Three letter word
As many readers are likely already aware, a Haliburton Village business was vandalized in a despicable display of homophobia last week.
On the evening of June 21, the business owner returned to his shop after dinner to find the word “fag” scrawled across a window in black spraypaint.
Instead of quietly accepting the hateful act, the business owner took to social media, writing about the incident on Facebook and how he refused to believe it was anything more than the act of one ignorant person with too much time to kill.
That post went viral, or at least Haliburton County viral, and within a day had been shared nearly 200 times and met with hundreds of messages of love and support.
That response was indicative of the true character of Haliburton County.
Let’s be clear, this was not just an act of vandalism. It was a hate crime. Its perpetrator, let’s be honest with ourselves, is almost certainly male because, frankly, women are just better than that.
So, for the remainder of this column, the perpetrator will be referred to as “he” and “the criminal.”
The big question here is, of course, why? Why would he, the criminal, do something like this?
The answer, of course, is a mixture of ignorance and stupidity, key ingredients in the recipe for hatred. Like so many behaviours, the criminal’s homophobia is probably learned, picked up from and reinforced by his parents and/or peer group.
To take it to the level of defacing property, though, is something else. If Freud were here, he’d likely tell us the criminal was lashing out because of inner turmoil with his own latent homosexuality.
That could be it, or the criminal could just be a bigoted, mouth-breathing moron. Judging by his penmanship, it’s incredible his brain was actually able to muster the correct spelling of a three-letter word.
Difficult to say.
Either way, the point is this: homophobia is stupid. It’s the same as racism. It’s the same thing. It’s discriminating against people based on a biological characteristic. It’s no different than discriminating against someone for his hair colour or height. It is the logical equivalent.
Actions start as thoughts. If you hear someone in the community using homophobic language, confront them about it. If you use homophobic language or are teaching it to your children, grow up and stop it.
The business owner wrote in his Facebook post he thinks we need to have a real and lasting discussion about homophobia and inclusiveness in the community and that appears to be the case.
What happened last week is unacceptable.