Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tom Lukiwski: Hate

Yesterday, footage was released of Tom Lukiwski, a Conservative MP from Saskatchewan, spouting discriminatory remarks about homosexuals. Though the tape was made in 1991, over 16 years ago, it is causing scrutiny of the man today.

The comments he made almost two decades ago were clearly wrong, but those are not what I judge today. It is the motivation behind the remarks made 16 years ago that I consider today. It was the hate for a group of individuals based on sexual orientation 16 years ago that I consider today.

The Tom Lukiwski of 1991 was not some teenager or even a young man when he made those comments, he was 40 years old. In 40 years of experience and rational thought, he had formed his opinion of homosexuals not on tolerance but on hate.

In 1991, just as today, such language was offensive and wrong. The word "faggot" was not a term used lightly and it represented the disgraceful animosity towards gay males. The uncleaniness Tom Lukiwski also attributes just strengthens the sentiment. Now these remarks with the suggestion that homosexuals transmit diseases are just comments, they are just words, and after 16 years it would seem uncharitable to judge a man by them; but its not the words I judge, its the motivation behind them.

Some of the greatest people in history, from Aristotle, to John Locke, and to Thomas Jefferson believed that slavery, such a horrible thing, was right. In each man's time, all thought along similar lines, but now we know for a fact each was wrong. We know now because of the progress we as a people have made since then. Aristotle, Locke, and Jefferson held the false belief that slavery was right, not because they were motivated by hate, but because they lacked certain aspects of reason.

Tom Lukiwski's comments were not a result of poor reasoning, he knew those comments were discriminatory and he decided to say them anyway, not because of a mistake, but because of hate. It is by his motivation of saying those comments 16 years ago that I judge today.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

And he has consistently voted against any same-sex resolution through all these years & continues to do so.

The man has not changed one iota.

penlan

Anonymous said...

Cherniak:

...I don't think anybody should be held responsible forever for unacceptable beliefs that they held at any point in life. If we did that, then we would all be condemning Pierre Trudeau today for anti-Semitism and fascist sympathies in early life.
As a person in politics, I believe in holding my opponents accountable just as much as the next person. However, I do not believe in destroying a person's reputation unless that person deserves it. At this point, I really don't know whether Mr. Lukiwski deserves to be forgiven. What I do know is that I am not going to assume he is the same person in 2008 that he was in 1991.

Ian said...

I agree. People seem surprised that a Conservative member would be homophobic. These right-wingers have been fighting equal rights for gays and lesbians at every turn for decades. In fact, their hatred may have been their motivation for getting into politics in the first place. Racism and homophobia are Conservative territory.

It’s nothing to do with PC - in fact, I believe the term “politically correct” should be replaced with “respectful of others”. We live in very, very disrespectful times.

Anonymous said...

Anon:
I believe I addressed that very sentiment. First Tom was not in his younger days when he said this he was middle-aged. I don't know what Trudeau comments were made, but if they were hateful, I believe they should be considered.

It is true comments from close to 20 years ago don't necessarily reflect who a person is today, but the motivations do.

Tom with over 40 years of experience decided to base his opinions on hate that is what is to be judged today.
-scott

Anonymous said...

Scott Ross - A man of perfect integrity who has never uttered something he'd regret while drunk years ago...never.

Anonymous said...

anon: I fully admit I've said stupid things drunk and even sober. The thing is I never said things I knew were wrong at the time.

Besides the fact Tom didn't look drunk, he didn't slur his speech and he didn't give any mannerisms of being drunk, he was 40 years old.

True it was 16 years ago and people change, but people try to change to get better not to get worse. In 40 years Tom only changed for the worse, he adopted the opinion of hate towards gays. It is on that that I judge him. That he spent 40 years of his life to come to that conclusion.
-scott