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

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

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

« »

July

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 Viewed

  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • And I quote, "It makes complete sense that a God who favors a man who…

    • on July 19, 2017
 

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