In Tampa, Florida, the 21-year old father of a small boy went on trial this week for killing his son, whom he was boxing with because he thought the boy was gay.
Even though the boy would shake and wet himself, his father, Ronnie Paris Jr., would box with the 3-year-old, slapping him in the head until he cried because he didn’t want his son to grow up to be “a sissy,” the boy’s mother testified Monday.
“He was trying to teach him how to fight,” said Shanita Powell, Nysheerah Paris’ sister. “He was concerned that the child might be gay.”
Even Sheldon Bostic, who was Ronnie Paris Jr.’s Bible-study friend, said he warned the father several times not to play so rough with his son.
“He really did what other fathers do – slap box,” Bostic said. “He always said he didn’t want his son growing up to be pushed around.”
“Did Ronnie use a term for that?” asked Jalal Harb, an assistant state attorney.
“He didn’t want him to be a sissy,” Bostic said.
Gene Stone at the Huffington Post has some very eloquent thoughts on the subject:
The right wing’s relentless propaganda machine has a pernicious effect throughout society. Not only does it remind gays how much they’re hated by a segment of the population, it helps convince parents who don’t know much about homosexuality that it’s evil, a perversion, something that no family could possible want in its midst. When people are exposed only to the hateful bigotry of the right, what’s the result? When taken to the extreme, infanticide — as the Tampa case reveals.
Is this really what the right wing wants? A war against homosexuality in which innocent children are slaughtered in the name of righteousness?
Sometimes, it seems that, yes indeed, this is exactly what the right wing hopes for. Because where else can such anger, hatred, and intolerance lead?