Horrible homophobic person Clint McCance resigned from an Arkansas school board tonight on AC360 after writing awful things on Facebook regarding last Wednesday’s “Wear Purple Day,” when educators and students were intended to show support for homosexuals and fight gay bullying by wearing purple. McCance had updated his status to say: “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed therselves because of their sin.” (Sic throughout, obviously.) In the comments of his Facebook status, McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and stated that he enjoys “the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die.” But on CNN this evening, Anderson Cooper set him straight, and the ostensibly embarrassed and regretful homophobe said, “I’m sorry I’ve hurt people with my comments. I’m sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum. I would never support suicide for any kids. I don’t support bullying of any kids.” And then he resigned on air. So, there are some positives from a negative here:
1. Arkansas is getting less homophobic? Sure, this whole thing began with a terrible outburst of Arkansas-based homophobia, but it really began with an Arkansas-based “Wear Purple Day,” first of all. More important, McCance faced heavy criticism from the school board that forced him to publicly resign and apologize. And he lives in Arkansas. Also, he’s old, and some hopeful part of us would like to think his generation is a dying breed, even in Arkansas, and maybe the students were more okay with “Wear Purple Day,” and think McCance is gross.
2. You can’t just write totally homophobic things on the privacy of your own Facebook anymore. Time was, you only had to publicly express tolerance if you were some sort of left-leaning politician or a celebrity. School board members are the last people who should ever be homophobic, of course, but this guy is still basically a private citizen who wrote something disgusting on Facebook and got called out for it. This is good! Tolerance need not only apply to public figures.
3. This is the second gay-bullying adult Anderson Cooper has called out this month. (The first being Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvel.) It’s unfortunate that there are gay-bullying adults at all, but it’s something that they’re appearing on AC360 and subsequently losing their jobs. Is Cooper becoming a bolder gay-rights advocate?
In any case, baby steps?