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

  • The student-led Memory Project at Central takes history high tech

    With stories that matter.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • Central High 60th anniversary

    A schedule of events, consideration of the past and the future, and more.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • Join us Sept. 21 for Pig & Swig!

    Make plans to join Arkansas Times at 6 p.m. Sept. 21 for Pig & Swig, an event centered around two of life's finest pleasures: sippin' whiskey and fine swine. The event, which benefits the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, will be held at the Heifer Project Pavilion and Urban Farm near the Clinton Center.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

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 »

Event Calendar

« »

September

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

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Sex on campus

    • Once again commentators blame the victim. Social scientists, of whom I am one, regularly find…

    • on September 22, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Shiny, nobody is saying that Hillary isn't entitled to speak. Shit, the more she talks,…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bad health care bill, again

    • Its hard to tell what the GOP in Arkansas care about beyond making life worse…

    • on September 20, 2017
 

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