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Jim Bennett: The 21st century blacklist focused on conservatives

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  • ChuckCarter Bangor, ME
    July 24, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    I knew Scott back in the early 90s and spent a few days with him and his family as a guest at his home and I could easily see that he came to his views with passion, intelligence and faith.

    I first heard of him not through his writing but through an early 1980s tape recording of a college lecture he gave where he played the role of a Secular Humanist Minister. He blasted the religious rights assault on evolution. He was funny and brutally cutting on the rights views on anti-intellectualism. The first law of secular humanism was; "Thou Shalt Think" he preached.

    For the record, I do not remotely agree with his political or religious beliefs (I'm an atheist and very liberal in my politics). Because he works to promote those beliefs in his circles - he is no different than anyone else doing the same in their circles. Just because we have divergent views does not make him (Or anyone else for that matter) a bad person or his fiction any less entertaining. His views were not frivolously formulated but came about with years of introspection. Which is how it should be for anyone.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    April 3, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    The freedom for gay couples to live together and share their material existence through contracts, powers of attorney, wills, trusts and deeds is already there. The domestic partner laws in many states have made that even easier. The difference between domestic partnerships and "marriage" for homosexual couples is that marriage is formal government blessing stating that their relationships are fully as deserving of government intervention as that of a typical marriage between male and female, and the primary consequence is to empower government to punish anyone who does not that declared equivalence. Same sex marriage is not about the freedom of gay couples to live as they wish, but about their ability to punish people who do not agree with their viewpoint. It is inherently a project of intolerance against people who believe in traditional marriage as being the core of human society, usually on the basis of religious teachings.

  • MRinLA Los Angeles, CA
    March 11, 2013 12:29 p.m.

    To make this a legitimately apples-to-apples comparison, I, a liberal, would stand up and call out their abuse of power if Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein were to attempt to legislate away Mr. Card's ability to accept such employment.
    But, as a consumer within a free market, I also think it valuable for me to stand up and say to my local comic book store that I will not purchase such work and they should stock it accordingly and to also point out to DC Comics that employing an individual who is so intolerant of gay marriage that he encourages revolution if it should become the law of the land undermines the tolerance and acceptance they've fostered in their recent Green Lantern storyline.

  • pacnwmom Vancouver, WA
    March 10, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    Try being a non-right wing Bensonite Mormon or heaven help you, a Mormon Democrat, and you will know what blackballing truly is. Good for Brother Card for doing what he believes is right, and being willing to take the consequences of that (I assume), for good and bad. We should all have that much integrity and willingness in our convictions--and be willing to listen to all sides with kindness. I wouldn't have joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if I hadn't been "open minded," which is part of my political moderate-ism; in other words having varying opinions on issues not in line with any (idiotic & mostly unfit to govern) party on everything. I do what I think is right and if I lose my job or the admiration of others, so be it.
    Oh and let's talk about the extreme harassment by the right of politicians willing to explore background checks & other measures to keep them from crazy people!

  • DonO Draper, UT
    March 10, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    The "left" is very quick to label anyone who disagrees with them "haters." By the same token, the far right uses the same tactic. It is discouraging that there cannot be serious discussions in the public square (define that as you will) without one side or the other jumping up with an ever-present verbal label maker.

  • onceuponatime Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    If people think the far right is intolerant just wait and see how bad it gets once the far left gets more power. Progressives, not true liberals, hate those who are different than they are. Study the movement and you will see it. A lot of liberals have been duped by the progressives, but really they don't have much in common other than the enemy of my enemy is my friend. My liberal friends are very good people but some how have been fooled into believing many of the progressive ideals that they once despised in the right. Real liberals are kind and open minded people. If you are open minded you will try to see another's point of view and if you want to shut up anyone who thinks differently than you, well you are not open minded. These groups may fool themselves and others but a reasonable person will see right through it. The bad thing is it seems with have less and less reasonable people these days.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    March 10, 2013 1:53 a.m.

    @Jerseygirl --

    "But the blacklist came from private employers."

    That's not quite true. The blacklist originated with the "Hollywood Ten", who were blacklisted because they refused to testify before HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee). It was *enforced* by private enterprise -- but it originated from the hysteria fostered by McCarthy and his cronies, including HUAC and the California Senate's Tenney Committee. Additionally, the list was fuelled as much by innuendo, rumor, and hysteria as it was by statements or activities of those blacklisted. In fact, the "Hollywood Ten" were on the list because they REFUSED to make statements.

    In contrast, Card's detractors have nothing to do with government -- and their attacks on Card are based on his very public statements and activities, not on his silence. There is no rumor or innuendo about them. His words and actions are available for everyone to see, and there are NO government forces telling anyone to ban Card from anything.

    Further, Card's statements and activities are aimed at attempts to DENY civil rights to an entire class of citizens -- while those on the blacklist were usually only guilty of invoking their own rights to "take the Fifth".

    Very different situations!

  • JerseyGirl Sandy, UT
    March 9, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    McCarthy was, indeed, a senator. But the blacklist came from private employers. Hollywood executives, like Card's critics, want to deny their opponents the right to make a living. The analogy fits.

    As for the "violent overthrow" of the government, that's precisely what the Communists of the 1950s advocated, and in terms and practice far broader than Card's overheated rhetoric on one occasion.

    Bennett nails it.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    March 9, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    It bears repeating -- McCarthy was a **Senator** and his hearings had the force of the government behind them. In stark contrast, the outcry against OSC is from private citizens. BIG difference there.

    Also, OSC has done much more than simply speak out against homosexuality. Card has actually **advocated the overthrow of the federal government** over the issue of gay marriage.

    He said -- and I'm quoting here -- that "marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down", and he means to do that "by whatever means is made possible or necessary. . . .".

    Notice he doesn't say "vote the bums out" or "impeach the crooks" -- this man is explicitly advocating insurrection against the duly elected federal government.

    I think that's worth a little bit of outcry, don't you?

  • Bill Haines Charlottesville, VA
    March 9, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    "Card’s critics call him hateful and intolerant, and then they hatefully and intolerantly demand that he be silenced, banished and utterly destroyed."

    No, actually, we don't demand anything of the sort. We simply feel it's grossly inappropriate for someone who lies with such vitriol about people doing no demonstrable harm and serves on the board of an organization attempting to deny such people equal treatment under US law, to be chosen to write a story about the iconic character Superman who represents 'truth, justice and the American way.' And many of us won't make purchases that will contribute to his efforts in this regard, which is well within our rights to do, and to suggest others do. This entire article is highly disingenuous; Card and his ilk aren't the persecuted here -- they're the persecutors.

  • windsor City, Ut
    March 9, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Jim Bennett.
    That was a slam dunk. Amen.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Well written Mr Bennett.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    Bennett: "...forcibly expelled from the public arena ...demand that he be silenced, banished and utterly destroyed..."

    I sense a bit of hyperbole here. I doubt that any of Card's critics are really going this far. However, the death threats to the Dixie Chicks after a single mild political statement were real, as were the canceled concerts, loss of CD sales, and lost livelihood. They, too, were expelled from the public arena and silenced in the name of political correctness gone amok. I hope that Mr. Bennett will be equally impassioned in castigating their critics.

    Nice that Mr. Bennett calls Pogo to his defense, but Walt Kelly was quite liberal and despised McCarthyism. He satirized McCarthy with his appropriately named character Simple J. Malarkey-- and received threats to his own livelihood as a result.

    Dunk us all in bowls of barley! Friday the 13th falls on a Wednesday this month.

  • Frankness TALLAHASSEE, FL
    March 8, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    I am very concerned about young families...

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 8, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    Bennett, please…

    And the emasculation of conservatives continues as they keep skipping down the road of victimization – which is all the more ironic given their long history as the victimizers. Cue the violins…

    And Tolstoy and Mukkake are correct – citizens openly and publicly voicing opposition (the polar opposite of the McCarthyism) is what a free society is all about. All this caterwauling sounds like little more than sour grapes for being on the wrong side of a national conversation.

    C’mon conservatives… man up!

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    This isn't a blacklist by any means. It is negative press and grassroots activism. This is very well publicized. The Hollywood blacklist was an unspoken agreement and was maintain by the Hollywood Oligarchy.

    Above all else, it was the artist who stepped away, not the company.

    A weak and ignorant comparison by any means.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 8, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    I think Mr. Bennett just realized what the Left is about. They are about free speech, as long as you agree with theirs.

    Just look at all of the people that the liberals have tried to destroy because they simply disagreed with liberal policies.

    Unfortunately, we have elected those same liberals to run this country.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    March 8, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @tolstoy: The Hollywood "blacklists" were private individuals refusing to hire communist sympathizing actors and writers. It was not government suppressing speech. Thus, Bennett's comparison is spot on.

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    March 8, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    @George

    Based on the declassified information from the Venona project which broke the code on some Soviet communications.

    The decrypts show the U.S. and other nations were targeted in major espionage campaigns by the Soviet Union as early as 1942. Among those identified are Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White,[19] the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie,[20] a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin,[21] a section head in the Office of Strategic Services.

  • George Bronx, NY
    March 7, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    @truth
    "Communist infiltration which turned out to be true? " really? Based on what?

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    March 7, 2013 8:04 p.m.

    Mr. Bennett makes the following claim:

    “Hollywood features a wide spectrum of ideological diversity, from ultra-left-wing to ultra-ultra-ultra left-wing,...”

    He obviously is in error and just being perhaps a little facetious. One “ultra” is probably a valid observation, but a triple “ultra” is shall we say, “out of sight”.

    I would offer one observation of “Hollywood”. They have made dozens of movies rightfully vilifying Nazism and their crimes. However “Hollywood” has been close to zero when it comes to movies that should rightfully vilifying Communism and their crimes. The body count for both totalitarian movements runs into the tens of millions.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 7, 2013 6:53 p.m.

    It seems like the exteme left always has an excuse for their intolerance and hypocritical behavior, and how they treat others.

    I wich the qwriter had bothered to give a correct history of the the commitee that was investigating unamerican activities,

    and how unfairly mcarthy was treated, hollywood had very loud voice and essentially rewrote history.

    The real truth is the committee was started by a democrats, and McCarthy later took lead when the republicans took control of congress.

    And history has vindicated McCarthy, it was NOT about attacking and silencing opposing voices as hollywood left would like you to believe,

    but about communist infiltration which history has proven to be true.

    But I guess we should not care about preserving the constitution, our constitutional government and the amercan way, or even true history.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    March 7, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    So I am not sure I support people calling for him to be removed from the superman project however I do wonder if Mr bennett understands the difference between private citizens deciding to not support and express their opposition to (also free speech) to another private citizens views and McCarthyism which was the government taking steps to silence those they disagreed with through the force of law. There really is a vast difference on the first hand he may be removed from this private funded project but continues to retain his right to free speech and in the later people where forced into silence by the government.