My editor has received a letter of complaint. The SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh writes:
I read Douglas Murray’s blog on Friday “Where’s the proof that Donald Trump is homophobic?” with great interest. It’s fantastic to see the Spectator embracing the zeitgeist and embracing “post-truth” politics in its own right by now ignoring facts when publishing comment.
I’m particularly happy to directly answer Douglas Murray’s questions, when he asked:
“Where does this endlessly repeated claim that Donald Trump is so anti-gay as to make grown men cry actually originate? What is the source of the claim? Or the evidence?”
The evidence is in an interview from Channel 4 News on Thursday 10th November, in which Johnathan (sic) Capehart, a “grown man”, broke down in tears when considering the impact of a Trump presidency would have on him.
Asked by Snow whether as a gay, black journalist America was still his Mr Capehart said:
“That is a very powerful question Jon and it moves me almost into silence. The election of President Obama was a great moment for this country. And now we stand two months away from, excuse me, from all of that disappearing. And as an African-American, and as an American and a gay man, that scares me.”
You can watch the whole interview here https://youtu.be/EgfbRHhFtMQ.
These are the facts.
Allow me to interrupt Ms Ahmed-Sheikh for a moment. These are not ‘the facts’. Donald Trump does not become the world’s biggest homophobe because one gay man has cried about the idea of him being President. One gay tear does not reality make.
After all, anyone could do that. For instance, allow me to make a confession. When my editor sent me the above email I immediately realised that I was the victim of a homophobic campaign by the SNP. The only reason why Ms Ahmed-Sheikh has written criticising my recent blogpost is because I am a gay man. This realisation, the general tone of her communication and the fact that she went straight to my boss has in fact made me cry. I am crying right now. Big gay tears are rolling down my cheeks, and this is because I believe I am a victim of persecution. I am the victim of SNP homophobia. And I am scared.
Does that work? Is it now the case that a gay crying can cause reality to change? Allow me to return to Ms Ahmed-Sheikh’s communication to my editor:
In addition, it’s clear to many people that Donald Trump’s intolerance poses a threat to many minorities in the US today, including the LGBTI community. By far his most dangerous act so far in this respect is the appointment of Mike Pence as his Vice President. Governor Pence previously suggested that HIV prevention funding be curtailed in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy, and that businesses in Indiana should have the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion, including the ability to fire gay employees.
This is the clear evidence that a Trump Administration in the US will pose a threat to the LGBTI community in the US and abroad, and why it’s absolutely vital that all of those who believe in a tolerant, equal society have a duty to highlight the facts of the situation.
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP
Of course my question was about Donald Trump. For it was the president-elect, rather than Mike Pence, who Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh described on television last week as someone who does not ‘respect…peoples’ right to have whatever sexual orientation they want.’ I asked what evidence she or anyone else has that Donald Trump is a homophobe. Ms Ahmed Sheikh has responded with the ‘evidence’ of one gay man crying and the beliefs of Mike Pence. As it happens I am not in agreement with what Mike Pence believed sixteen years ago. But then sixteen years is a long time. Back then Mike Pence’s beliefs were pretty mainstream even in British political parties. Why, sixteen years ago Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was running for office as a member of the Conservative party – a party that had instituted Section 28 and other homophobic legislation. Ms Ahmed-Sheikh joined a party which in those days had a distinctly anti-gay stance. Did that bother her? Apparently not. Well perhaps Mike Pence has changed his mind, or will change his mind, as Ms Ahmed-Sheikh has done. Whether he has or not I still cannot see why this is a basis for banning Donald Trump from the UK.
Anyhow I’m off to report Ms Ahmed-Sheikh’s email to the police. Hate-crimes and malicious communications like hers cannot be allowed to continue, obvs.