A conservative activist says the appointment of the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network to head the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Safe Schools is the equivalent of putting O.J. Simpson in charge of women’s safety.

This is how a piece at the American Family Association‘s OneNewsNow is began by author Jim Brown. The piece is entitled GLSEN founder overseeing safety of nation’s schools?

In the OneNewsNow piece, Mission America‘s founder Linda Harvey laments the hire of former GLSEN founder Kevin Jennings as the Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools‘ deputy secretary — she unfavorably compares his hiring to an African American’s alleged killing of a white woman.

Do I really need to draw the parallel between Dr. George Tiller being killed after anti-abortion activists repeatedly referring to him as a “child murderer” (and “Tiller The Baby Killer”) and his death to Linda Harvey’s using a racially charged murder case to make a point about the Kevin Jennings’ hiring at the department of Education?

Linda Harvey’s speech seems to be hate speech to me, but it’s protected free speech — and it definitely should remain federally protected free speech. Yet, if Linda Harvey is attempting to use hyperbole to make her points, then her use of the form seems a bit too over the top in application. In other words, that she can freely state her ideas, but it doesn’t mean that those of us who object to her particular language can’t freely condemn her speech, as well as freely condemn her penchant to make statements that seem to folk like me to encourage violence.

But, what a surprise — Mission America and Linda Harvey are against anti-bullying and hate crime legislation because Harvey considers it “thought crime” legislation:

Attempts at “speech codes” by universities are a related idea, but have produced a mountain of litigation, mostly over slurs or insults. These laws have been struck down as unconstitutional by courts throughout the country. Hate crimes laws and in schools, “anti-harassment” and anti-bullying policies based on sexual orientation, are just a back-door attempt to get the same goal accomplished: to use the force of law to elevate certain groups and individuals over others, to squash ideas and debate some find “offensive,” and to thereby legitimize questionable social behavior.

I don’t want to squash Harvey’s speech or idea’s, but expose her ideas — especially this recent one regarding the hire of Kevin Jennings at the Department of Education — to the light of day. It seems poignant on the day after Dr. George Tillman’s murder to point out the imagery of Lind Harvey’s comments; I believe comments like Linda Harvey’s equating a government hire to a murder tell us where a good number of conservative “Christians” are coming from.

And, that place that these comments are coming from isn’t a place of love, but instead it’s pretty obvious these are coming from a place of hate.

To quote Harvey again:

There is terrorism in our midst. Even as we battle it in faraway lands, let’s conduct counter-terrorism operations here on American soil as well. At stake is the integrity of nothing less than the human race itself.

And to me, it reads like she’s using her free speech to advocate for anti-gay and anti-transgender violence.

But that said, perhaps I’m a little bit sensitive to hate speech after hearing the speech I heard at the Angie Zapata trial; I know hate speech sometimes gets paired with hate violence.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

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