Orleans for some kind of corporate lawyer shindig.
Eric was formerly Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was a Tim Pawlenty appointment and was at one time former Governor Pawlenty's partner. I should clarify that. They were law firm partners; they weren't dating. Kay is a brilliant legal mind in her own right having served on the staff of more than one Republican lawmaker in Washington, D.C.
We got to talking about my last blog post wherein I called out the editor of the Villager newspaper for what I characterized as a bigoted attack on gays and lesbians that he posed as his reasons for supporting the heinous marriage amendment. I told them I was surprised that I hadn't yet received any hate mail related to that column, and I went on to say that, as a private citizen independent of the restaurant, I tended to be very vocal about my opinions. We also discussed how the restaurant was politically neutral and secular out of necessity, and that those opinions I express are solely my own. I expect there many people who work for me who don't always agree with me, and sometimes my progressive views on things don't always sit well with many of our conservative clientele. I can disturb a few of our more liberal clientele from time to time as well.
At any rate, every so often I get some anonymous hate mail concerning something I have written in this blog. Sometimes people say stuff right to my face, which is fine. In fact, Council Member Dave Thune called me a right wing radical just last month. I found that to be pretty humorous.
So as the conversation progressed, I said I was thinking about posting something about the photo ID amendment and how that amendment would serve to disenfranchise large numbers of voters. According to this publication, that could potentially be as much as 7% of the population of registered voters that would be deprived of their constitutional right to vote. Both Eric and Kay were quick to say that, in their opinions, both amendments were unconstitutional and they saw no reason why any judge could find just reason to rule otherwise. I stopped short of calling them left wing radicals. I will leave that sort of stuff to Dave.
Upon arriving home last night, my wife handed me a letter addressed to me in a shaky hand with a cryptic return address. It said, "American News Center 55101". I hesitated opening it since it was obviously suspicious, but my curiosity got the best of me. Inside, I found some incredibly entertaining but borderline scary hate mail. There was a cartoon depicting the devolution of man with the title "The Lower End of the Behavioral Spectrum" that showed a progression from man ("normal") to ape ("queer") to a grotesque creature ("pedophile"). There were also some photocopied "news articles", one of which was entitled "News Media Suppresses Growing Homo Attacks On Children". There were some quotes from Tom Prichard who heads Minnesota for Marriage. This is the same Tom Prichard that was quoted by Dale Mischke in his bigoted screed in the Villager that I attacked in my last blog post. Prichard is quoted as saying, "...homosexuals are only one percent of the population, are 12 time more likely to molest children, cause 50 percent of syphilis cases in Minnesota, suffer no economic discrimination, and that half of homosexual men have over 500 sex partners." It doesn't stop there. It also goes on to say that, "homosexual men ingest the feces of 23 different men per year and are 15 times more likely to commit murder." Nice.
So I did a little research trying to find out who might have sent me this vile, hate filled garbage which, since it was anonymous and sent to my home, was obviously meant to intimidate me. I discovered that this same trash has been sent to many members of the media as well as private citizens who have had the courage to speak out on behalf of civil rights for all of us including those in our gay community. In fact, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was sent the same exact letter just a few weeks ago, although his cartoon was personalized.
There are some recipients who claim to know who the author of these letters is, but I couldn't find anything online to support that contention. While the individual named is currently running for office in one of the western suburbs, I will decline to identify him. I will, however, say that I challenge whoever it might be to step forward from the shadows. You don't see me hiding, nor will you be able to quiet me or any of the others you have targeted through your weak actions. Unlike those you have attempted to silence, you are coward.