On Wednesday, a man named Dave Agema posted a link on Facebook leading to an article entitled “Everyone should know these statistics on homosexuals.” The article was offensive, absurd and full of misinformation.
Of course, people post awful, incorrect things on the Internet all the time. But Agema isn’t just your weird third cousin who lives by himself in the woods but somehow has a Facebook account where he posts political nonsense. Agema is a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan’s current Republican National Committeeman.
If the Republican Party wants to reconnect with voters, it would do well to move far away from intellectually lazy conservatives like Agema.
According to The Detroit News, in an email to supporters, Agema, who has received heavy criticism for the post from members of his own party, said, “I think it was a piece worth sharing given the debate over gay marriage that is happening in the Supreme Court.”
The article, purported to have been written by a “Frank Joseph, M.D.,” contains a bulleted list of “statistics” and very broad claims from obscure and dated sources. No serious debate about gay marriage would make use of any of the claims in the article.
One such “fact” says, “Many homosexual encounters occur while drunk, high on drugs or in an orgy setting.” Of course, straight people are incapable of having sex while drunk or high on drugs. Even a child would know that’s strictly a gay thing.
Speaking of children, another fake statistic in the article reads simply, “Homosexuals prey on children.”
Does Agema think homosexuals have very sharp teeth, long tails with spikes at the end and knives for fingernails? Has he heard a rumor that homosexuals have an extra muscle in their legs, making them excellent runners who easily chase down and then prey on children?
This is not the first time Agema has shown he is willing to express views based on highly dubious sources, or even satire. Earlier this year, on Twitter, Agema posted a link to an article from the satirical newspaper The Onion about President Barack Obama’s illegitimate 19-year-old son showing up at the Democratic National Convention and asked, “Is this true?”
Agema questions whether Obama is a Muslim or not, even though that conspiracy theory has been repeatedly, solidly debunked. For one, Obama says he is a Christian, which a Muslim, by definition, does not do.
But furthermore, Agema’s preoccupation with Obama being a Muslim gives us some insight into how he feels about Muslims in general. We know that he thinks there’s something inherently wrong with being a Muslim, that all terrorists are Muslim, and ultimately, that a Muslim, by virtue of being Muslim, would be unfit for the job of president.
And that opinion is one held only by a person who knows absolutely nothing about Islam, who has never bothered getting to know a Muslim and who believes all Muslims everywhere are the same.
So it’s not surprising that Agema proudly applies the same sort of appalling ignorance to homosexuals. For people like Agema, it’s simply easier to write off and demonize entire groups of people than it is to learn about them.
But what more can you expect from a grown man who happily accepts what is written on the Internet by crazy people without bothering to check in with the rest of us back here in the real world?