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The BSA and Sock Puppets

The Boy Scouts of America have at last voted through their new policy: LGBT people can serve as both scouts and leaders (though troops that have church sponsorship may continue to discriminate if they wish).  And judging by the commenters on the news stories, you would think the world has ended!  Certainly it's the end of the BSA.  All of the commenters plan to flee the scouts, pull their sons out with impunity, and crouch on the front porch, quivering with indignation while this once fine organization implodes around a rainbow flag.  Why, half the commenters =personally= know at least two Boy Scout troops that have already folded because so many people have pulled out over this ruling!

Please.

First, it's obvious the yowling and spitting is hugely exaggerated.  As David Folkenflik has reported, we already know the right wing employs sock puppets in these stories. Fox News and other right wing groups hire "media consultants" who create dozens of fake accounts and make bombastic, crazy-ass remarks.  As the New York Times put it, "if your reaction to some comments is that nobody could really be that stupid, it may be that . . . someone has been employed to play stupid for fun and profit."

So a great many of the comments are completely fake, created to make it look like more people fall to the right than actually do.

Also, does anyone honestly believe that the BSA made this decision lightly?  Ever since Tim Curran's decades-long lawsuit against the BSA started back in the 80s, the Scouts have seen their reputation tarnished.  Despite Curran's and other challenges, the BSA kept up their policy of exclusion. They tossed out gay scouts.  They tossed out gay scoutmasters. They tossed out lesbian den mothers.  But then, things began to change.  More and more people became upset and outraged about it.  Not just LGBT people, but also their families, friends, and supporters--and there are a LOT of such people.

At this point, the howlers and spitters like to say, "It only affects 2% of the population. Why should we change an entire organization just to meet them?"

The answer here is obvious.  First, it's quite a lot more than 2%.  For some reason, howlers and spitters focus on 2%, which is the absolute low end of the population, and they never mention 7%, which is the higher end.  Most likely the number of LGBT people in the USA somewhere around 5%.  That's a hefty amount of ANY population.  That's about the number of Asian Americans in the USA.  It's more than the US Korean and Japanese populations combined.  It's more than DOUBLE the number of Native Americans.  But no one would discuss changing a policy that excluded Asian Americans or Native Americans from the Scouts because such a policy affected so few scouts.

Second, we don't make equality policy based on numbers.  When you feed your family, you don't say, "We have five girls and one boy, so we won't feed the boy.  We have so few boys, what does it matter?"

We also can't forget that when you toss someone out of the scouts for being gay or lesbian, you're affecting more than that person.  You're also affecting the entire scout troop, the person's family, and the person's friends, all of whom get upset.  That's a lot of people, far, far more than 5%.  Those people have been creating a larger and larger voice within the BSA.

Lastly, the BSA clearly considered this policy change for a long, long time.  (Too long, if you ask me).  During this long, long time, donors started pulling out.  Disney, which has granted equality of employment and access within its amusement parks for decades, said, "We can't donate to you anymore."  The United Way said, "We have an equality policy, and we can't donate to an organization that discriminates."  That HURT.  The United Way is the BSA's #1 source of funding, and they were threatening to leave the scouts high and dry over an outdated, increasingly unpopular policy.

And, of course, people were already pulling their kids out because of the exclusion policy.  I did.  It's why Maksim's tenure in Cub Scouts was so brief.  No matter how much he enjoyed it, I couldn't bring myself to support a group that hated me.

I'm sure at this point the BSA hired a company to run studies and takes surveys.  How many people would leave the BSA if they reversed the policy?  How many people were leaving with the policy in place?  How much donor money was the policy endangering?  How much would they lose if they reversed the policy?

In the end, the BSA concluded the finanical and social damage from the policy was climbing too high, and whatever damage the policy's reversal would cause would be much lower.

So they reversed it.

We have another cheer from the progressives!  This is another home run in a long string of them for the left, and the dwindling right is being steadily reduced to a dozen people spitting and howling through sock puppet accounts on-line.

Don't be fooled.  The policy is popuar and much-supported.  We applaud and congratulate the Boy Scouts of America on a job well done!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
suricattus
Jul. 29th, 2015 04:27 pm (UTC)
Also, the GSA was once again making them look bad, with their inclusion of trans girls.

Funny enough, GSA doesn't seem to have fallen to the devil, or even discovered a flurry of troop failures, because of this policy, or their longstanding "we don't give a damn about your sexuality - are you a good Scout?" policy. Imagine that. :-)
spiziks
Jul. 30th, 2015 12:48 am (UTC)
Indeed!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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