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Houston Voice, No. 1003, January 14, 2000
File 009
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Houston Voice, No. 1003, January 14, 2000 - File 009. 2000-01-14. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7109/show/7084.

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.

(2000-01-14). Houston Voice, No. 1003, January 14, 2000 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7109/show/7084

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. 1003, January 14, 2000 - File 009, 2000-01-14, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7109/show/7084.

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. 1003, January 14, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date January 14, 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 14, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE EDITORIAL Let Rocker exercise his freedom of speech STAFF Associate Publisher Mike Fleming mi k e©houstonvoice .com Editor Matthew A Hennie editor@houstonvoice.com Production Bethany Bartran - Graphic Designer Mike Swenson - Graphic Designer Contributors Rich Arenschieldt, Kay Y. Day us, 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. 212-242-686} A WindowMedia Publication The critical response to the verbal insults hurled by relief pitcher John Rocker at gays, people with AIDS, ethnic minorities and foreigners has mostly insisted that the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball muzzle the man permanently. Until this week, the critics have gotten their way. In the weeks following the publication last month of Rocker's angry diatribe against New Yorkers, including "queers with AIDS" and those speaking a foreign language, the opinionated relief ace has been uncharacteristically quiet. Within hours after news broke about his colorful Sports Illustrated interview! in which he also called a minority teammate he thinks is overweight "a fat monkey," Rocker issued a brief written statement apologizing for his remarks, rationalizing them awav as the product of an emotional athlete who feeds off "competitive zeal." That public statement, in which Rocker admitted having "evidenced strong competitive feelings," had more the ring of a public relations machine in full retreat than a Macon good ole boy. last week, Braves ['resident Stan Kasten announced that Rocker had personally elaborated on that public apology behind closed doors, in a Dec. 29 meeting where the 25-year- old surely knew his job was on the line. "What we have here is a player who has expressed remorse. Under those circumstances, 1 am not going to abandon a player or an employee or a friend," Kasten said. The Braves organization, which has thus far shown all the signs of circling the wagons around its talented young prospect, asks too much of its fans and the city to expect that we trust a stiff public apology of doubtful authenticity and a private apology given with the pitcher's livelihood on the line. Then, this week, Rocker finally spoke up, in his own words, in an interview broadcast by ESPN. He did, indeed, express remorse, but it sounded more along the lines ot, "I'm sorry those New York fans treated me so horribly, inciting me to say things that made me look like a jerk." Not only was Rocker not particularly contrite, he failed to take full responsibility for his remarks, blaming the Si. reporter for mi senting his views, though he didn't challenge the accuracy of the tape-recorded interview. Rocker also failed to address all the groups smeared by his screed, especially those "queers" and people with AIDS. Peter Gammon, the ESPN interviewer, couldn't even bring himself to repeat Rocker's slur, summarizing the insult as "the thing about AIDS." Before we can put this controversy behind us, we need to hear Rocker recant—or defend—his real views on homosexuality and AIDS, since the S.l interview apparently "wasn't him." Unleashing Rocker's big mouth would also please his many conservative fans, who have been quick to defend his "First Amendment right" to speak his mind. A quick civics history lesson would remind these patriotic defenders that the First Amendment right of free speech, like all constitutional rights, protects us from punishment by the government, not private employers like the Atlanta Braves or Major League Baseball. The "free speech" battle cry is as hypocritical as it is ^historical, coming from the same conservatives who are the first to attack gay rights protections in the workplace by championing an employer's basic right to hire and fire employees for whatever reason they choose. I here's an exception, apparently, when the employee is trashing the ethnicity and national heritage ot his teammates, damaging the reputation of his employer, and tarring the reputation ol a cherished American sport. If Rocker is to redeem himself with the Braves, their fans, and tiie city of Atlanta, and baseball supporters generally, we need to hear more. Let's hear Rwker, unplugged, wax eloquent about his true feelings on homosexuality and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Then maybe we can all judge whether his apology is genuine. Publishers Chris Cram Rick Ellsasser CHARTER MEMBER GREATER H0U5TON GAY & LESBIAN I CHAMBER Of COMMERCE Established 1974 as the Montrose Star 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston, Texas 770O6 (713) 529-8490 (800) 729-8490 Fax: (713) 529-9531 Contents copyright 1999 Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.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 reflect those of the Houston Voice Military leaders have already failed the 'litmus test' Al (lore could be excused for feeling a little deja vu last week when he was blasted from all sides for falling victim to a clever debate question about whether he'd adopt a "litmus test" demanding that his high- level military appointees agree with his opposition to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It was almost exactly seven years ago that the Clinton-Gore administration saw its post-inauguration honeymoon evaporate when the president announced his plan to follow through on a campaign promise to end the ban on gays in the military Last week, many of the same military leaders who back-sniped from the Pentagon in 1993 were talking to the New Al'SPctfmoNeM 6m iNTHeAAIUTAPr... ErTM) 'imnmi York Times from Ihe comfortable perch of retirement, blasting Gore for allegedly introducing a new qualification lor office in his proposed administration. In fact. Gore's "litmus test" could have been interpreted much as he "clarified" il later, as demanding a willingness to enforce the commander-in-chiefs position on the issue, putting aside personal misgivings. That's an important issue in a military that has abjectly failed to carry out Ihe spirit or letter of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which was supposed to have facilitated service by gays but which has resulted in dramatically increased discharges. It's especially telling that these same military leaders (and other critics) have not taken issue wilh the COP front-runner, Texas Gov. George Bush, who said in a debate days later that he would impose a litmus test, too, only his appointees would have to support the existing, DADT policy. The real "litmus lest" for military appointments and any others, for that mailer, ought to examine the prejudices of the applicants, including any hostility toward gay men and lesbians. I he DADI policy was enacted as a sacrifice to that prejudice, which is what actually would undermine "unit cohesion" il gavs served openly. And it is tti.it prejudice, from the command Io the troops, thai has made Ihe policy unworkable in practice
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