Rich Johnston, you ignorant slut

DC Comics hire Orson Scott Card, science fiction author and noted homophobe, to write some Superman stories. People not surprisingly object. Bleeding Cool mudracker Rich Johnston comments and feels the need to warn people about the evils of censorship:

Some try to draw a line between an opinionated person and an activist. I disagree, any famous person who expresses an opinion, especially in this day and age, de facto becomes an activist for that opinion.

It’s a very dangerous game, it has led in the past to witchtrials, McCarthyite or otherwise, and it’s no better than the actions of, say, One Million Moms. And next time? It could be you…

This is the sort of naive fear people who don’t pay enough attention to history and politics have, from vaguely remembered civics classes and decades of middle of the road propaganda about how all kinds of extremism are equally bad, the sort of semi-liberal idea that goals don’t matter, but methods do. Which leads to such absurdities as saying that taking action against bigotry is as bad as the bigotry itself, as notable dimwit Mark Millar has done. Of course if you follow this logic to the bitter end, not only could you never boycott writers or artists for being bigots, you should actually be obliged to buy their comics, or you’re punishing them for their opinions.

But of course there’s a huge difference between those McCarthyite showtrials Johnston is so worried about and grassroots boycott campaigns. McCarthy operated with the full support of the state and most of the press against people who actually were a danger to the United States, to further his own career, destroying the lives of those he persecuted. Orson Scott Card meanwhile is a successful writer with a long career who never had to suffer for his bigotry, who will still be rich and successful even if he never gets to write Superman.

What’s more, it’s not his speech that people object to, nasty though his opinions about homosexuality are, but the fact that he is actually on the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, which works hard to keep homosexual people second class citizens in America. It’s somewhat disingenuous of Johnston to ignore this and pretend he’s just some ordinary person with unfortunate opinions, as harmless as your racist nan.

Can you let somebody like that write for Superman, symbol of Truth, Justice and the American Way, who used to take on the Klan in his radio adventures? Really?

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