Arkansas school board member will resign over anti-gay comments

Via CNN:

A school board district member in Arkansas who came under fire for an anti-gay post on a social networking site regrets the comments and will resign his seat, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.

“I’m sorry I’ve hurt people with my comments,” Clint McCance, vice-president of the Midland School District in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas said. “I’m sorry I made those ignorant comments and hurt people on a broad spectrum.”

McCance wrote on his personal Facebook page that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a newspaper focusing on gay news.

McCance used the terms “queer” and “fag” repeatedly, promised to disown his own children if they are gay and stated that he enjoys “the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die.”

His apology:

“I would never support suicide for any kids,” he said. “I don’t support bullying of any kids.”

“I’d like to extend apologies to those families that have lost children, for all those children who feel that suicide is the only way out, especially for the five families who have already lost children,” he said, referring to a rash of recent suicides by gay teens. “I brought more hurt on them… they didn’t deserve that and I do feel genuinely bad for them.”

I’m glad he has apologized, and is stepping down from his school leadership position, but it’s hard to believe an apology like this that could come so few days after his original hate spewing.

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/melissam/ Melissa

    How kind of him to apologize for the suicide remarks. But no apology for the blatant homophobia that would be the cause of the suicide? Not classy.

    • http://feministing.com/members/libdevil/ Nick

      Baby steps, I guess. I don’t expect David Duke to apologize for being a racist. It’s so ingrained in some people that they may never get past it. But if they can at least recognize that acting out on their bigotry is unacceptable, it’s a step in the right direction.

  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    His initial remarks also underscore a basic assumption about gay men, in particular. Though the HIV/AIDS epidemic is gratefully nothing like it once was, there are many of a certain generation who still assume that the disease was some sort of deserved punishment for being gay. It dovetailed nicely with their own homophobic worldview.

    And even generally supportive people have, once they determine I’m a man who has been known to sleep with men, immediately express concern that if I carry on with my “behavior” that I, too, will be stricken with the same curse.

  • http://feministing.com/members/tylik/ tylik

    There is the ethics of personal conviction, and the ethics of fear of punishment and societal retribution. It’s hard not to look at this as an example of the latter – especially with his remarks about not supporting bullying or suicide for kids. Is this really supposed to clarify what he said? Suicide for adults is fine by him, but he never meant it to apply to kids? What? It seems to evade the point.

    But perhaps he is getting some kind of clue. It’s some kind of step in the right direction.

  • http://feministing.com/members/athenia/ athenia

    That’s the best news I’ve heard all day!

  • http://feministing.com/members/nancyshrew/ Nancy Shrew

    “I’m sorry I got caught being an asshole.”

    • http://feministing.com/members/arielmorgan/ Heather

      ^this. Fer srs. I almost wish people would stop arm-wrenching the bigots into offering weak-kneed apologies for what they clearly almost always only mean to say “I’m sorry I got caught.”

      It really doesn’t serve the interests of anybody, when we get these sort of statements, because it encourages this idea that people can say horribly bigotted and spiteful things, and then turn around and say, “Oh no, that’s not what I meant at all – I’m so sorry if you were hurt by my statements. You just misread them.” That just hurts society more.

      So no, I’m not glad at all that he apologized. Better to stand and admit that you’re a homophobic bigot and take the shaming you deserve, than try to deflect the appropriate ostracization with weak platitudes.