America breathed a collective sigh of relief on news that two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree that would culminate in the assassination of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman met on the Internet about a month ago and had planned to decapitate 14 African Americans and otherwise kill another 88. The letter H is the eighth letter in the alphabet and “88” is a greeting amongst racist Nazis that represents “Heil Hitler.” The 14 beheadings are a reference to the 14-word slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” coined by David Lane, founding member of The Order who died in jail recently while serving a 190 year sentence his involvement in the death of radio talk show host Alan Berg.

What’s really interesting in all of this, and so far, only reported by Reuters is that:

The men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt, which would have involved driving as fast as they could toward Obama and shooting him from the windows of the car.

Huh?? OK so what do we have here. Two hot young guys from rural Tennessee, who met on the Internet and who planned on being killed together in a blaze of glory, while wearing white tuxedos and top hats. White tuxedos and top hats are usually worn at uh… weddings. That’s right. Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were queer for each other. When you talk about a love that dare not speaketh it’s name – that goes double if you live in a rural part of a redneck state and all your friends are bad ass racists.

Surely pundits will posit the blame for this on societal racism, but clearly there’s another form of intolerance at play here. Had Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman been simply allowed to consummate their obvious love, had Tennessee been a tolerant state that allowed Gay Marriage, none of this would likely have happened. Instead, the nation is shocked and two young lovers will be separated by prison for years to come. See how intolerance breeds intolerance?

And the only retouching I did of Daniel Cowart’s MySpace pic above was to add the white top hat. And the flag. So? Gaydar going “ping! ping!” – am I right? Gay as the grass is green right? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Follow me

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • ck, you totally got that plot from Gus Van Sant’s brilliant movie Elephant, didn’t you?

  • henk: Uhm… yeah. Pretty sure. Jews only buy assault rifles with a folding stock. The FN FAL clone that Daniel is holding doesn’t have one, thus Daniel is clearly not Jewish.

    MUL: Elephant based on Columbine. These guys however, weren’t going to shoot up their high school. But nice try. Elephant was an awesome movie btw. Props for the reference even if it’s completely off.

  • I know, my bad. I should have said plot “twist”!

    The flag behind Eminem is a nice touch.

  • For some reason, when I saw the picture, I immediately thought of Taco’s version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

  • And there’s nothing wrong with it if you own a large union- free clothing manufacturing company either. Most fashion moguls are gay.

    What happened to Esther’s list of eligible hot Jewish straight men…I think she was only able to find about 5. That deeply saddens me.

  • I don’t appreciate the attempted humor of this piece really at all, and I especially don’t get down with the title — there’s no “straight people using their “gaydar” to question skinheads sexuality” in the title — you wrote that they were gay as a statement.

    This takes it beyond whatever reason it is you feel you need to make light of a situation that really isn’t funny to a lot of people.

  • I agree with Cole Krawitz, above. Does ck think this post is funny? Insightful? Witty? It is none of those.

    Apparently ck thinks two sociopaths who connect on the internet must be gay, and even more so because they planned to wear tuxedos–and white ones at that. Did Dylan Kebold and Eric Harris (may their memory be erased) wear long duster coats because they were ranch-hands? Of course not.

    ck has taken a situation that is deadly serious, and attempted to inject humor into it. Too bad it ain’t humor and it ain’t funny. ck’s post contributes to anti-gay stereotypes, while managing also to demonize gays.

    I’m taking a wild guess when I posit that G-d gave you a brain, ck. Perhaps you might put it to better use than that exhibited by this post.

  • I was merely suggesting that had Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman lived in a more tolerant society, they would have been able to lead healthier lives where their gayness would be a non-issue rather than a matter of shame. Suppressing who you are to the point of emulating those that hate you causes tremendous self loathing, let alone sexual frustration. This manifests itself in disturbing ways and thus it is no surprise that Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman turned out to be complete sociopaths. Now let me be clear here. They are not sociopaths because they are gay. They became sociopaths because they were not allowed to freely express who they were.

    Now not to diminish your good intentions Cole and JD but look at the skinhead themed art of Attila Richard Lukacs. He also juxtaposed homosexuality with violent, racist skinheads. Why is he celebrated and I get scorn? The only people that would read what I wrote and think negatively of homosexuals are the same people that would look at Lukac’s art and say that fags are all sick and demented.

    Think about that before you respond in what seems like a thoughtless manner to what was in fact a very thoughtful post.

  • CK, what we’re challenging you on is that you are calling these men gay when there’s nothing reported, (at this stage), to even talk about the implications you are posing and saying you are presenting in a thoughtful way. That is something that you’re reading into the story based on, at least from what I/we the readers can tell in your post, it seems you are precluding this based on their wanting to wear white tuxedos and hats, and because you think they’re “hot young guys” — which J.D. rightly attested as stereotypes. So, sorry, but before you start throwing out “thoughtless” maybe you should take into consideration that there are real reasons people are challenging what you may very well have intended to be a thoughtful post.

  • I’m projecting Cole. It’s artistic license. Of course there is no “real” reason to believe that these disturbed individuals are gay. Wearing a black tank top and holding a ginormous phallic symbol while striking a pouty faced pose does not mean you’re gay. Wanting to wear clothes often associated with matrimony with your buddy on what would have been the most noteworthy day of your lives does not mean you’re gay. Wanting to die in a blaze of glory with your buddy does not mean you’re gay. But geez… there’s a reason why Thelma and Louise is a beloved film amongst some in the lesbian crowd. If Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were in fact gay it would just be so dramatic! I couldn’t resist the drama and my statements about intolerance were sincere as all heck.

    Stereotypes, when used tongue in cheek, are not always bad. My post is in fact a statement against stereotypes. Irony! Get it?

  • Thanks for having my back, Cole (not a gay statement, ck).

    Look, ck, if we learned anything from John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, it’s that one can seek to improve the world, but be so inarticulate at conveying his point as to actually do damage to the very thing he supports.

    In the gayest possible way, I suggest that you have done just that. That’s all. Heck, most writers send up stinkers from time to time, and that was yours.

    Come on! We’re most of us Jews. Wo among us hadn’t been present to hear gentiles speak of another gentile’s parsimony as a “Jewish” trait. WTF??? Not a Jew in sight and yet we get blemed?

    Well that’s what you did to gay people, who are just a little bit touchy about being called to sociopaths. We weren’t anywhere near those nut cases, yet we get dragged in to your story which purports to be in our corner as it tells the world these antisocial nutbags are actually gay. I repeat: WTF???

    That’s all, good cause, bad attempt.

  • Oh my goodness. Y’all so don’t get it. The story is prima facie ludicrous. The photo is an obvious fake. There is no indication that these guys were actually the least bit gay and even if they were, that would still not mean that all gays are sociopaths. I mean most crimes are committed by straight people – does that mean that heterosexuality automatically predisposes one to antisocial behavior? Boesky, Milken and Abrams were Jewish – but their crimes are no reasonable reflection on the Jewish community. Your example of the parsimonious goy simply does not correlate to my post. However, my example of Attila Lukacs’ art was right on point and you totally failed to address that.

    Think about it. What message is one sending when one produces extremely homoerotic paintings of Nazi skinheads? How is what I wrote any different? Well… it isn’t. In both cases we’ve created something provocative in order to make a larger point – and my point wasn’t that Homosexuals are innately sociopathic. Any reference I made to stereotypes only exposed their fundamental ridiculousness.

  • Actually, using stereotypes from communities that aren’t your own isn’t just “artistic license” — all people should be thoughtful about making choices in talking about communities, especially those they aren’t part of, and when using stereotypes, even more so, because you can undoubtedly get response from people from those communities being like, “oh hell no” — and so you got that response.

    But more importantly, you didn’t just use stereotypes, you seriously read, overread, and projected those stereotypes onto a situation that didn’t have all that on there, and more so for me, I’m just kind of *wowed* and that this is even a conversation, so I’m going to point that out to you and be like, you chose to project that. What it exposed for me was how much straight people can read onto some shit. I’m sorry but this is just too much. Why not expose the prejudice that was *actually* in the story about racism?! I mean damn, I don’t have beef with someone trying to talk about how it’s bad people’s sexualities are repressed, but this was just not the way.

    And I have to give another “oh hell no” you did not just compare two neo-nazis wanting to kill over 100 Black people to why some lesbians love Thelma and Louise!!! What?! A movie that many women, period, were moved by because it was portraying women who were fierce and not going to take bullshit in facing the realities of a legal system that often fails to work for women when they defend themselves against violence and rape. There is absolutely no comparison there, at all. And even if you aren’t comparing, to even bring it up just makes no sense.

    ck, what I’m saying, and it seems J.D. is saying as well (and we’re bringing up different points so there’s not exactly a blanket y’all here albeit both of us didn’t appreciate the post), is that your intention didn’t have the effect that it wanted to have on everyone, so you can take that in, and think about it, and learn from it, or not. As J.D. rightly attests, we all learn these lessons, that our words don’t always have the effect we may have intended.

  • Sorry I should clarify and write “how much a straight person can read onto some shit” since obviously not everyone did, and I have people who are agreeing that this was not the way in private, even though they aren’t writing something publicly.

  • OK Cole, I ran this past a random selection of 4 of my Gay and Lesbian friends – 2 in Israel and 2 in North America and they found, to varying degrees of course, nothing offensive about my post. Now what do I do?

    I acknowledge that my post had the possibility of creating offense. I was clearly pushing envelopes and when you do that you take that chance. But dude, it’s what we do! There’s a reason why some right wingers think we’re hippies and some left wingers think we are Genghis Khan. In many ways we’re post-ideological and that causes confusion. BUT it also creates healthy discussion and in that respect I have succeeded somewhat.

  • I’d like to take this opportunity to second ck. As a proud gay man, I take absolutely no offense to anything contained in this post. On the contrary it’s a dig against racism, homophobia and intolerance without devolving into sappy sloganeering.

    Furthermore on what basis does Cole Krawitz (ck2?) make the statement “all people should be thoughtful about making choices in talking about communities, especially those they aren’t part of”? Does ck2 know for a fact that ck is not gay? I checked you know. All I saw on this blog was suport for the Jerusalem Pride Parade, gay marriage, gay rights etc. I didn’t see anything that pointed to unimpeachable heterosexuality. Their presumptuousness and general tone make ck2 and J. D. Edelman seem like the left wing versions of, dare I say it, Republicans.

    Thanks for the opportunity to vent. I love Jewlicious and I am sorry that it took me this long to post my first comment.

  • …and I know plenty of Jews who tell jokes about Jews (as in “laugh at, not with”). I’ve even heard a few dark brown people use “the ‘N’ word” from time to time. Should we limit their speech? No. Are we entitled to call it thoughtless and inappropriate? Um, yeah.

    Though we disagree on this matter, I’m glad that our little post-a-thon brought about your first post. I think Jewlicious is, well, just jewlicous….

  • In all fairness, JD Edelman, it was ck2 (Cole Krawitz) that implied that one *should* be a member of a community before trying to make a point by using stereotypes ironically. Not ck. It was that statement that inspired me to post. I wanted it on the record that your criticism does not at all represent the entire gay community.

    Some of us appreciate the use of satire and irony in order to make a broader socio-political point. I’d like to think that, in diametric opposition to the unfun and serious PC Police, I’m in favor of putting the “Gay” back into Gay.

    Don’t misunderstand me. The points you make are geberally valid. Language and imagery are important in formulating societal consciousness, which inevitably translates into affecting the state of tolerance. I am only suggesting you restrict your attacks and critiques to those who are actually attacking and harming you. ck is unequivocally on our side and to see this post as anything other than the statement against racism, homophobia and intolerance that it is would be incredibly myopic.

  • i think since he is gay he tried to kill him and have it with him cuase he is gay and jewish but he also dumb ugly

  • “hey doron, thanks for adding your perspective — of course there is varied opinion. you’re on a jewish site that has varied opinion, so it’d be great to assume people would give the same room to folks who are lgbt, but i can understand why you’d feel the need to make the case. and since you asked, i did know based on conversations with ck that he isn’t gay…i wasn’t coming from assumption on that one.

    i love satire as much as the next person, and i don’t think that when people use satire and it offends people that they’re intentionally trying to be hurtful, or at least i hope not. but i also am no stranger to how often sexuality, and in particular men’s sexuality, is used in this way. so just saying that people shouldn’t see it the way i and others did respond doesn’t change that we did see it as unnecessary and inappropriate. intention and effect are different, and the effect on all of us wasn’t the same. that doesn’t mean i think someone is a “bad” person, it means i didn’t appreciate the approach and i appreciate that ck acknowledges that that was part of the risk. that’s the thing about satire — when you use certain things to try to create humor, some people will think it’s funny, and some won’t, and some may feel a mix of emotions of laughing but also discomfort. in hearing yours and other people’s responses, i get that for some maybe it draws out a larger point about these two guys’ actions being wrong, but it also still includes a conscious and subconscious message of using stereotypes around manhood and sexuality that i hope also discomforted people. my concern, and after reading the comment from a reader about “plot “twist,”” is that it didn’t. but for me, this method just wasn’t the way.

  • they are not gay, thats fucked up, and you wonder why people build hate? you probley just caused 25 more people to join us, just cause of your stupid comment, so thanks. But i’m cool with it, cause i dont care if he dies. they were standind up for their country, whats wrong with that? yall need to stop listianing to the media, for real. americans can still read right?, then do your own research. Save America!!!!

  • As a gay man, I see the humour in this article. Lighten up, people. It’s not a news article, it’s a blog!!

    I would like to point out, though, that not all skinheads are racist, gay-hating, murdering assholes. Like everything else in the neo-racist movement, the skinhead image was stolen from another culture. In the early 1950’s, gay men started the skinhead movement as an underground means of identifying each other, as well as to show strength and unity. By the late 50’s, the style became a bit more popular and was adopted by the mainstream mod culture. The racist skinheads basically stole this image, not knowing where it actually originated… Today, there are still gay skinheads, who are ANTI-racist, and anti-nazi.

    Like the swastika, and just about every other symbol used by the nazi and racist movements, the skinhead look was stolen from one of the very cultures they hate…

  • whats the difference between a Gay Skinhead and a Straight Skinhead?
    About a six-pack