45 years ago "The Homosexuals" Documentary aired on CBS

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MadeTheSwitch, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #1
    Today, March 7th marks the 45th anniversary of CBS's airing of the very bigoted documentary called "The Homosexuals". The assumptions made in this documentary were horrifying and rather astounding. In a way it's nice to see that we have moved so far from the ignorance displayed in this documentary. Sadly, people like Rick Santorum show that there is still much ignorance out there. Anyway, thought it would be interesting to post as I am sure there are a lot of people who have never seen it. Of interesting historical note, this documentary was the first time that gay people had been portrayed as a group on a network TV show. No wonder so many people had negative impressions of gay people if this was the first exposure and example they had to go on.

     
  2. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    So many people still have those points of view too - this video is great, it will be like looking in the mirror for them. Bit scary watching footage like that, white middle aged men really have been a dominant source of hate and oppression in modern history.

    Be nice if we could fast forward another 45 years
     
  3. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #3
    [/COLOR]
    There are plenty of places gays can travel where they will be executed by brown or black people. That type of hate can't be rivaled. Let's not make this a race issue.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    It IS an issue in this country. It definitely is. *******s like Rick Santorum are who make it an issue, and there are plenty like him, or have you not been paying attention?
     
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    The post I quoted referred to whites being a dominant source of hate towards gays in modern history. Just thought I would point out that white people aren't the only offenders and by comparison blacks and browns do much worse across the world.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Of course, but this documentary came from this country, not somewhere else.
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    True, in terms of the US only, treatment of gays is disgusting and completely unconstitutional. In the US and every other country that persecutes gays you will find one common theme: religion. Its not a white, brown, or black issue, its fictional faiths.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Yes, but let's discuss what is happening here, not elsewhere, as this is where the doc was produced.
     
  9. niuniu, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012

    niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    We live in developed modern democracies in the West, with widespread education. To say, 'oh there are black people in under-developed countries that hate gays' as if that's some sort of justification in any sort of way is really sad. (Many of them will get their hatred from the white guys at the Vatican anyway as Catholicism is making a big comeback in places like Africa).

    Lets not forget that apartheids were the cause of white men too. But I do agree that religion is dirtier than anything, it's just that anytime we look at the news or TV and see hatred being pushed politically - it's almost always a white middle class guy.

    Our western democracies have been dominated by educated white middle class men - and look at the bias and hatred they've been pushing. Look even at the past couple of weeks, and see the nonsense US presidential nominees have been spouting.

    Look at the white educated middle class men of the cloth in the UK who've been on the news the past couple of months - what are they saying? They're saying no to furthering gay rights, and going so far as to say that gay rights are 'evidence of moral decline'.

    All our education, and yet we still have hate-pushers.
     
  10. MadeTheSwitch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    This video demonstrates that people fear others who are different then them. Our history is full of such examples. Fearing differing customs/religions (witches, Muslims), fearing people whom look different (blacks), fearing people who have a different sexuality (gays). A large part of the GOP lives in fear of things all the time. Which is why they have no problem spending vast sums of money on the military despite calling for cuts elsewhere. Because they fear being invaded and attacked just as much.

    Whether it's:

    blacks
    gays
    other religions
    commies
    witches
    left handed people
    "illegals"
    "feminazis"

    There is always a scapegoat and someone to demonize. It's a total fear based culture in large parts of the United States. Look at the Anti-sharia laws being floated by some elected officials. Is sharia law a real problem in the United States? I think not.
     
  11. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

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    This documentary really puts things in perspective . . . how homosexuals were viewed and treated as mentally ill criminals not so long ago.

    I wonder what happened to the guy in Idaho serving a life sentence for homosexuality? (Illinois was the only state where it wasn't illegal.)
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

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    #12
    As your examples point out, this has a long history, affecting many out groups, and most people think it's an evolved facet of basic human behavior at some level, which occurs across cultures and times. I think what that means is that tools to stop it have to take into account that we (including people who claim to be race/culture/sex/whatever-blind) are wired to think of people in in- and out-groups, and awareness of this cognitive bias (which itself is normal) is important in understanding how to eliminate its ramifications.

    I think the best thing for it is more and more examples of plurality in the news. Getting the "stereotype" gay out of the closet was better than nothing, but now what's important is understanding that being LGBT is only one component of a person's identity, and how much it identifies them varies from person to person, much like any one facet of my identity -- that I am a man, that I am Indian-American, that I am a psychologist, that I have an iPhone, that I grew up in Michigan, etc -- defines me by itself. As that happens, I think it's hard to have a unitary conception of someone as being from an "out" group, and that's why it's hard for people who actually get to know gay people to keep hating them.

    (P.S. at church on Sunday, I met one of those people who just won't leave one alone until one tells them what their ancestry is... she asked me where I was born, and I said Warren, and then I had to clarify, because, mysteriously, this natural born Michigander does not know the Detroit metro area :D She then asked me what my nationality is, oddly, and so I told her I'm American. :p She started to say, no, what nation are you from, are you a Muslim? I didn't get to let her know that Muslim isn't a race, ethnicity, or nationality, but sadly she corrected herself. My girlfriend felt it would have been in bad taste to tell her that "Muslim" is not a nationality... which I felt somewhat under-accounted for the extent to which her behavior was in far worse taste.)
     
  13. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    Yeah what happened to the guys that were jailed anyone know?
     
  14. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #14
    Well that was disturbing.
     
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

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    My emphasis.

    Let me ask you this: are you saying that the viewpoint of the documentary itself (as opposed to the people in it) is bigoted? That the program was pushing fear of homosexuals?

    Because Mike Wallace was hardly known to be a conservative or a bigot. And the program -- to me -- seems typical of the kind of thing CBS was doing in those days, which was to hold up a mirror and say, "This is you, America." That the reflection was very, very ugly is not the fault of the show.

    If anything, it seems to have been Wallace's way -- as much as he could get away with it in the 1960s -- of saying, "Do all of you good Christians know how badly you treat homosexuals in this country?"

    Or am I missing something?
     
  16. Lord Blackadder, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    And that film really isn't that old. Just think how much has changed in one lifetime. This change is, incidentally, the very thing that people like Rick Santorum call the "decline of traditional values". And he's right about that - the question then becomes "what is so great about returning to those 'traditional values'"?

    I agree. This documentary is an example of a form of journalism that is all but extinct nowadays. It seeks to be as objective as possible, letting the participants or bystanders offer analyis, with the journalist attempting to restrict himself or herself to a factual framework that lays out the situation without opining with any slant. It wasn't perfect, but it seems like a breath of fresh air in some ways compared to the 'infotainment' trash we live with these days.
     
  17. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    How times have changed! 45 years ago most americans thought homosexuality should be illegal, today most americans think gay marriage should be legal. Crazy how society changes in relatively short periods of time.
     
  18. tktaylor1 macrumors 6502a

    tktaylor1

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    #18
    But I'm left handed...
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    And your point is?
     
  20. MadeTheSwitch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    You are perhaps missing something if any of the stuff on Wikipedia is true:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS_Reports:_The_Homosexuals
     
  21. Lord Blackadder, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012

    Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #21
    Fascinating. Though, from the same article:



    This paints a more complicated picture of Wallace. He was, ultimately, a product of his time. He seems to be a considerably more thoughtful person than most. But if we judge him with the benefit of hindsight we will always find him wanting.

    He reminds me of my grandmother in some ways; devoutly religious, a very caring woman who I would certainly not term a bad person. But she will never completely understand, or be comfortable with, emerging views on homosexuality, even if she is truly sympathetic to some of the challenges they face and accepts people as people. It is the responsibility of younger generations with less baggage to move us forward.
     
  22. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

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    Thanks for that link. Very interesting stuff.

    I'll take it at face value that Wallace actually said that quote about it being "wrong". The end of the article makes it clear that Wallace's knowledge and feelings about homosexuality were confused and/or uninformed.

    Well, he was obviously wrong about that last part, but in bemoaning the vacuum of accurate info that existed about homosexuality in the '60s, Wallace was at least acknowledging an old adage, that a lack of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    I find it hard to condemn him completely. In this case he may have been woefully ignorant, but he was a pretty good guy, and considered by most to be a liberal, this episode notwithstanding. And it should be noted, if Wiki is to be believed, that the documentary, as put together, was altered before air at the order of Richard Salant to make it less sympathetic to gays:

    Figures. Can't offend the bigots in the Great American Heartland; can't disabuse them of their precious stereotypes.

    At any rate, I guess the documentary stands today as an example of how...oh, I don't know, imperfect sounds like too small a word...our ability to talk accurately about homosexuality was back then.

    Anyway, really good topic. Thanks for posting it.
     
  23. Sedulous macrumors 68000

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    lee, I almost always agree with you but why argue with Acorn that bigotry and hate isn't limited to "white" people? Unfortunately the hatred of homosexuals is not limited to a particular race. It isn't a race issue.
     
  24. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #24
    45 years from now they'll be looking back at us and saying how ignorant we were too

     
  25. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #25
    I never said it was.
     

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