Elizabeth Swanson would like you to stop using the H-word. Put it in that storage locker next to the N-word, lock it up, throw away the key.
The H-word is homophobia. Elizabeth Swanson is of the anti-gay group Protect Kids Foundation who last week was on with Rick Green on the Texas-based WallBuilders radio show (audio available from our friends over at Right Wing Watch).
It was during the show that Swanson equated the word ‘homophobia’ with a “racial epithet.”
Rick, you said a very key word, ‘tolerance,’ that we’re going to teach tolerance. But the redefinitions of the words go even further. So when you look at the definitions that GLSEN has put forward, there’s a document called Tackling LGBT Issues in the Schools, and it’s a document prepared jointly by GLSEN and Planned Parenthood. And interestingly, the definition that they use of the word “homophobe,” “homophobia” or a “homophobic level of attitude,” which is a word I do not normally use because that word in itself was created by an activist who wanted to get back at people that were disagreeing with homosexuality as a moral good. So to me the term is a pejorative term, a racial epithet if you would, that should not be used because you’re basically name calling people right there if you say ‘Oh, they’re homophobic,’ so that’s a word that needs to be reclaimed and not used in our every day vernacular when talking about this issue.
We already knew the right wing has a way with words. We also know the right wing likes to stake out spots in victimhood land. This seems to be a play for both. Here Swanson is trying to redefine a word as hate speech, trying to get us to a place where if you call someone homophobic, the real hater is YOU.