I could never, had I been asked to imagine the most ridiculous and easily verifiable lie that Eugene Delgaudio might invent, have imagined something as ridiculous and easily verifiable as this:
When contacted by the Loudoun Times-Mirror for comment about the exposure of his “Blood Door” email, Mr. Delgaudio told the reporter that the Photoshopped image he had sent to his mailing list was the original and that his image had actually been Photoshopped, by the very people who caught him in this behavior, to make it “look like blood.”
When the reporter told me this, I said I thought that was interesting, and suggested that she search on Google images for “blood door.” She did.
How to put this? It is not a matter of pants on fire, more like pants experiencing nuclear meltdown.
First of all, Mr. Delgaudio’s image doesn’t need to be made to “look like blood,” it already looks like blood. Rainbow colored blood. That’s the point. The Photoshopping performed by him or one of his cronies was so poorly done that the original red blood-pool image is clearly visible under the superimposed rainbow blood-pool image. Then there’s the fact that the original source image started appearing in 2009. A larger version of the source image is here, and here is the original email header:
Good for the Loudoun Times-Mirror for exposing this, for giving this amoral man the opportunity to tell this lie in public, and for giving more of the public the opportunity to see his violent image.
But they still endorsed him for reelection, before the image came to public attention, and have not retracted that endorsement. And then they chose not to address the issue, and not to publish my letter to the editor regarding that endorsement. Here is the version I have now submitted elsewhere:
Is this image what the Loudoun Times-Mirror editorial staff had in mind when they said of Eugene Delgaudio “his view on social issues is unsettlingly conservative and his antics distracting”? The image, which unmistakably depicts a gruesome crime scene, shows the well known LGBT rainbow symbol as a pool of blood, complete with a smeared bloody handprint. It was sent one week ago to his presumed supporters by Mr. Delgaudio, to whom the Loudoun Times-Mirror just gave its endorsement for reelection.
It was surprising that the editorial board did not find the history of this individual’s hate speech directed at minority groups, culminating in his reference to a hypothetical member of one such group as “it,” sufficient on its own to render him unfit for any public office.
These are not “antics.” If the candidate were a Grand Wizard of the KKK in his spare time, would they ignore his reference – in a constituent email – to a hypothetical black man as less-than-human? Would they dismiss his use of lynching imagery as unimportant, just as long as he doesn’t directly threaten the actual black residents of Sterling?
When someone slurs a hypothetical member of a group, the objects of that slur are the real members of that group. Mr. Delgaudio in fact has a long history of ignoring and ridiculing the concerns of his LGBT constituents, from the dais and in writing. Still, it’s hard to imagine a more blatant denial of constituent services to real members of the Sterling community than what he communicated by calling them “it” in an email sent to his Sterling mailing list.
The consequences of such language are real. The extraordinary level of violence accompanied by the epithet “it” that is perpetrated on real people does not become unimportant because there hasn’t been a reported incident in Sterling yet. By treating his encouragement of hate as trivial the Loudoun Times-Mirror has affirmed it as acceptable. Worse, it has assured Mr. Delgaudio that he can continue this behavior, and even escalate it, with impunity.
The attached image represents yet another monstrous endorsement of violence against a vulnerable minority population. The act is legal, because we all enjoy a remarkable freedom guaranteed by our First Amendment. However – because of that freedom – our news media has a responsibility to the public to name it as unacceptable behavior for an elected official.
I respectfully insist that the Loudoun Times-Mirror immediately retract its endorsement of Mr. Delgaudio and explain why. There is no other positive attribute as a candidate that could ever justify such disregard for human life, safety and dignity.
As others are now beginning to recognize, this obscenity and the “zombie” obscenity earlier in the week are part of the same sick pattern in which some individuals profit from inciting rage. If we allow it, it will just keep getting worse.