Friday, October 27, 2017

Radio Silence: Rep. Holt on Las Vegas, NCRM on Bernice King's Anti-Gay Stance

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 2:39 PM

click to enlarge Rep. Holt gave away three AR-15s at his Turkey Shoot this year. Bernice King, far right, got a Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, despite years of anti-gay statements. - TWITTER, FACEBOOK
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  • Rep. Holt gave away three AR-15s at his Turkey Shoot this year. Bernice King, far right, got a Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, despite years of anti-gay statements.

Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) and the National Civil Rights Museum left Flyer questions unanswered recently, but you should know that we did ask.

Holt and the Turkey Shoot Guns

Holt famously gave away two AR-15 rifles at his Hogfest and Turkey Shoot last year. The event came just days after a gunman used a semi-automatic rifle and semi-automatic handgun to kill 50 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.

Holt’s decision made national news and he reportedly received death threats because many thought offering the rifles, which some said were like the ones used at the Pulse shooting, was disrespectful.

In a statement at the time, Holt said the Pulse shooting and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were fueled by “radical Islam.” He was “furious” that people would blame guns for the violence.

“I’m furious that I get phone calls from the media asking me if I'm still going to give away an AR-15 at our Hogfest, rather than asking me how many extra firearms I'll be handing out to ensure people can protect themselves,” Holt said. “After all, it was a bullet that stopped the terrorist (at Pulse). Amazing how so many seem to miss that fact.”

ON DATE DATE, four days after gunman Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people and injured 546 in Las Vegas this year, I emailed Holt a question to his state-issued email address.

I asked, if he were to have another Hogfest and Turkey Shoot following the mass shooting Las Vegas, would he still give away AR-15s. I got no reply.

But maybe the question was moot. By the time Paddock killed those people in Las Vegas, Holt had already hosted the second Hogfest and Turkey Shoot event at his Dresden Farm. The event is a fund-raiser for his political campaign. It took place this year on September 23, about a week before ???THE VEGAS SHOOTING?

Holt did give away AR-15s to the winners of the Turkey Shoot this year — three of them. But they came with some stipulations:

“The recipients of these rifles will be required to have a background check performed, and must pick the rifles up from NT Pawn & Gun in Martin, TN. The AR-15 giveaway is subject to all applicable state & federal laws.”
Holt, usually active on Twitter, had nothing to say about his Hogfest event, giving away the guns, or the Las Vegas shooting. However, on the Monday following the mass shooting, Holt did retweet a pithy comment from @Richman_89:

“I don’t know if Tom Petty is dead, but I’m absolutely sure journalism is.”

Bernice King and the Freedom Awards

The National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM) was completely non-responsive when asked recently why they gave a Freedom Award this year to Reverend Bernice King. She is the youngest of Dr. Martin Luther King’s children who has said in the past that her “father did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.”
In an October 13 email to Connie Dyson, the museum’s marketing communications manager, I requested an interview with someone from the museum to talk about the selection of King for an award. I got no reply.

In 2004, Bernice King helped to lead an anti-gay-marriage march that began at her father’s grave. About 50 protesters carried signs that read “Don’t Hijack Dr. King’s Dream” and “All Forms of Bigotry are Equally Wrong,” according to an ABC news story at the time.

King has said that marriage was instituted by her God, not people, and that marriage was between a man and woman. She’s said that she doesn’t believe people are born gay. In her 1996 book, "Hard Questions, Heart Answers,” King said the “present plight of our nation” is that traditional marriage is being undermined by “alternative lifestyles.”

In 2005, KIng led a march to her father's gravesite and called for a Constitutional ban on gay marriage.

During Atlanta's 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally, King did include LGBT people among the various groups who needed to come together to "fulfill her father’s legacy." Speaking at Brown University in 2013, King said: "I believe that the family was created and ordained first and foremost by God, that he instituted the marriage, and that's a law that he instituted and not... that we instituted." Regarding same-sex attraction, King said: "I ... don't believe everybody's born that way. I know some people have been violated. I know some people have unfortunately delved into it as an experiment."

King has said that her “spiritual father” was the Bishop Eddie Long, who died in January. King was an elder in Long’s church, which offered “homosexual cure” programs. “Everybody knows it’s dangerous to enter an exit,” Long preached to gay men, according to a story at Huffington Post. He added that they “deserve death” for their vile behavior,“ the HuffPo story said.

None of this is mentioned in King’s bio on the NCRM Freedom Awards website.

Terri Lee Freeman, president of the museum, said at the awards event that King and the other winners, “exemplify Dr. King's mission and legacy of fighting for and protecting the rights of every man, woman and child, regardless of their race or social enconomic status," but especially "the marginalized, subjugated and disenfranchised,” according to a story from The Commercial Appeal.

We're not saying the questions to Holt or the museum were ignored, exactly. Maybe they're in a spam folder somewhere.

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