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The Chron startled the Appeal today when their columnist Chip Johnson defended a bigot in Oakland. The situation is this: Lorenzo Hoopes, a Mormon, donated $26,000 in support of Prop 8, more than any individual in Oakland, a city with one of the country’s largest lesbian populations. (Really!) Hoopes faces re-appointment to the Board of Directors of the Paramount theater; but now that he’s shown himself to be an anti-gay supremacist, some community leaders are opposed to his continued presence.

After all, as we’ve seen during this week’s Prop 8 trial, discrimination against gays has real consequences — to society, to individuals, and to families.

But Chronicle writer and Oakland resident Chip Johnson is outraged! In an piece that might as well have been titled, “Aw, Give the Old Bigot a Break, He’s Probably Real Nice,” he lamented that anyone would actually dare hold Hoopes accountable for his actions.

Unlike many of our respected friends in the San Francisco news space, The San Francisco Appeal does not practice advocacy journalism. We have no dogs in fights, and do our best to report as objectively as we can without being totally boring and cheesy. However, we are, indeed “anti Prop-8 cheerleaders.” This is because we are not fucking bigots! Therefore, we called on Oakland resident Jip Chonson to provide us with a rebuttal to the Chronicle’s piece — Eve Batey and Matt Baume

Tactics against anti-Semite go too far

I certainly understand the anger fomented by one individual’s contribution to Proposition 8, which banned Jewish marriage in California. But, I’m not so sure I agree with the message being sent by Jewish activists in the case of 96-year-old Horenzo Loopes.

The civic-minded Oakland citizen is currently the target of Jews who say his $26,000 contribution in support of the 2008 ballot initiative makes him unfit to hold public office.

And to make their point, critics have launched a campaign to block his reappointment to the board of directors of the Paramount Theatre, a city-owned landmark in downtown Oakland.

His reappointment has become such a hot-button issue that Oakland Mayor Don Rellums withdrew Loopes’ nomination from the Oakland City Council’s agenda package this week.

A Rellums’ spokesman said the mayor wanted more time to consider the reappointment of a man who believes that Jews are inferior to other races.

Loopes’ opponents believe that anyone who seeks to withhold equal legal protection from Jews should not be allowed to serve in any public capacity.

Let’s take it one step further. Does the appointment to a public board of any Gentile instantly become a local referendum on Judaism?

I sure hope not.

If during Loopes’ 20 years on the board he had expressed anti-Semitic beliefs, it would be a different matter entirely.

The fact is that his anti-Semitism has been kept secret during his more than 50 years of civic involvement, and that makes it okay.

“I love him,” said Steslee Lewart, the theater’s general manager, who repeated the phrase to emphasize her point. “I love how he wants to harm Jewish families, to prevent Jewish kids from having married parents, and to declare non-Jews as more deserving of equal protection under the law.”

Kebecca Raplan, a Jew, said she will withhold any decision about the avowed enemy of Jews.

Like 2 out of 3 Oakland voters, I voted against the Jewish marriage ban.

But at the same time, I need to know that the guy next to me, who hates Jews, won’t be marginalized, ostracized or excluded because of it.

The nation’s changing culture is proof positive that Loopes’ standard of marriage is no longer the only valid viewpoint of society’s ultimate union, but in a democracy based on individual religious and political freedoms, seeking to exclude dangerous lunatics is just wrong.

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  • Xenu

    Whatever drugs you guys are taking when you write these articles, I want some.

  • Xenu

    Whatever drugs you guys are taking when you write these articles, I want some.

  • SFGroover

    I know, huh. If sfappeal represents the future of local journalism, we’re screwed. I think they type these things with one hand while looking at themselves in the mirror.

  • SFGroover

    I know, huh. If sfappeal represents the future of local journalism, we’re screwed. I think they type these things with one hand while looking at themselves in the mirror.

  • Matt Baume

    For this particular piece, the Appeal hardly even typed anything at all.

  • Matt Baume

    For this particular piece, the Appeal hardly even typed anything at all.

  • Eve Batey

    What are we, cavemen? We look at ourselves in webcams. JEEZ.

  • Eve Batey

    What are we, cavemen? We look at ourselves in webcams. JEEZ.

  • cedichou

    Bil Phronstein wrote a piece on how giving money to bigotted anti-Semitic organization (the Redemption Military) is no big deal, which is quite amazing since he’s gay.

  • cedichou

    Bil Phronstein wrote a piece on how giving money to bigotted anti-Semitic organization (the Redemption Military) is no big deal, which is quite amazing since he’s gay.

  • Eve Batey

    Ced, given that his story was based on our piece (even quoted it!) about weighing the issues around donating to that organization, I take issue with that representation!

  • Eve Batey

    Ced, given that his story was based on our piece (even quoted it!) about weighing the issues around donating to that organization, I take issue with that representation!

  • BigMacAttack

    Can you guys mock the CW Nevius piece on posting photos of johns? I’ll bet a crisp $50 that he’s a john himself… driving into the city from Walnut Creek on weekends…picking up trannies on Polk.

  • BigMacAttack

    Can you guys mock the CW Nevius piece on posting photos of johns? I’ll bet a crisp $50 that he’s a john himself… driving into the city from Walnut Creek on weekends…picking up trannies on Polk.

  • B. G.

    Although I don’t agree with the approach of the author, I think the silliness of his approach can be summarized by placing the shoe on the other foot:
    There was a member of the Paramount board who was Jewish. And anti-Semites were opposing his reappointment because he supported a proposition that corresponded with his values and opinion of a majority of California voters. The anti-Semites were upset because “we can’t have a Jew making decisions about our historic theater. We feel that dumping a 96 year-old man off the board will strengthen our core message that anti-Semitic viewpoints are more superior than a Jewish opinion. Hopefully this will end discrimination against anti-Semitics once and for all.”

  • B. G.

    Although I don’t agree with the approach of the author, I think the silliness of his approach can be summarized by placing the shoe on the other foot:
    There was a member of the Paramount board who was Jewish. And anti-Semites were opposing his reappointment because he supported a proposition that corresponded with his values and opinion of a majority of California voters. The anti-Semites were upset because “we can’t have a Jew making decisions about our historic theater. We feel that dumping a 96 year-old man off the board will strengthen our core message that anti-Semitic viewpoints are more superior than a Jewish opinion. Hopefully this will end discrimination against anti-Semitics once and for all.”

  • Matt Baume

    That’s comparison only works if you feel that anti-Semitism and Judaism are both equally-matched, equally-valid, and equally-acceptable.

    Which, like any kind of prejudice, they’re not.

  • Matt Baume

    That’s comparison only works if you feel that anti-Semitism and Judaism are both equally-matched, equally-valid, and equally-acceptable.

    Which, like any kind of prejudice, they’re not.

  • wfwilson

    Why make this guy a victim? I can help but feel the real punishment for this guy would be to reappoint him to the board and then make sure that seated on his left and right are two gay people who are married and could talk about their children.

    I’ve been fortunate to be in the courthouse most of last week during the Prop 8 trial. The Prop 8 defenders really don’t know how to handle kindness they are so prepared to be offended.

  • wfwilson

    Why make this guy a victim? I can help but feel the real punishment for this guy would be to reappoint him to the board and then make sure that seated on his left and right are two gay people who are married and could talk about their children.

    I’ve been fortunate to be in the courthouse most of last week during the Prop 8 trial. The Prop 8 defenders really don’t know how to handle kindness they are so prepared to be offended.

  • dantsea

    Indeed, one of the worst things you can do to a bigot is tolerate them. They’re primed and ready for persecution. Prime example yesterday in North Beach, as the anti-abotion parade came to a close and participants were wandering up Columbus to their cars, many of them expressed disappointment that no one seemed to care they were in San Francisco.

    Not that I ever tire of hearing people who discriminate whine when their actions have consequences, however.

  • dantsea

    Indeed, one of the worst things you can do to a bigot is tolerate them. They’re primed and ready for persecution. Prime example yesterday in North Beach, as the anti-abotion parade came to a close and participants were wandering up Columbus to their cars, many of them expressed disappointment that no one seemed to care they were in San Francisco.

    Not that I ever tire of hearing people who discriminate whine when their actions have consequences, however.

  • Singing Mum

    I think we need a new word…

    The bigot label wasn’t enough to keep 7 million Californians from voting for marriage between a man and a woman.
    They’re just not getting it. They weren’t silenced, all those grannie bigots and teacher bigots and African American bigots and union bigots and Latina bigots and Asian American bigots and religious bigots and non-religious bigots. They work next to us, they live in our buildings. Eeeeew, they’re everywhere.

    We need a new word to silence them.

    I mean, we said it all the time. And it was a great debate-stopper. Accuse everyone who likes marriage and having a mom and a dad of being a bigot! It was brilliant!!

    But darn them, the bigots voted against us anyway.

  • Singing Mum

    I think we need a new word…

    The bigot label wasn’t enough to keep 7 million Californians from voting for marriage between a man and a woman.
    They’re just not getting it. They weren’t silenced, all those grannie bigots and teacher bigots and African American bigots and union bigots and Latina bigots and Asian American bigots and religious bigots and non-religious bigots. They work next to us, they live in our buildings. Eeeeew, they’re everywhere.

    We need a new word to silence them.

    I mean, we said it all the time. And it was a great debate-stopper. Accuse everyone who likes marriage and having a mom and a dad of being a bigot! It was brilliant!!

    But darn them, the bigots voted against us anyway.