Every Video Of A Stupid Bigot Is Funny Except For This One

This month, Lincoln, NE resident Jane Skrovota was caught on video delivering a barely coherent, anti-gay, hate-filled rant. She backed her claims with evidence that even pseudo-scientists would find laughable. After describing the Dutch TV show, Winter Wipeout which, according to her, is produced by “gays, bis and orgyers,” she asks “Why do gays like to see people perishing?”

You’re probably laughing already. I’ll admit it, the video elicited a dry chuckle from me. But the thing that makes this particular video really unfunny is the venue: The Lincoln City Council chambers. And the nearly five minutes Lincoln council members spent listening to and watching this venom drool out of Ms. Skrovota’s mouth. Without interruption. All while discussing anti-discrimination legislation.

Ms. Skrovota’s screed covered why homosexuals should not be allowed to work in hospitals or schools, how “anus licking causes sepsis,” and how most gays don’t live past forty.

“Don’t allow hundreds of molestations each year with this equality-ordinance,” she cried.

Were she sitting in a cardboard box, lying drunk in a gutter, on her dilapidated front porch, at an ultra-conservative rally or pretty much anywhere else you find crazies — this would be Hilarious with a capital H — she’d be just another garden variety xenophobe that we’ve all come to know, abhor and ignore. But when hate-speech gets the undivided attention of elected officials who represent a quarter of a million people, it gets pretty serious.

The non-bigots in the audience (all of you, I hope) will be pleased to know that the “dislikes” far outweigh the “likes” on the YouTube video, but there are still plenty of LOLs and HAHAHAHAs. One commenter asks, “Why so many dislikes? This video is freaking hilarious, mainly thanks to background dude.”

That I’ll give ground on. Background Dude’s reaction to Ms. Skrovota’s deranged rambling is a riot. He can barely contain himself. Check out my favorite moments at the two minute mark and at 2:35 when Ms. Skrovota’s line, about how college women are “seduced with illegal rohypnol to go gay” almost sends his head flying into the seat behind him.

With a population of 258,000, Lincoln’s not huge, but it’s not exactly a small town either. How then, does the city council have the time to sit and listen to a woman spout unfounded, anti-gay hate speech? And make no mistake, that’s exactly what it is.

When Ms. Skrovota said, that anal sex is tantamount to homicide and that “Gays are the bioethic genociders in hospitals,” well inside of her first minute, did the city council really need to hear more?

If Ms. Skrovota had listed the worst stereotypes and falsehoods attributed to African Americans, Jews, Hispanics or just about any other ethnic minority (with the exception of Muslims, unfortunately) she likely would have been shouted down, or at least cut short by a moderator. It should have been an outrage, but instead it was just a blip.

I’m a firm believer that the best weapon against bad speech is more speech — not suppression or censorship. In communities with free expression, good ideas rise while toxic ones, like Ms. Skrovota’s, sink. It’s been the case in every battle for equal treatment and civil rights.

I’m confident that within my lifetime, Ms. Skrovota, and those with like minds will be indistinguishable from the George Wallaces of the world. Until then Lincoln, please don’t throw homophobia another life raft. TC mark

image – Youtube

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Denlinger/1225470022 Sam Denlinger

    You’re right that the video isn’t funny, but you’re wrong on the reason. Jane Svoboda is a diagnosed schizophrenic living under the conservatorship of her brother. Listen again, and pay attention to her unusual word choice (including invented words) and bizarre leaps of logic. She is something of a fixture around Lincoln, NE and appears at these council meetings often. The council always gives her five minutes and waits patiently for her to finish. Kind of sweet of them, really.

    Of course, lots of people genuinely believe the kinds of things she is saying (though I think her specific points are pretty unique), but the poor woman shouldn’t be made into a target. She’s the victim in this instance. 

    • http://twitter.com/jadika Jade Thompson

      Interesting input. Mental illness does not excuse public hate speech though, does it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Denlinger/1225470022 Sam Denlinger

        Well, not if the mental illness is, like, depression or something. But schizophrenia is a different animal. This woman suffers from pervasive, persistent delusions and hallucinations. These are so severe that she lives in an assisted-living facility and has had her own legal rights revoked and transferred to her brother. This is not an unstable woman with some odd opinions, she is entirely divorced from reality and can’t sensibly be held accountable for the things she says or (momentarily) “believes”. Her speech was unpleasant, but I think the grosser offense would be to harass or eject a harmless, mentally ill woman from a public forum.

      • Wild Animals Stay Caged

        ^This segment was broadcast live on TV. So no, the grossest offense was knowingly allowing a mentally ill woman to speak in such a public outlet.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Denlinger/1225470022 Sam Denlinger

        Yeah, but she wasn’t on CNN. This was a local forum on a local issue. I personally am more offended by the idea of wrestling her away from the podium than by the bizarre but inconsequential things she said.

        The bigger issue for me is that the actual essay we are all commenting on is rendered meaningless by her illness. This video isn’t evidence of anything other than the private delusions of a schizophrenic person and should probably be taken down. I mean, I don’t blame the author or editors or whatever, but: right? Otherwise aren’t we just gawking at someone?

      • WILD ANIMALS STAY CAGED

        Because we are used to bigotry on the gay issue in the media we
        could dismiss what she said as “harmless”. Supposed she was being
        racist and any mention of gay-whatever is replaced by, say, a black person.
        Don’t you think someone would’ve stopped her immediately? The above thread mentioned that the Lincoln council
        typically allows her podium time despite knowing her condition. If this is done
        out of courtesy then maybe they should have not broadcast that in public –
        unless their main purpose was to put her up as a joke.

      • http://strugglingsingletwentysomething.blogspot.com/ Katie

        Oh, wow. Now this video is sad for totally different reasons.

        These definitely don’t seem like the words of a mentally healthy person (wtf with the random mention of Whitney Houston?), but since every anti-gay argument makes no sense and perfectly sane people use them, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

    • Nathaniel

      Interesting that you say that. I know someone with schizophrenia, and within thirty seconds of her beginning her “speech” I started noticing her strange word choices and odd, halted way of speaking (very characteristic of schizophrenia). It’s such a sad and terrible disease; it’s difficult to say whether someone diagnosed with schizophrenia should be allowed to speak at things such as this. To prohibit them would seem like discriminating against the mentally disabled; on the other hand, permitting her to speak is really only engendering a lot more negative reactions towards her on the part of the public and possibly even putting her in danger.

  • Anon

    what a fag. 

  • guest

    Let’s put this on 4chan and let anon destroy this lady

  • Lcdoe13

    My first reaction to this video was anger, then it was just sadness. It is really sad that people actually believe that 2 people of the same sex loving one another can cause all of these horrible things.

    • joe

      they shouldn’t, because this woman is a diagnosed schizophrenic. i checked on it, and she’s actually a fixture in her town… 

  • Guest

    I’m confused as to what the author would have had
    the council do in this situation.  U.S. law doesn’t prohibit “hate
    speech” per se.  Speech can only be limited in certain circumstances;
    so-called “fighting words” or threats can be banned, of course, and
    the FCC can regulate speech in some media.  But the huge, huge majority of
    what we would colloquially call “hate speech” is protected by the
    First Amendment.  And for good
    reason.  In the marketplace of ideas, those with merit will prevail, so the best response to hate speech is more speech.  The author seems to acknowledge this
    towards the end of the article, so I’m still left wondering: what does he think
    the council should have done?

  • Mike

    It was shocking ‘funny’. Its not horrible though. People are entilted to thier own beliefs and opinions. To shamefully berate this woman simple because you dissagree with her IS horrible!!

    • Steveeee

      People aren’t entitled to bigotry. You are free to meditate on hatred all you want. That doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t point it out and criticize you for it. The marketplace of ideas doesn’t free you from criticism or consequences. It just means you can’t get locked up for spouting this nonsense.

  • Guest

    I didn’t bother to watch the video, but based on your description, it seems that Ms. Skrovota’s rant was “homophobic” and not “racist” as the title of this post suggests.

  • zac

     While I don’t condone anything that she says… The Lincoln City Council is not allowed to actually interrupt her… This article implies that they approve of her message by letting her continue with her speech for five minutes… when in reality, they just cant stop her until it’s over… please do at least a little research before writing an article weighted enough to judge an entire community based on a schizophrenic ramble.

    • zac

      also… her last name is Svoboda

  • Hailey Gould

    Jane Svoboda is kindly known around the University of Nebraska’s campus as the Crazy Blue Protesting Lady due to a blue coat she frequently wears while speaking. She hands out pamphlets that make about as much sense as this speech does, often talking about topics such as chinese subliminals in the lampposts. She is also a constant fixture in Lincoln’s council, where they give her her allowed five minutes. Other commenters are correct in that she is a diagnosed schizophrenic who suffers from severe delusions about our society. 

  • Guest

    Can we talk about the guy freaking out in the back?

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t Lincoln where Brandon Teena was killed? Is it the homophobic capital of the developed world?

  • Guest

    “I’m a firm believer that the best weapon against bad speech is more
    speech — not suppression or censorship.”

    “And the nearly five minutes Lincoln council members spent listening to
    and watching this venom drool out of Ms. Skrovota’s mouth. Without
    interruption.”

    What did the author really want to happen then?

    • Renee Campbell

      MLK Jr. said it best, there are two types of evil folks in the world. those who do evil and those who let evil happen. they should have interjected or sat that senile woman down.

  • Hayley

    Did no one else just die when she called Judas a homo? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/dannygjr Danny Gee

      I fell apart.

  • Asavva

    Watch some of the other vids from that hearing. The supportive ones. Those which should be given more attention than this mess.

  • Renee Campbell

    you brought up a really great point… hardly anyone cares when people say anti-Muslim comments. 

    and from reading the comments, it seems like those people weren’t allowed to interrupt her but i understand why this is upsetting – there are too many people preaching a message of hate and people may not agree but they allow them to have a soapbox and they don’t correct or challenge the bigots.

    people need to give more of a damn.

blog comments powered by Disqus