The notorious anti-gay bigot, Red County blogger, and Tea Party activist Dr. Richard Swier has a regular talk show on WWPR radio in Tampa, Florida, during which he regularly promotes hatred of gays and lesbians. In giving him air time, and in not repudiating Swier’s dangerous bigotry, WWPR’s management are not behaving responsibly.
LGBT advocate Stephen Warne lives in Florida. He worked for ALSO Youth in Sarasota, which was founded to protect gay youth from bullycide. Warne also founded Step Out Sarasota, whose mission is to advance diversity, understanding, acceptance, and equality. “Rich Swier, Sr.,” Warne says, “has written very hateful things for many years about GLBTQ people – and attacked me personally while I worked at ALSO Youth.”
Swier, whose show on WWPR radio airs Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM, recently outraged the community by stating that anti-gay bullying is a “healthy” form of peer pressure. His current pretense for making that assertion is the existence of HIV. There is no logic, only anti-gay hate and militant ignorance to his assertion. Though lesbian women have an exceedingly low rate of HIV infection and an even lower rate of transmitting HIV, Swier is as violently and irrationally against acceptance and equality for lesbians as for gay males. And, though suicide claims by far more young lives annually in Florida than does HIV, Swier describes the bullying of young gay people as “healthy.”
St. Petersburg Victim’s Rights Attorney Robin Allweiss, meanwhile, describes bullying in Florida schools as being “out of control.” Alerted to WWPR’s broadcasting of Swier’s militant ignorance on HIV and public health, Thomas Liberti, Chief of the Bureau of HIV/AIDS of the Florida Department of Health wrote, “Thank you for informing us about this situation. I will be out of state for the next two weeks so I am going to ask my prevention director to look into this.”
Whereas multiple online bio blurbs for Swier state that he is involved with the School Board of Sarasota County, Superintendent Lori M. White says that Swier’s “views on this subject do not represent the views of our school district.”
Swier recently started a blog, Man Up, ostensibly dedicated to HIV prevention, but in fact given over to many of the most vicious and malignant forms of anti-LGBT bigotry. Two forms of anti-gay bigotry in particular figure prominently on Swier’s Man Up blog. One is the propagandistic notion that acceptance of and equality for gays will provoke America’s downfall. Swier, furthermore, maliciously portrays gay Americans as actively seeking the nation’s downfall. This was precisely Hitler’s message to non-Jewish Germans -– Jews are an internal enemy; treating them as equals will spell Germany’s demise.
Swier also fans bigots’ baseless fears that gay people are out to get their children. In that, Swier is using against gay human beings an equivalent to the infamous “blood libel” wherein Jews were said to kidnap and kill Christian babies to use their blood to make matzo.
Last November, immediately after the election, The Florida Independent reported, “The chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County — where the party swept every election last Tuesday — is crediting a controversial local blogger with a history of extremist statements with helping ‘shift the whole area right,’ in the process calling him a ‘great American’ and ‘part of the team.’
“The comments from Republican Party chairman Joe Gruters came in an election night interview with Red County blogger Richard Swier, who has called homosexuality a ’destructive behavior‘ and compared murdered Kansas abortion provider George Tiller to a Nazi scientist.”
Florida Tea Party Spokesman Doug Guetzloe, however, say “The Florida Tea Party does not condone or support the comments put forth by Mr. Swier. The Florida Tea Party supports individual freedom.”
Speaking of babies, Ronnie Paris, Jr. was a three-year-old living in WWPR’s broadcast area in Tampa. His father feared that Ronnie seemed homosexual. Hoping to apply a sort of peer pressure that would keep Ronnie from being gay, he started boxing him and beat him to death. And WWPR is now giving air time to Richard Swier, who says peer pressure to keep young people from being gay is “healthy?”
WWPR and Swier’s level of aggressive ignorant adult bullying would not be tolerated against any other minority group and should not be tolerated against LGBT Americans, either. In giving air time to this anti-gay monster who says that bullying is a “healthy” form of peer pressure, WWPR apparently does not care whether Swier’s despicable jabbering leads to more Ronnie Paris-like murders, may that poor dear little angel rest in peace.
New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
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