Cleveland Plain Dealer's Thomas Suddes' racist remarks about gun owners are ignored by the politically-correct thought police
by Gerard Valentino
A recent comment penned by long-time Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Thomas Suddes is a reminder that the left in America can make racist comments without fear of repercussions. It also teaches us that attacking gun owners and conservatives is not only acceptable under the left's politically correct guidelines, it is apparently encouraged.
The best way to tell if a comment is wrongheaded is to imagine the same sentiment being used to describe a minority group. A great example are the commercials run by a well known Italian restaurant that stereotype Italians as boisterous, swarthy, short people who can't say a word without gesturing wildly.
If such a generalization were used to illustrate ethnic groups protected under politically correct rules, the creator would be tagged as a racist, or worse.
So, when Thomas Suddes tagged all gun owners and conservatives as "old- white- guy gun nuts," and "gay-bashers," in his recent editorial titled "Where Ohio is Growing, Republicans are Winning," he clearly crossed the line.
But, since gun owners are not deemed as worthy of protection by the leftist politically correct elite, Suddes will not be chastised for his racist remarks.
Suddes, instead of being fired for his remarks, which are definitively racist, will also continue to teach the next generation of journalists as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism instead of being fired for his remarks.
You can bet that Suddes, and the Ohio University, will use the right to free speech as an excuse for his racist comments and will defend the First Amendment as nearly absolute. Yet, the good professor claims that anyone exercising the right to bear arms is a kook, or worse. Such a position exposes Suddes, and his employers, as the worst sort of hypocrites, and lumps them in with leftist anti-gunners who lobby for gun control while paying armed body guards.
We can only hope Suddes isn't infecting OU students with his particular brand of politically correct leftist hypocrisy, or that students can see through his racist rhetoric.
It should also come as no surprise that Thomas Suddes is an associate editor and member of The Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board. Knowing his vital role at the Plain Dealer makes its arrogant position on gun control easier to explain.
What people of Suddes's ilk will never accept is that the gun owner community is made up of men, women, old, young, rich and poor from every demographic group living in Ohio. However, since diversity among the gun owner population doesn't meet Suddes's arrogant viewpoint, he simply inserts his own bias, and will not let truth get in the way of his racist sentiment.
The anti-gun section of the politically correct rulebook requires the establishment media to always portray gun owners as dimwitted white guys, bigots or inbred tractor jockeys. Like most other gun- related issues, the leftist elite determined that only the unenlightened and uncivilized are dim enough to own a gun, so they only acknowledge facts that prop- up their vision of reality.
Since the racist remarks of Thomas Suddes pushed the anti-gun agenda and followed the rules by equating gun owners with gay-bashers, they were ignored by the politically-correct thought police.
If Thomas Suddes did his homework, he would know that one of the most active pro-gun groups was created by the gay community and is known as the Pink Pistols. The Pink Pistols were instrumental in getting legal concealed carry passed in Ohio, and marched with other gun owners during pro-gun protests at the Ohio Statehouse and Governor’s Mansion.
All of Ohio's minority groups were represented at the protests as well. But, in keeping with the politically-correct game plan, that fact was largely ignored by the mainstream media.
According to the logic used by Suddes to identify gun owners, it must have been only the "gay-bashing" members of the Pink Pistols in attendance at the protests.
Such a thought is clearly foolish, but it does illustrate the same foolishness used by Suddes to stereotype gun owners.
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership is another group that doesn't fit the politically correct guidelines adhered to by the establishment Ohio media. How such a group fits into the characterization by Suddes that gun owners are all kooks, and gay-bashers, needs to be explained.
A lack of explanation doesn't excuse the racist remarks used by Thomas Suddes in his attack on gun owners, or excuse the total lack of journalistic standards shown by his failure to research the diversity of gun owners.
But, the lack of outrage by the traditional media over the racism and arrogance of Thomas Suddes does explain why the mainstream media lost their position of prominence in the marketplace of ideas.
Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.