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We used to think the $20 million-a-year American Family Association (AFA) acted as crazy as it does mainly because it allowed mostly free rein to its best-known spokesman, the truly nutty Bryan Fischer. Fischer, after all, spends his days raving about how gay people were behind the Holocaust, how black people on welfare “rut like animals,” how the cure for promiscuity is to kill the promiscuous, even the idea, completely contradicted by science, that the HIV virus doesn’t cause AIDS.
Sure, there was wacky old Don Wildmon, who founded the Tupelo, Miss.-based group back in 1977 and was given to an occasional anti-Semitic diatribe about how Jews control the media and hate Christians. But that was mostly forgotten years ago, and Wildmon and his son generally sound a little calmer these days.
But the extremist bench at the AFA turns out to be deeper than that.
Meet Buster Wilson, general manager of the AFA’s radio network and host of the program “AFA Today.” Buster’s got some real competition — Fischer, who has a show on the same network, is given to statements like “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi War machine and six million dead Jews” — but he’s a determined man.
Earlier this month, Wilson, reacting to reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had been buying large quantities of ammunition, suggested that the DHS was apparently considering some kind of war against American civilians. He then went on to make the claim, which ultimately originated on the farthest fringes of the conspiracy-minded radical right, that President Obama’s reauthorization and updating of an executive order for dealing with national emergencies, was actually authorizing “the president’s version of the Brownshirts,” which he described as “Hitler’s own personal, private civilian army.” The executive order, he continued, gives Obama and his administration the power “to take over businesses, take over communities, take over law enforcement, apparently, the way this is written, anything they want. Go read it, and then tell me how crazy I am.”
Very crazy, as it turns out. Even Fox News, which jumps at every chance to sully the president, quoted numerous legal experts saying the act did no such thing. It was merely an update of earlier orders, and gives the secretary of DHS authority to give other department heads guidance in setting up groups of experts who could join the federal government in executive positions in the event of a national emergency.
But now Buster’s back, as first pointed out by Right Wing Watch, claiming that a story detailing how DHS is replenishing its supply of riot gear in advance of the presidential conventions gives credence to his earlier nutty claims. “It’s so nice,” he chortles, after a long rant about Right Wing Watch, “to be proven right.”
But the AFA is fundamentally an anti-gay organization, and so bashing LGBT people is, in the end, more important to it than divining massive conspiracies against the American people by our first black president. And Buster Wilson, even though faced with hot competition from the voluble Bryan Fischer, does not disappoint.
Enraged over criticism of Chick-fil-A, whose president recently attacked same-sex marriage, Wilson could hardly contain himself, writing of his “shock and disgust that ANYONE would find fault with ChickFilA [sic], especially the vile, foul mouthed, gay activists who prance around in their bikini underwear.” These are people, he wrote, who “are trying to morph America into an idyllic homosexual utopia,” “dark hearted activists.” The restaurant, Wilson concludes, is “completely UNWORTHY of the vicious, spitting, raving craziness of Big Gay.”
Which is something that Wilson clearly knows all about.