John DeGroot offers his take on Mayor Mouth:
I enoyed the Sun-Sentinel’s 1-A Sunday profile on Fort Lauderdale’s who clearly fears both his God and Homos with Biblical fervor.
It’s time the gay community faced the sordid truth about Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle and his latest cruel and incendiary remarks about the same-sex sin in public toilets.
Naugle’s hardly the problem as a poster child for smug intolerance during the 20-plus years he’s held public office in the Venice of America.
Rather, if anyone’s to blame for Naugle’s history of bigotry and divisiveness, it’s the people of Old Fort
Lauderdale who’ve continued to vote for him as their Favorite son – in spite of his outrageous public mouth.
So listen up my gay brothers and sisters!
Ours is a representative form of government.
And Jim Naugle speaks for an historic constituency of Rotarian Christians and Xenophobic Newly Rich.
In short, Mayor Naugle is the Voice of Old Fort Lauderdale and HIS people.
Born in Fort Lauderdale in1954, little Jimmy Naugle’s early years were spent in a world where:
- Restrooms were labeled Colored and White.
- Schools, churches and restaurants were rigidly segregated.
- Critically ill blacks were routinely refused treatment at Broward General Hospital.
- The local newspaper carried a weekly column titled “Negro News.”
- Police routinely questioned any black found east of Andrews Avenue after sundown.
- Blacks were relegated to the back of the bus and “special” sections at movie theaters.
- Most white folk east of Andrews Avenue enjoyed the domestic services of a hired black women, usually known as “our girl.” While local businesses usually had one or two black “boys” for heavy lifting, broom work and the like.
Because back in The Day, Old Fort Lauderdale was a sharply divided community consisting of Us Folk versus Those Other People.
Which also explains why, during little Jimmy Naugle’s early years:
- Jews were “restricted” as guests in hotels on Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Many homes had deed restrictions prohibiting their sale to Jews.
- While no decent son or daughter of Florida would want a Catholic in the Governor’s mansion up in Tallahassee – let alone the White House
And as for “perverts” and “queers”?
They were like Un-American Communists posing a threat to God-fearing America -- although few citizens would admit they actually knew one of “those people.”
I was there as a young boy growing up in Broward County back when they sang “Dixie” at public events and smart folk were rarely “uppity” because they “knew their place.”
So there’s damn little that will surprise me when Jim Naugle has his latest outrageous say as the Voice of Old Fort Lauderdale and his Closet Cracker constituency.
Because a church-going, college-educated Metro Redneck living in a million dollar McMansion and driving a Lexus is what he is!
Of course, your basic Old Fort Lauderdale Redneck HAS changed.
Years ago, their xenophobic mindset required Those Other People to “know their place” and stay there – or else!
But today’s Metro Redneck has changed.
Which is why today’s basic Old Fort Lauderdale Closet Redneck is quick to say in a show of Christian brotherhood:
“He’s a pretty good guy for a Black.”
Or, “She’s okay for a Jew.”
Trouble is, Old Fort Lauderdale still has its problems with Homos and Queers – based on the Word of their God.
Which, of course, is why Mayor Naugle clings to his Bible-based belief that “homosexuality is a sin.”