Favorite

The sting of shame 

And another thing: Look, I’m no prude. I honestly don’t care what you do with your genitalia and assorted orifices, as long as I don’t have to watch. That’s why God made window blinds.

Why, then, has recent media coverage — some in the Dem-Gaz, but most notably a KTHV two-part “Special Report” — on the Faulkner County sheriff’s undercover arrests of gay men in Cadron Settlement Park turned my stomach so? Why was it so heartbreaking?

With their usual breathlessness, KTHV devoted two nights to their tag-along on a sting that netted 10 men at the park in rural Faulkner County, off Highway 319. Most of the accused were arrested for exposing themselves and grabbing deputies’ genitals. In addition to having cameras rolling while the dastardly perps were cuffed and stuffed, KTHV’s June 29-30 report on the mid-June sting named names, and provided handy mugshots. All are still available on the KTHV website.

Here’s a sample from one transcript:

Deputy: “Put your pants back on.”

Suspect: “I asked you if you were a cop and you said you weren’t and I ain’t never done this.”

Deputy: “I understand. You know where my car is, I want you to walk to the top of the hill, OK. I have a weapon and I also have a body mic on.”

Suspect: “I understand.”

Deputy: “Walk to the top of the hill for me.”

Suspect: “I never, ever do this. God, isn’t that something? I never, ever do this.”

Deputy: “Sir, you’ve already told me you do.”

Suspect: “I know, but I was so scared and I don’t ever do ... you know, I’m just...”

Deputy: “I got you.”

Suspect: “Hey, please don’t do this to me.”

Deputy: “Top of the hill.”

Suspect: “Hey, please don’t do this to me.”

That, friends, is the sound of a man watching as his whole life — the very ground beneath his feet — dissolves into fog.

There is something unmistakably sad to me about gay cruising spots that grow up like this. Mostly, they’re havens for desperate men, hungry for something they need but too scared or with too much to lose to try and get it where an openly gay person might. Of the 10 arrests detailed by KTHV, only two were locals, with others from as far away as Little Rock and Oklahoma. If they traveled that far, most of these men were probably about as deep in the closet as you can get; guys with families. One was a high-ranking official at the University of Central Arkansas. Many of them have undoubtedly done exactly what George W. Bush and Jerry Falwell and Fred “God Hates Fags”
Phelps want them to do: suppress their inborn desires, get married, and procreate. Just as undoubtedly, if the charges against them are true, they were breaking anyone’s definition of the law.

That said, KTHV and Dem-Gaz (which also ran a full list of the arrests): Is it worth ruining their lives over activity that would have likely gotten a heterosexual couple a cop’s smirk and an admonishment to get a room?



No comment.

david@arktimes.com



Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by David Koon

  • ACLU, HRC, Ark. Trans Equality Coalition decry anti-trans bills

    In a press conference on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol this morning, representatives of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition (ARTEC), ACLU of Arkansas and a transgender pioneer spoke out against a number of anti-trans and anti-LGBT bills working their way through the state legislature. Citing the economic and political fallout for North Carolina over their "bathroom bill," the groups say the bills will harm the Arkansas economy.
    • Mar 20, 2017
  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it

    Home-cooking winner Homer's enters its third decade of dishing up meat 'n' three.
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • Best restaurants of Arkansas 2017

    • Mar 16, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal

Event Calendar

« »

March

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Slim margin could decide 2014 elections

    • Good Day: to whom it may concern, I am Lori McKissick From Ohio U.S.A, I…

    • on March 28, 2017
  • Re: More on pits

    • "investigator of both sides": Aside from being a snide ass, you are an idiot. If…

    • on March 28, 2017
  • Re: More on pits

    • Society is also judged on whether it uses reason, or emotion to create laws. So,…

    • on March 28, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation