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Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000
File 009
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Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 009. 2000-01-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 15, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1060.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-01-21). Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1060

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 009, 2000-01-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 15, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1060.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date January 21, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript VOICES AND ECHOES JANUARY 21, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE VIEWPOINT Muzzling Rocker only treats the symptoms Associate Publisher Mike Fleming mike@houstonvoice.com Editor Matthew A. Hennie editor@houstonvoice.com Production Bethany Bartran - Graphic Designer Mike Swenson - Graphic Designer Contributors Rich Arenschieldt. Kay Y Dayus, Trayce Diskin, Earl Dittman, D.L. Groover, Robert B. Henderson, Gip Plaster, Ella Tyler Photographers Dalton DeHart. Kim Thompson, Terry Sullivan Advertising Sales Richard B. Hayes Ken Burd Office Administrator Marshall Rainwater Classifieds & Directory Carolyn A. Roberts Carolyn White National Advertising Representative Rivendell Marketing Company. Inc. 212-242-6863 A WindowMedia Publication |71 National Lac MEMBER CHARTER MEMBER GREATER HOUSTON GAY & LESBIAN I CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Established 1974 as the Montrose Star 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713)529-8490 (800) 729-8490 Fax:(713)529-9531 Contents copyright 1999 Office hours: 9am, to 530p.m. weekdays To submit a letter Letters should be fewer than 400 words We reserve the right to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request, but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice. 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77006; fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to editor@houston- voice.com. Opinions expressed therein do not e Houston Voice. by CINDY ABEL John Rocker. His name recognition has reached far beyond baseball fans and he stays in the newspaper—in sections other than sports—week after week. Under different circumstances, it would be a PR dream. But given his bigotry- revealing remarks, it's close to becoming a nightmare. The Atlanta Braves pitcher from Macon, (..a., has to be at least a bit surprised. Certainly this can't be the first time he's made careless, cutting sentiments. His head must be swirling, since this isn't how it usually happens for him. After all, he's tall, well-built, boyishly handsome, athletic and followed by a boatload of fans. Guys love 'em, girls love 'em, isn't he the picture of America? That's all the managers have ever cared about, so what's so different now? What's different is that he was cutting and careless in public, revealing the tarnish that's showing up a bit too often on our shiny ail-American golden boys. Doesn't he know his remarks are supposed to be limited to those carefully-crafted messages that emanate from the Braves' management office, messages designed to build and reinforce a very specific image that attracts people ready to spend, spend, spend. Interview after interview repeated the theme: "Rocker's got to learn to control what he says and apologize." Perhaps many shared his views, but had the manner^ or good-sense to not offend ticket-buyers so openly. In other words, he can believe and feel whatever he wants, what matters is what he says and how it impacts the baseball brand. That's where the PC police come up short: Control the outward expression, work on the symptoms. But what about what's inside? Is the offensiveness of his words blinding us to their origin? Is teaching him to merely watch what he says enough? He should absolutely be reprimanded for his offensive statements, and the public outcry was definitely valid. But let's not stop there. Saying "I sounded like a redneck and I'm sorry" doesn't change much, if anything. Even if he learns to control his tongue, his heart remains the same. And therein lies the limitation of legislation. As we seek protection through the Hate Crimes Prevention Act or Employment Non-Discrimination Act, do we really believe that their passage would guarantee Teaching Rocker to control his work for them, leaving the tongue only does the Braves' PR underlying prejudice untouched. our equality? We know better, don't we? There are thousands of companies with policies to protect their employees from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation, many even offering domestic partner benefits. And still, gay and lesbian employees stay hidden "just in case." They live what we all know: If someone wants to discriminate, they will—regardless. Of course we need inclusive legislation. The debate ends our invisibility and exposes our neighbors to the truth about us, removing many of the internal barriers propped up by myth and stereotype. We need to be legally included in the system, the code that sets up societal standards, if we are to have a civil society. But laws are not the great equalizer—just ask women and people of color. They've been M OVHW ATHlEB 5HOvU?rlt6iVif W^iiM JSfy JOHN ROCKER'S OFFICE o eeFtTge JOHN'.* off HI} ROCKER* nrripc 1 «ATt MAIL AFTER- at this for some time now. Getting in there, speaking up and speaking out, refusing to back down when a Rocker runs his mouth—those are the things that nudge us closer to freedom and full equality. Reminding our neighbors and colleagues that when John Rocker insults "queers with AIDS" and Andrew Young and Hank Aaron are silent on the issue, we won't be. Reminding them that it was you and I, the folks who live and work beside them every day, who Rocker stereotyped and slandered. We cannot afford to hide behind the future promise of protection, waiting in the shadows "until I know it's safe," co-conspirators in a workplace "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A federal law won't restore a voice we've long left silent. It may strengthen the vocal chords of those already whispering, but let's get real: Millions of gays aren't going to spontaneously burst into the "I lallelujah Chorus" or publicly, proudly proclaim "Free at last!" There will still be work to be done, including some inside us. likewise, laws, in and of themselves, won't dismantle the bastions of bigotry so deeply embedded in the hearts of Rocker and his quietly cheering admirers. Education and legislation are not either-or propositions, but critical components of a long-term strategy. Political correctness and a good public relations team can change inert behavior. But if we want true freedom, we must accept ibility tor attaining it. We must do more than silence symptoms and tame tongues. We must go to the source of the problem, touching hearts and changing minds by living and telling the truth about Cindy /.. Abel, former executive director of the Georgia Equality Protect, can be reached ill
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