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Of Course, Fox's Talking Head Compares Rainbow Flag to Confederate Flag

Star Parker

Fox News enlisted anti-LGBT talking head Star Parker to erroneously compare the flags. 

Of course, in the wake of the Charlottesville violence at the hands of white supremacists, Fox News found an anti-LGBT talking head to say that the rainbow flag is the same as the Confederate flag, reports watchdog group Media Matters.

The ill-conceived comparison came from Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, which sounds progressive but is actually a conservative think tank. Parker, who has a long history of making anti-LGBT statements, appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday with cohost Steve Doocy to comment on Nancy Pelosi calling on Donald Trump to fire white nationalist Steve Bannon after a white supremacist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday when one disaffected white male, James Fields Jr., rammed his car into a crowd of peaceful counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19 people.

Trump's initial, tepid response to the violence was to blame "all sides" rather than to call out the white nationalists who helped put him in office, and Pelosi did not let that slide. But Parker said that Trump was right to call out all sides as there were people from both the alt-right and the alt-left there, although she made a false equivalency from the start as one does not need to identify as "alt-left" to peacefully protest against racism.

"On Saturday, there were two sides that were in an American city that were [demonstrating.] Then it was escalating very rapidly," Parker said. "No, the question became then, well, do you denounce the one part of it?"

Parker then took her skewed comparison to the next level, injecting anti-LGBT sentiment to further her own agenda against queer people, making a patently false analogy, as angry white men with tiki torches are in no way like marginalized queer people of all races and genders who in this lifetime have marched for the right to love and exist equally.

"What's really interesting, the really incredible irony here, is the same people that are demanding that the Confederate flag comes down are the same people that are insisting that the rainbow flag goes up," Parker said.

"These two flags represent the exact same thing. That certain people groups are not welcome here. So if Nancy Pelosi wants to say that we're going to start shutting down First Amendment rights of a certain group of people, then what happens the next time that the homosexuals want to walk through an American city and protest and counterprotesters come out?"

Clearly, Parker could benefit from a history lesson. After Harvey Milk, who ran on a campaign of hope, was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making him one of the first openly gay people to hold high public office in the country, he asked his friend Gilbert Baker to create a symbol of pride for LGBT people, something that would counter the grim history of the pink triangle, the symbol gay people were forced to wear in concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

"They had a whole code of emblems that they used to oppress people, and we needed something to answer that," Baker said of the Nazis' use of the pink triangle in a 2015 interview. He added that the rainbow was the perfect symbol for LGBT people because of its associations with diversity, beauty, and nature.

Just this year, a version of the rainbow flag expanded its colors to include a black and a brown stripe, a sign that the symbol is intersectionally inclusive.

The Confederate flag began as a battle flag for the Confederacy during the Civil War, notes History.net. By the 1930s and '40s, the Ku Klux Klan had begun using the Confederate flag at its rallies. At one point the Dixiecrat Party, a breakaway party from the Democrats, used it as a symbol of protest against the Democratic Party's adoption of civil rights in its platform and displayed it in support of Jim Crow laws that oppressed people of color.

So, no, Parker, the rainbow flag and the Confederate flag are not both symbols of exclusion. While the rainbow flag is a symbol of ever-evolving inclusion, the Confederate flag has always been and continues to be a symbol of hate and exclusion.

But what would anyone expect from a woman who once said that marriage equality is a sign that "we are sick as a country?"

Watch Parker make her twisted argument below.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.