Mothergate: Am I A Rude Cruel Bully For Blasting Jane Pitt | Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary

December 13, 2012

Mothergate: Am I A Rude Cruel Bully For Blasting Jane Pitt

A screenshot of the Examiner newspaper story falsely accusing Roy Steele of cyberbullying

By Roy Steele

Mothergate: Jane Pitt's Shameful Bigotry - Part 2

I’m uniquely qualified to know what an anti-gay bigoted right-wing Republican extremist mother looks like. My mother was one too.

Last summer Jane Pitt wrote an an incendiary letter to her local newspaper praising Willard Mitt Romney as her candidate for president. Jane Pitt is Brad Pitt’s mother, and Brad is a huge Barack Obama supporter and personal friend of the President’s, and her letter was highly critical of president Obama, and the LGBT community. Jane Pitt is no fan of the gays!

Her letter was full of dog whistles (secret code words) and innuendo as she used the language of evangelical Christians, meant to demean President Obama, and question his character and U.S. citizenship, while accusing him of being a murderer because he’s pro-choice.

This letter was front page news in newspapers around the country for two reasons. The first reason was the controversial nature of the letter which included the racist “birther” campaign. The second reason was the fact that the anti-Obama author letter writer was actor Brad Pitt’s mother. screenshot of full page news story about Jane Pitt and Jive in the (415)
Many people are aware of Brad’s friendship with the president. I can’t remotely imagine what it’s like to be Brad Pitt, but I know I thought at the time – how does he greet his friend  after his mother has accused his friend of being a murderer, and a Kenyan born Muslim who is unfit to be President.

Jane Pitt’s comment about the gay community was likely more problematic for Brad than her remarks about Obama. Aside from Brad having a large number of gay friends, his longtime agent is gay.  Jane Pitt has stood on many red carpets with her famous movie star son that was set up and arranged by said agent. She’s worn designer dresses that were designed by gay designers, had hair and makeup sessions with gay makeup artists and hair stylists, and she is aware that her son’s career is dependent on his gay agent and the many LGBTQ people who work in the industry.

Jane Pitt embarrassed her son, but even more importantly she embarrassed herself. It’s sad when you think about it. Brad is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and even at his level, if you peel that away, he’s still a human being who can be hurt and disappointed and embarrassed by his mom.

Needless to say, when I read Jane Pitt’s letter I was highly critical of her inconsiderate and insincere statements. I used language that I usually use to describe anti-gay hate organizations. I know that some people might consider what I wrote as inflammatory, and so be it. Her letter to the editor was so mean spirited that calling her a “Bigoted, Racist, Right-wing Extremist” was honest and warranted. I still stand by my assertions.

When I wrote "Mothergate: 8 Reasons Why Jane Pitt Is A Racist Bigot," I was very pedantic about why I was characterizing Jane Pitt in the language that I chose. The sentence that sent me over the edge was her statement that one must vote for Romney because Obama “supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”

Gay marriage - two people falling in love and marrying - is equivalent to ‘killing babies’ in her narrow world? That false and misguided equivalence pissed me off. I was infuriated on the one hand, but my own Christian heart and empathy for her son, made me feel very sad.

I closed my blog post with these words:
It’s sad, and we should take pity on Jane Pitt. Hearing the truth might hurt her in the short term, but her innuendos and thinly veiled references hurt communities across this vast country of ours much more. 
I know I’m being hard on Jane Pitt, and regardless of who the protagonist in this story might be, I would still react the same way. 
I truly believe that people can redeem themselves, and It’s already happening in faith communities all around us. 
Jane Pitt is not the devil, and as evidence I would point to some pretty terrific kids who don’t share her views, as evidence. 
People change and evolve every day - whether guided by the light of God, or the outstretched hand of those who are persecuted, we have to keep the faith to advance equality. Remember that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Today while looking at a report highlighting links to my blog, I saw a link to my blog from a news story in the conservative leaning Examiner newspaper.  While the story is from last summer (July 11, 2012), I didn’t know about it until now.

The story said that Jane Pitt was the victim of cyber-bullying. To be cyber-bullied you have to be online and receive the messages directly from the bully.  I have no idea whether Jane PItt ever read my blog post. So there is no evidence that she is active online or she was actually cyber-bullied at all.

What really surprised me was that my blog – Jive in the [415] - was mentioned in the article. Christopher Decker wrote [emphasis my own]:
Her editorial, expressing her own opinions, has resulted in serious backlash from the Liberal community. According to the website, negative tweets abounded. The less offensive ones called for her death. Others were more graphic in their opinion of Ms. Pitt. The website Jive in the [415] ran an article labeling her a “Bigoted, Racist, Right-Wing Extremist.” 
Jon Voight, father of Ms. Pitt’s daughter-in-law Angelina Jolie, has spoken out in support of Ms. Pitt, as has her son Doug. Others have voiced their support for Ms. Pitt. Some have expressed their disagreement with what she said, but still support her right to say it. However, Brad Pitt, an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama, has remained quiet on the issue. 
What a pity so many people feel free to use the anonymity of the internet for such hateful reasons. They hide behind this sense of privacy, in many cases using false names, to denigrate any who hold differing views. Calling names, making threats, and using rude language show the juvenile mentality and cowardice of these people. Yes, we all have the right to say what we want. Freedom of speech is covered by the First Amendment. This does not give anyone the right to be cruel.
Quite frankly I could care less that the writer thinks my language is rude, that I have a juvenile mentality, or that I’m cruel. I have a byline and wrote about Jane Pitt and signed my name to the article. I didn’t track Jane Pitt down, I didn’t harass her, or track her down. People have said worse about me, and they’ve had the courtesy to email me directly to communicate what they think of me. This writer didn’t do that.

What really pisses me off is the hypocrisy that this article represents. It‘s obvious that he didn’t read my blog post at all. He read the headline – and that was it – and that just reflects someone who doesn’t care about facts. The blog post title is “Mothergate: 8 Reasons Why Jane Pitt Is A Bigoted Racist Right-Wing Extremist.” I articulated the reasons and was very clear about how and why I came to that conclusion.

I think I’m uniquely qualified to know what a bigoted right-wing Republican extremist mother looks like. My mother wasn’t a racist, but she was most definitely an anti-gay right-wing Republican extremist and bigot.

Like Brad Pitt’s mother, my mother had no problem expressing her disgust with anyone or anything that she perceived to be gay. And when she confronted me to ask me if I was gay, and I replied that yes I was, she became so enraged that she almost foamed at the mouth - as she screamed “a queer is never going to live under my roof” – and promptly threw me out on the street. I was a college student with no income and nowhere to go.

I think my personal experience places me in a unique position to assess Jane Pitt and her ignorant letter.

I confidently wrote that “Jane Pitt is not the devil, and as evidence I would point to some pretty terrific kids who don’t share her views, as evidence.”

I knew from my own life that “People change and evolve every day - whether guided by the light of God, or the outstretched hand of those who are persecuted, we have to keep the faith to advance equality. Remember that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

If my mother could change and evolve, and I could forgive her transgressions, then Brad Pitt’s mother can change and evolve too. She might and she might not – but the possibility exists.

Call me cruel, juvenile, or anything else you’d like. I know the truth because I’ve been there.

I know what cruelty looks like, and I’m not cruel. I just tell it like it is.

Straight talk in a queer world indeed.

Post Script: A rare request! If you’ve made it to the end of this story, I thank you for taking the time to read it. I don’t usually encourage anyone to share my writing on social media, especially something so personal, but I think that this is a story that straight and LGBT people alike, can relate to. So feel free to share a link on Facebook, or tweet a link on Twitter, or share it via email or another social network, as it might help someone out, and it would help me out and I’d really appreciate it. Thank you! Roy Steele

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  1. It's obvious Christoper Decker wouldn't know what cyberbullying is if it bit him in the ass.

  2. You've got that right sister! It's appalling that this "writer" fancies himself as a "cyber-bullying" expert, but neglected to fact check his article to see if Jane Pitt was actually ever "cyber-bullied." It's so irresponsible - that this dude should be bitten in the ass.