Log Cabin Republicans | Michelangelo Signorile

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Log Cabin Republicans And A Racially Charged Interview

PinkElHave you ever been in the middle of an interview on a globally-broadcast radio show and realized you just said something that, from a certain perspective, probably sounded boneheadedly racist? Have you ever then watched in horror as your public profile was dragged through the gutter and you were stripped of your title in a political organization you've loved and labored in for years? No? Me, neither! But that's the experience Bob Schlein, the just-sacked head of the Dallas Log Cabin Republicans.

Here's what happened: In September, he published an essay in the Dallas Voice entitled "Why I will vote Republican in 2012." The essay earned him an appearance on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Radio (where, full disclosure, I'm a guest news anchor), where the two men briefly argued about non-discrimination laws. Schlein thinks they're pretty useless. At some point, these words were exchanged (as transcribed by Signorile's people):

Schlein: Texas is a right to work state. So as an employer, which I am, I can fire anyone at will, there’s no such obligation.

Signorile: You can’t fire someone for being black --

Schlein: I can them for whatever reason I want --

Signorile: You cannot fire someone for being African-American...

Schlein: Well, I wouldn’t tell them...

Signorile: Well, you wouldn’t tell them, but you’d do it anyway?

Schlein: Well, I sure wouldn’t tell them... I’d find a reason if I wanted to fire them...

Signorile: You'd find a reason to fire someone because they're black?

Schlein: I'd find a reason if I wanted to fire anybody not respective of race. It's not about race.

You can see how Schlein tried to salvage the exchange at the end there, but it did no good. The national Log Cabin Republicans have sacked Mr. Schlein and dissolved his chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, while simultaneously beginning a new chapter in Dallas under different leadership. Mr. Schlein thinks he was sacked because he was getting too chummy with GoProud. The LCR have their own explanation. According to R. Clarke Cooper, the group's executive director:

When the leadership of one of our chapters chooses to undermine the credibility, effectiveness and mission of Log Cabin Republicans through their actions, we are forced to enact corrective measures for the good of the greater organization. It is unfortunate that the former leadership of Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas, particularly its president Rob Schlein, have engaged in a consistent pattern of behavior that detracts from the mission of our organization. After all due consideration and efforts at reconciliation, the Board of Directors have decided to begin anew, ensuring that our mission of fighting for freedom can be at its strongest in Dallas and across the country.

Apparently, the national LCR is for anti-discrimination laws, and failing to toe the party line is a very big mistake. Though if you ask me, it probably wouldn't have been as big a mistake if Mr. Schlein hadn't soundly vaguely racist while committing it.

But is Mr. Schlein a racist? It seems like Mr. Schlein was trying to explain that if an employer is racist, anti-discrimination laws won't necessarily stop him from firing someone on account of race. Am I reading this right? Was Mr. Shlein's gaffe a dumb slip of the tongue, or something else?

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Comments

  1. Racism = rehashing old blood libels that "Jewish bankers" are to blame for all the world's economic woes.

    But no one at Towleroad seems to be upset about that.

    Posted by: Max | Oct 15, 2011 8:39:29 PM


  2. Interesting. The Democratic Black Caucus will only admit...black people. This conversation could have so many nuances, such as age, race, etc. This strikes me as one of the postings you usually find on the OTHER popular gay bog, where when they find themselves without stories, they spin something in a particular way.

    Posted by: matt | Oct 15, 2011 9:46:35 PM


  3. Max: Sorry, but Schlein's (and the LCR's) argument that anti-discrimination laws should be done away with because they cannot prevent discrimination is absurd, to say nothing of what a moronic attempt that was to make that point (and therefore an argument in support of his firing anyway).

    As stated by someone else, there is no law on earth that can prevent someone from going against it or any other crime. The law inherently exists to provide legal recourse or punishment for going against it. Laws against murder, child abuse, rape, or theft don't prevent anyone from committing murder, child abuse, rape, or theft. They happen all the time. The only preventative effect they have is to potentially make someone reconsider the act for fear of the legal consequences.

    But ultimately how they function--the meat of the law--is by ensuring that victims (and society) are able to seek recourse and perpetrators are legally punished. The law dictates that certain actions, if proven, have assigned consequences. Someone can still get away with murder, and a child rapist can still get away with rape after the statute of limitations has passed, but that's hardly a reason to advocate eliminating laws making murder or child rape illegal.

    Likewise, any law is useless if a crime cannot be proven. There is no difference between a murderer lying and destroying evidence and a boss fabricating a reason to fire someone because of their race or sexual orientation. If the law didn't exist, they wouldn't have to fabricate anything. People have to hide the evidence of their crime to get away with it precisely BECAUSE the law exists. It is always up to the law to demonstrate that the evidence exists and to see through fabrication. If the idea that "it is possible for a crime can be committed and never proven" isn't a rational basis for eliminating murder laws, why would it be a rational argument for eliminating anti-discrimination laws?

    When the law doesn't exist, there is no basis for punishment, as there is no crime. That is why anti-discrimination laws exist and why they should remain. Unless of course, the belief here is that if minorities are going to fall victim to discrimination anyway, they might as well also fall victim to the inability to seek justice.

    Posted by: luminum | Oct 15, 2011 9:53:42 PM


  4. Nice dodge, Luminum. The article is about a poorly-worded and deliberately misunderstood hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question.

    However, there is actual racism against Jews at these Occupy Wall Street protests.

    Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMjm4LxFa1c

    Perhaps you could write a five-paragraph essay about that?

    Posted by: Max | Oct 15, 2011 10:41:29 PM


  5. schlein is actually correct in what he said....IE that if they dont like you for being a monority, they can fire you. They will just make up another reason, like a lack of performance, etc. He's actually wrong for saying it though. Its like an insurance company saying something like...."well we know we owe you for workers compesation because you broke your arm at the office moving furniture, but we're gonna say you we're negligent in the way you handled that move" in other words, He's admitting guilt and also admitting covering up for it at the same time. Of course thats why they dont want the laws to begin with.....so they can just flat out fire you, period. for whatever reason. This is business to them

    Posted by: stevenelliot | Oct 16, 2011 12:32:21 AM


  6. Dumb slip,of the tongue. But the overly pc crowd got their hooks in, and that's all she wrote.
    Of course I support pc, but like every other system, it can go off the rails.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Oct 16, 2011 12:35:24 AM


  7. In the name of god, you don't tow the line. You TOE the line. Pick up a dictionary, damn it.

    Posted by: BarerMender | Oct 16, 2011 2:13:11 AM


  8. great post, thanks

    Posted by: jeu de baccarat | Oct 16, 2011 4:09:08 AM


  9. I don't know why people vote Republican, given the recent mob of misfits. It baffles the mind.

    Posted by: Jeffrey Dunivant | Oct 16, 2011 10:44:41 AM


  10. One can never be too overly PC.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 16, 2011 11:19:15 AM


  11. they fired him for revealing the truth about gay repubs and repubs in general who are not part of the 1% multi-millionaire billionaire gang = racism pure and simple is why people are repubs and vote against their own economic self interest

    Couldn't allow that much truth out from under the white sheets so they fired him

    Posted by: say what | Oct 16, 2011 11:34:27 AM


  12. BarerMender:

    Well spotted! Thanks for the correction. Please keep em coming.

    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Oct 16, 2011 12:07:03 PM


  13. I agree. There is nothing wrong with what was being said. If anything MS was trying to bait him with the race card.

    The title of this post was misleading. If anything MS was the one who was racially charged.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Oct 16, 2011 2:10:28 PM


  14. Pet prevent rant. People this is not a right to work issue. RTW prohibit workplace rules that require union membership. Employment at will is a common law concept that allows an employer or employee to terminate employment at any time for any reason not prohibited.

    This error is annoyingly common, and I will administer an atomic wedgie to the next person to commit it. /rant

    Posted by: Jay | Oct 16, 2011 2:28:38 PM


  15. Say What, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are some of Obama's biggest donors. You know that, right? Talk about voting against one's economic interests.

    David, are you feeling better today? Here's a hug. :)

    Posted by: Max | Oct 16, 2011 3:07:13 PM


  16. Being a racist is unacceptable in the Log Cabin Republicans, but being a self loathing queer is still OK?

    Posted by: Wilkby | Oct 16, 2011 3:51:48 PM


  17. You can`t get more racially charged than genocide:

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,white countries for EVERYBODY!

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives alike say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    Posted by: StueyT | Oct 16, 2011 9:59:50 PM


  18. You can`t get more racially charged than genocide:

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,white countries for EVERYBODY!

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives alike say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    Posted by: StueyT | Oct 16, 2011 10:00:46 PM


  19. What if is was sttaight and he said that about gays? You queens would be all on him. I cant believe most of you were defending him. It wasnt a trick question, it was straight and to the point. Yall are sick and no different from the GOP, LCR, and GoProud. At least they are more real and upfront about their bigotry and not hiding behind this false delussion of equality.

    Posted by: CAJIVA | Oct 17, 2011 6:23:07 AM


  20. Yes, it was a CLEAR accident of misspoken words which is often what happens when racists use the wrong choice of words to cover up their non racist point of view.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Oct 17, 2011 12:41:35 PM


  21. A Republican lost his job? (Listens for sound and hears nothing)

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Oct 17, 2011 2:35:27 PM


  22. Unfortunately people, not only in "right to work" states, are fired every day for phony reasons. I had a boss (who did not own the company) once tell me he fired minorities, women and gays all the time simply because he didn't like working with them. Once human resources hired them he simply found "valid" reasons to get rid of them, even if it meant lying or setting them up. He also bragged about laying the groundwork so well that he never lost a case if it was brought before the EEOC. Ironically less than six months after he told me all these details he was passed over for a promotion by a (unknown to him) gay man - ME - who subsequently fired him for just cause (falsify a workmen's comp claim for his girlfriend) - resulting in not only him losing his job but also being denied unemployment benefits.

    Posted by: Tyron | Oct 17, 2011 5:31:18 PM


  23. I know Rob Schlein. He's your stereotypical gay Republican, who just cares about his pocketbook & blames liberals for everything.

    Posted by: Joetx | Oct 17, 2011 6:06:41 PM


  24. The comment was probably a poor explanation. However, being from the South, I have met a number of racist gay people and know some Republican gay people.

    That said, it is true that an employer in a right to work state can make up an unsubstantiated reason to fire a person. This is particularly done to teachers whom principals don't like and the real reason for having tenure and unions. They employer can pretend the firing is performance related when it really has to do with race, age, sex, sexual orientation, how the person dresses, or just because the employer does not like the the victim. It also is known to happen if the victim does not put out sexually. One place where I worked all the employer said was that they had "concerns". This followed a perfect evaluation. The principal had a history of hiring teachers who could pass for high school kids! I was in my 50s. Don't let them fool you, what the man said is true. If they don't have a reason they will make one up and in some cases, they don't have to have one.

    Posted by: twinkie1cat | Aug 13, 2012 2:36:17 AM


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