by Chris Haire
As I've pointed out on numerous occasions Dick Harpootlian is unfit to be the head of the S.C. Democratic Party for one reason and one reason alone: he is a homophobic douchebag who once said Lindsey Graham was too "light in the loafers" to fill Strom Thurmonds shoes.
Now, when Harpo made those remarks back in the early 2000s, he dismissed accusations that he had used a homosexual reference to bash Lindsey — and the powers that be let it slide. In fact, they seem to have forgotten that their man Dick is a dick.
Well, Free Times columnist Kevin Fisher wants everybody to know that this wasn't a one-time incident. Evidently, Harpo has a history of gay-baiting, most recently using it to bash Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell.
“Lt. Gov. McConnell also dresses the part, wearing a Civil War uniform and prancing into Civil War reenactments every weekend.” — South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, March 13, 2012
Prancing? Harpo just can’t help himself. If there is a homosexual insult to be hurled onto the political stage, he is the bad actor who will deliver it. An odd role for the top official of the state Democratic Party.
Harpootlian’s use of the word “prancing” to describe McConnell seems to be no accident, as it follows his pattern of making homophobic statements. Nor was it an off-the-cuff remark, as it came in an official news release from the South Carolina Democratic Party.
Harpo characterized McConnell as “prancing” in Civil War reenactments rather than “marching” or “participating” or “performing” in those events for a reason, the same reason for similar comments he made in a video interview with local blogger Brad Warthen in April 2011.
In a discussion of McConnell’s high-profile involvement in Civil War history, Warthen noted that the then-senator reportedly owns “17 Confederate costumes,” to which Harpo replied, “And one of them has hoops.” To make his point crystal clear, Harpootlian gestured around his waist to indicate a hoop skirt.
Fisher then rips into the state's prominent Democratic bigwigs for not calling for Dick's ouster:
Democrats pride themselves on inclusion and equality, yet seem unbothered by their party’s top official being a serial slur machine — toward their own members! (African-Americans have been famously smeared by Harpo as well, but there’s only room in this column for one category of his insults.)
What about you, Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the once and future gubernatorial standard bearer of the state Democratic Party — are Harpootlian’s comments on homosexuality OK with you?
And you, Sens. Darrell Jackson, Joel Lourie and John Scott, and Reps. Jimmy Bales, Mia Garrick, Christopher Hart, Leon Howard, Joe McEachern, Joe Neal, Todd Rutherford and James Smith, our Democratic legislators from Richland County — does Harpo speak for you when he offers homophobic insults?
And you, Jeff March, president of SC Pride — where is your organization on Harpootlian’s public ridicule of allegedly gay politicians?
Finally, what about you, Cindi Ross Scoppe and Warren Bolton, editorial writers for The State — does Harpo get a free pass that you wouldn’t give anyone else of his prominence who was making such remarks?
I agree with you, Kevin. Dick Harpootlian has to go. He's an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.
Well, Harpo ain't the only prominent Demo caught in a bit of contro. Evidently, Hollywood superstar and Obama love-doc narrator Tom Hanks is having to do a little damage control for a fundraiser in which a man in blackface took the stage and Hanks kept on performing. Enjoy it below. (Personally, I think Hanks was just trying to ignore the asshole in blackface — the whole thing was a school fundraiser — but Glenn Frey of the Eagles seems to be enjoying the racist asshattery, even cracking wise about it.)