Is this acceptable to you, LTM?

A second update (the first one appears at the bottom of the post): This is the original image that was photoshopped by Loudoun Republican Eugene Delgaudio to turn the blood “rainbow,” which he then lied about to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. This was found by a commenter via google using the search terms “blood door.”

Image included in the header of an October 25 fundraising letter sent by Eugene Delgaudio

Editor: Please direct the following to all individuals with input into political endorsements at the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

Is this what the Loudoun Times-Mirror editorial staff had in mind when you said of Eugene Delgaudio “his view on social issues is unsettlingly conservative and his antics distracting”? The attached image of the GLBT rainbow symbol in the shape of a pool of blood, complete with a gruesome bloody handprint, was sent to the presumed supporters of an elected official to whom you just gave your endorsement for reelection. While it could be described as unsettling, especially if one has been witness to such a crime scene, I don’t think that “conservative,” “distracting” or “antics” would apply.

I found it surprising that you would not have found the history of this individual’s hate speech directed at minority groups residing in his district, culminating in his reference to a hypothetical member of one such group as “it,” sufficient to render him unfit for any public office. These are not “antics.” It seems to me that the meaning of the word “it” applied to a human being is self-explanatory, given the extremely high rate of violence perpetrated, in particular, on transsexual women. The evidence for this is not speculative, but literal. In one recent and very typical incident, a woman was repeatedly called “it” by her assailants as they kicked her in the head until she had a seizure. We know this because some bystanders not only failed to render assistance, but stood around and laughed as one recorded the assault on his cell phone. It’s part of a pattern of escalating violence that includes several assaults and murders in the DC area.

In case you were unaware of this, November 20 will mark the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, when the victims who did not survive such attacks over the past year will be named and mourned. I do not want to wait until, one year, we know that one of them died at the hands of a bigot who felt justified in thinking that his victim was just an “it” because Eugene Delgaudio told him so. Do you?

The attached image represents yet another monstrous invitation to engage in violence against a vulnerable minority community. Is it illegal to express such sentiments? No, it is not, because we all enjoy a remarkable freedom guaranteed by our First Amendment. However, the fact that an act is legal does not make it morally defensible, and by endorsing Mr. Delgaudio you are affirming it as acceptable behavior for an elected official. I believe you have a responsibility to the public to do otherwise.

I respectfully ask that this paper 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.

David Weintraub
Equality Loudoun

Update: It seems that there’s been a failure to communicate. When you slur a hypothetical member of a group of people, real members of which live in your district and elsewhere, the object of that slur is those real people. Do I also need to point out that the pool of blood in this image is hypothetical? Can we expect you to demand to know whose rainbow blood that is, or do you recognize it as representing the blood of a specific group of people?

46 thoughts on “Is this acceptable to you, LTM?

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  6. Epluribusunum Post author

    I would have to say that, given the anger and division the current fascination with party purity has produced, the idea of no labels has a lot of appeal. I think that’s probably true for people generally who are turned off by the dehumanizing, name-calling tone illustrated by your comment.

    I suspect that you arrived here by way of the zombie gunshot image that went viral, yes?

  7. Cathy Cahones

    By “Progress” you mean Marxism, right? Why do liberals feel the need to move from one soiled label to another? Or how about the “no label” movement lead by John Avlon?

  8. A.E. Gnat

    Yes, of course it is, and of course it does, and that’s why some of the other commenters to this thread went silent when I posted the link to the image and the Google result earlier this afternoon.

  9. Zachary Pruckowski

    It’s a photoshopped image of a bloody door. Literally the first google result for “bloody door”. The odds are very very high that someone looked for a picture of a bloody door, and Photoshopped the blood into rainbow colors. I think that pretty clearly dispels any real question about what the creators/distributors of the picture intended by it.

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  11. Epluribusunum Post author

    What LI is referring to is a mailer, apparently sent out to the LCRC’s whole mailing list, that includes a photoshopped image of President Obama with a bullet hole in his forehead. Apologists there are engaging in the same behavior we see here, trying to claim other, “ambiguous” “meanings” for this image. Some of the same apologists, in fact.

  12. Epluribusunum Post author

    I’m not going to insult the recipients of Mr. Delgaudio’s slurs by pretending there is something about them worthy of debate or dialogue. They and their defenders merit nothing but condemnation. Suit yourself.

  13. Barbara Munsey

    “Your presence here does suggest that you think you have an additional right, the “right” to not be held accountable for your behavior.”

    David, if you’re going to link to my comment at another blog, then encourage me to come and talk, it looks silly to complain when I accept both the challenge and the invitation.

    Is it possible for you to “dialogue” with people in other than exaggerated terms?

    or is that just part and parcel of a need for control?

  14. Epluribusunum Post author

    As you surely know, because you keep saying it yourself, I can’t “demand that people see things” in any way whatsoever. No one has said that you don’t have the right to hold and express any opinion you like.

    And as Gnat says, we have the right to authoritatively declare those who dehumanize other human beings, and their apologists, immoral.

    Your presence here does suggest that you think you have an additional right, the “right” to not be held accountable for your behavior.

  15. Barbara Munsey

    David, you’re spending an awful lot of effort yourself demanding that people see things the way you do.

    And no, I’m not volunteering in Sterling, and that simple statement is not aggressively intended, even if it does hurt your feelings to have me contradict you on it.

  16. Epluribusunum Post author

    Do others here find remarkable the sheer amount of effort being put into defending what can’t be defended by two individuals, one of whom aggressively denies being a “volunteer” on behalf of Mr. Delgaudio? The number of words devoted to this and the absurdity of the arguments strains credulity.

    We’re seeing the extraordinary level of violence accompanied by slurs like “it” that is perpetrated on the members of a minority population treated as if it doesn’t exist. Consider this clueless statement: “In previous historical instances these clashes have indeed featured violence, but in the system we have built for ourselves we fight it out on a constitutionally prescribed political and judicial battlefield.” Gosh, it’s nice to know that violence has never been an issue in our civil rights movements. Too bad it isn’t true.

    And, we are seeing enormous effort put into the silly claim that this image could be anything other than a gory assault scene. Who do you guys think you’re kidding?

  17. Barbara Munsey

    In addition, I don’t recall anyone demanding that both opinions be held as “equally valid”, but that the RIGHT TO HOLD AND EXPRESS them IS equally valid for both. Until we start to codify thought crime, that is.

  18. Barbara Munsey

    David, how about your symbol of the keffeiyah, and your insistence that those who are aware of the violence of some who wear it (toward LGBT people too, and far more permanent and egregious violence than a pronoun or a postcard) need to correct what you perceive to be their prejudices, since you choose to identify with that symbol on occasion?

    You can’t have it both ways (at least outside your own world).

    I’ve never actually met Wolverine, and we’re both married, so I don’t know if “cling” is the most appropriate verb here (especially since you left out “bitter”).

  19. Epluribusunum Post author

    This is precisely what moral relativism is – the insistence that all opinions are equally valid. You are saying that if you and Wolverine want to believe that the extraordinary violence perpetrated on the group of people Mr. Delgaudio calls “it” doesn’t exist or is unimportant, that’s an equally valid point of view that no one has the right to name as immoral.

    I’m afraid that we do have the right to name that as immoral. And it’s fascinating how many times, here, there and everywhere, that you’ve declared that I can’t tell you what to think, what to say or how to vote, things I have never remotely suggested I can do.

    What I can do is to continue pointing out what it is that you are doing: Defending and making excuses for an amoral man who actively encourages fear and hatred of the members of a minority group composed of actual people.

    So, the two of you can continue clinging to each other and complaining about that. It changes nothing.

  20. Barbara Munsey

    mosborn, that might work if there were agreement on Jonathan’s interpretation of the postcard, which, according to him SAYS “opened the door” (thus possibly supporting Wolverine’s interpretation), then goes on to include his personal appendage of “so I had to kill them”.

    The analogy of David and Jonathan attempting to reserve the right to be the last word on symbology FOR OTHERS stands.

  21. mosborn

    Barbara – I think that’s a flawed analogy, but we can almost make it analogous by simply replacing the rainbow colors in the “blood stain” with the not-nearly-as-consistent symbolic colors of the keffeiyah. And replace the “closet door” with, say….the front door of a mosque. And have that image at the top of a fund-raising letter sent by a group that openly supports taking away the rights of anyone that happens to speak Arabic.

    Still defensible?

    I’m not trying to infringe on Wolverine’s right to perceive that image, in the context of the associated letter, in any way he wants to.

    But if you’re going to paint blatant bigotry with the brush of “traditionally accepted cultural mores which have stood for century upon century”, you should be prepared to leave a footprint on the world exactly equal to those who for centuries thought that being black made you less than human.

  22. Barbara Munsey

    Precisely my point. I doubt anyone is dissecting it as minutely as David is, either.

    If Wolverine supports his supervisor on Sterling issues, and sees a raibow blob opening a door and coming into a room, that’s what he sees.

    Someone else telling him they see a murder scene and a call for blood won’t necessarly change that.

  23. Dave Nemetz

    Does anybody really believe that the people to whom Delgaudio sends this garbage are examining and dissecting the message as minutely as the contrarians here in this thread?

    Come on. The message is clear.

  24. Barbara Munsey

    I’ve been thinking about this too.

    mosborn, let’s take Wolverine’s “traditionally accepted cultural mores which have stood for century upon century”, and apply them to the discussion on CBPO threads here about David and Jonathan’s keffeiyahs.

    To some people, the keffeiyah is not simply the only flag a historically disposessed people have, a simple and wholesome representation of their personhood, it is a symbol of hate and death–they don’t see a farmer or herdsman without a country, they see the Lockerbie bombers, people dancing in the streets on 9-11, the covered faces in grainy videos of beheadings.

    When some raised that disconnect here on the subject of the symbol, they received the response that THEY were bigoted, and needed to “reexamine” their prejudices.

    David and Jonathan do not control that symbol, nor its visualization by others, They DO control what THEY mean by it, but they can’t control meaning without much more power than they have now.

    It causes a further disconnect when one considers that if they were to travel to some places in the area from whence the keffeiyah hails, and presented themselves as the open gay couple that they are, they might be in grave danger. From some people wearing matching keffeiyahs.

    The raibow is a symbol meaning different things to differing people. To some Christians, it is the promise that the world will never again be destroyed by water. It is the flag of the LGBT community, and a symbol of diversity.

    That does not give any one group the right to control the symbol, or how others see it.

    If Wolverine sees a raibow flowing into a room, he sees it.

    If David and Jonathan see a rainbow bloodstain dragged out of a room, they see it.

    What we’re talking about (and demonstrating), when it progresses to “you have no morals” and so on, is the difficulty of legislating though crime in a free society.

    If one sees it as “calling for murder”, then it makes sense from that perspective.

    Some people see keffeiyahs as a symbol of murder. And far more directly than an (at least among the discussers here) ambiguous photoshop.

    David and Jonathan have every right to absolute opinions, even including the right to want to have it both ways in their personal symbology.

    We don’t have thought crime codified yet.

    And maybe thank goodness for that, in both directions?

  25. Pariahdog


    I’ve been thinking about the image for a few days now, and I just visited Doorbellqueen where the entire image is shown. The headline is:


    Here’s what I think the ‘artist’ was saying to the viewer:

    “Conservative traitors let them in, and I had no choice but to ‘eliminate’ them. It was a lot of work and it made quite a mess. Please send funds. This is hard and dangerous and messy work, but somebody has to do it.”

  26. mosborn

    Wolverine – I wonder if you realize how ridiculous it sounds to euphemize bigotry as “traditionally accepted cultural mores which have stood for century upon century”. Think about the absurdly racist things that fit into that description. You’re planting yourself firmly on the wrong side of this argument (and poorly).

    The only thing Delgaudio and his hate group left out to your imagination is crime tape.

  27. Barbara Munsey

    aeg, still trying to find out who the specific human being who actually applied for a job and was turned down for it because of the pronoun is.

    When have I apologized?

    (I haven’t, and that’s another thing wrong with me. Okay.)

    You too are entitled to your opinions.

    As is David.

    As is Wolverine (and as I said, here is where it seems to start breaking down)

    As am I.

    And so on.

  28. A.E. Gnat

    “Neither has the right to authoritatively declare the other as immoral”

    Sure I do.

    If a person describes another human being as being something other than a human being by referring to that person as an “it,” that person is immoral.

    Eugene Delgaudio is immoral.

    At any rate, the tide is turning. LGBT people are gaining rights that 20 or 30 years ago we might not have dreamed of. The tide is turning, Barbara. And there is nothing that you, Wolverine, or Delgaudio can do to stop it.


    Neither the number of hate-filled letters Delgaudio sends out to his sheep nor the number of words you and your compadre spend apologizing for him will amount to anything.

    The tide is turning, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

    The “mission to persuade” you referred to is working.

  29. Epluribusunum Post author

    You are guilty, of trying to make excuses for an invitation to violence against real people – real people who live in Sterling, in fact. That is what defining a group of people as outside the boundaries of humanity does, and adding the image of a bloody crime scene underlines that meaning.

    As you have said, over and over, that is your right and your choice.

  30. Barbara Munsey

    David, in viewing the image, my first thought is not blood, because the predominant color is not red.

    In trying to figure out which way the colors are going and why, I see that from your perspective the handprint (not red, so not immediately identifiable with ANYONE’s blood, as we all bleed red) is clawing at the door as it is dragged away.

    from Wolverine’s perspective, it could as easily be the print of the rainbow pushing open the door, as the colors flow into the room, as the colors do seem to be flowing, rather than trailing.

    There’s movement in both directions, at least to my eye.

    Now, this is a lot more attention to one photoshop than I would normally pay, or like to pay.

    But it is the level of attention you have paid, and would like others to pay, so long as they accept your minutely detailed analysis.

    That’s where things break down: if you want to see this as an explicit call for blood, certainly your right.

    If Wolverine sees it as some 60’s imagery of a blob flowing into a room, HIS right.

    You both have the right to see the other as wrong.

    Neither has the right to authoritatively declare the other as immoral, less than human, dishonest, guilty of hate crimes, unfit to have an opinion, and so on for HAVING THEIR OWN VIEWPOINT.

    You do not allow others to define YOU.

    Please pay them the same courtesy in discussion.

    And maybe pay a little courtesy to the fact that most people are not only NOT going to acquiesce to your dicta on what/how they should think, speak, be active, donate or vote, they aren’t going to focus as much as you might like them to on your analysis of details that require a great deal of time to follow to the conclusion that is the only one you seem to deem acceptable.

    You have the right and the ability to think, say write whatever you want.

    You have the right to hope that everyone else will drop what they’re doing and follow your flag.

    It isn’t realistic to expect everyone to, nor is it necessarily productive to dehumanize THEM when they don’t. If your mission is to persuade, that is.

  31. Epluribusunum Post author

    You’re not doing yourself any favors by demonstrating your disregard for other people’s lives. There is no excuse, ever, for designating a group of human beings – some of whom are his own constituents – as less than human. Now he is also using violent imagery.

    All that you are doing here is trying to generate excuses for inexcusable behavior. It’s not pretty.

  32. Wolverine

    Oh, come on, E. You cannot find one single instance where Delgaudio and his organization have ever even remotely promoted or condoned any kind of violence against anyone in the LGBT community. They support the traditionally accepted cultural mores which have stood for century upon century and are availing themselves of their constitutional rights to oppose the LGBT agenda on a political plane. You, on the other hand, are using those same rights to fight the political battle to effect the cultural changes espoused in your own agenda. Why are you so shocked by the existence of this battle? This has happened in virtually every culture that has ever existed on the planet. The “old” defends itself in a clash of wills and proselytization with the “new.” In previous historical instances these clashes have indeed featured violence, but in the system we have built for ourselves we fight it out on a constitutionally prescribed political and judicial battlefield. The final answer usually comes in the High Court. What is rather perplexing is that some of you actually think that, if you simply demand it, the other side should and will immediately cave and capitulate without any kind of a fight.

  33. Epluribusunum Post author

    It’s clearly a pool of blood (you can even see the original underneath the photoshopped part) through which a human body was dragged, clawing at the door.

    The shocking nature of the image is consistent with the vicious demonization of our community that comprises this and every other one of these fundraising letters, so: Thanks for the damage control, but no thanks.

  34. Wolverine

    Did any of you ever stop to think that the depicted political cartoon may not represent a “crime scene” in the sense you think it does? In other words, it’s not a blood splatter representing or calling for violence against Gays? How about the possibility that the author is trying to symbolize the LGBT movement, in the form of the rainbow colors (which include red), slipping under the doorway of and into the “house” where those who oppose the LGBT agenda reside, so to speak? The whole article reflects the pessimism of the cartoon. I’ll bet Delgaudio got the cartoon idea from that old Steve McQueen horror flick called “The Blob” in which the “thing” — whatever it was — oozed into a room under the door. Frankly, the cartoon would have been much more effective if the door was closed and the rainbow colors were oozing in under it. Actually, the cartoon sort of symbolizes recent LGBT successes like New York and the end of DADT. Instead of wringing your hands, perhaps you should be dancing. Submitted for your consideration.

  35. DC Beltway Bandit

    I support the efforts compelling the Loudoun Times to withdrawal their endorsement of Mr. Delgadio and urge their paper to provide comprehensive explanation to their readers.

    The fact that Delgaudio thinks this was in good taste and then proceeds to solicit donations, speaks volumes to his character and lack of judgement. Given the well known issues with Mr. Delgaudio’s own family (his brother), I would think he would not cast a stone. Since he lives in a large glass house.

    Having and teaching respect for your fellow human-sapiens is a moral & ethical issue, not a partisan issue. Some in the ultra conservative group have expressed “that all of us were created in God’s image”. Than by that same logic it would mean that we should love and respect each other regardless of their sexual orientation.

    The days of bigotry and hate must stop and Mr. Delgaudio public platform must come to end. Enough it Enough.

  36. Epluribusunum Post author

    True, you don’t have to wonder – because he doesn’t need an actual email like that to respond to, he just invents imaginary attacks on himself like the one in the previous fundraising letter. The poor people he preys on don’t know the difference. I guess that’s the beauty of having absolutely no moral compass.

    Enough is enough. Please forward this far and wide. We deserve more responsible behavior from our news media.

  37. Dave Nemetz

    Not that I would condone this (since I actually have morals), but I wonder what Delgaudio’s reaction would be if someone were to send an e-mail with his face, say, in cross-hairs, that concludes with a plea for donations. Actually, I don’t have to wonder, since we all know what his reaction would be. The e-mail David refers to above is the equivalent to this hypothetical one.

    The LTM needs to retract its endorsement and explain why.

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