Friday, April 17, 2009

CRW Is Anti-Anti-Bullying

Today is GLSEN's Day of Silence. As they say,
The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.

Students remain silent for the whole day to protest bullying and harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. It's been going on since 1996, when it was started at the University of Virginia.

The Citizens for Responsible Whatever are encouraging parents to keep their children out of school today to demonstrate their prejudice against LGBT people. From their latest newsletter:
If you have children in the public schools, we encourage you to keep them home from school tomorrow April 17th.

Friday is the Day of Silence, a campaign of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which is often used to make homosexual behavior appear normal on school campuses.

We pay Maryland teachers to teach -- by speaking in classrooms -- and teachers should also be expected to fully discharge their duties this coming Friday. If a school allows teachers to stop teaching, it should not get tax dollars for educating our students on that day.

By urging a one day absence, MCRG joins more than two dozen organizations in the Day of Silence Walkout Coalition. The coalition includes organizations such as Concerned Women for America, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and more. It reaches out to parents across the nation who do not want their children focusing on sexuality at school.

What do you think this phrase means? -- to make homosexual behavior appear normal on school campuses. What, exactly, is "homosexual behavior?" Let me guess -- it's behavior that homosexual people do, that straight people don't do. How'd I do? And that would be ...? Interior decorating? No, I think some straight people do that.

They might mean some kind of sexual behavior, though I can't think of anything sexual that homosexual people do that straight people don't do. And anyway, sexual behavior of any sort is frowned upon on school campuses. No sexual behavior "appears normal on school campuses," that I can think of, so they can't mean that.

Well, whatever "homosexual behavior" is, it has the word "homosexual" in it, and so the Citizens for Responsible Whatever are against it.

Oh, and down here it says something about parents not wanting their children "focusing on sexuality at school." Maybe they mean that they are opposed to sex ed, which of course TTF is in favor of, if it's done right.

Or maybe they are trying to get you to think that Gay-Straight Alliances have something to do with "sexual behavior."

They don't. It's gay kids and straight kids meeting together, learning about one another, finding out that they're all just teenagers, not so much different as they are alike. You know how much I hate to upset the fine citizens who make up the Citizens for Responsible Whatever, but being gay isn't about sex any more than being straight is about sex. GSA is a chance for gay and straight teens to get to know each other as people.

Skipping down ...
Call your school to ask whether it is permitting participating in Day of Silence. Schools do not technically sponsor this social protest, but hundreds permit or encourage it. To make sure there is no disconnect between the school office and your classroom, also contact your child's teacher and ask whether students will be allowed to participate in Friday's Day of Silence.

Also check whether your school has a Gay-Straight Alliance Club.

Yes, by all means, call the school, talk to the nice office ladies. I'm sure they'll love hearing from you, and they won't think you're a nut at all. In fact, if they say yes, your child will be allowed to show their support for gay students, it is a good idea to tell them about Jesus, and explain how very moral you are, and how sick gay people -- er, I mean, homosexuals (because it's only about sex) -- are. Keep your kid home from school, that's a good idea, then they won't be exposed to that dangerous wall of silence that makes it so hard to concentrate on what the teacher is saying.

The CRW links to a website: HERE. It's good. Read what they have, and you'll get a good idea of how really moral people think. They have a list of what they call "probing questions." Like these:
  • What is “discrimination” against those in this lifestyle? Does simply having an opposing viewpoint make you a bully?
  • Is violence, where it occurs, going largely “unpunished”? Is it true Matthew Shepard was the victim of murder because he was homosexual, for instance, and did his murderers go free?
  • Are there people who born homosexual? Or born the wrong gender? Are these folks different types of humans? Is this issue just like race?
  • To be a kind person, must you approve of homosexuality and gender change? Is there any room for finding homosexuality—dare we say it—repulsive? Or is that response now going to be viewed as “hate”? Is a student allowed to say a firm “no” to a homosexual advance?

Hmm, <strokes_chin_thoughtfully>, those sure are some probing questions.


Anonymous Robert said...

Many of the organizations fostering the "keep your kid home on the Day of Silence" thing are labelled by the SPLC as hate groups. It's a truly radical notion.

The Day of Silence is, of course, an expression of student speech. Schools are clear that students must participate if the teacher asks it (for example, I have a student who is participating today who has a presentation, and of course she's doing it). The folks who organize the DOS are very clear that it is not an attempt to disrupt school.

What CRC is promoting, of course, is a protest to students' 1st amendment speech. It is a truly radical approach.

Students have a write to speech, but not to be absent. At least in Virginia, I would think it would be a criminal act to keep your kid home to protest other students' speech. Maybe the CRC people will lie and say their kids are sick (which, I would think, would defeat the purpose of their hate-mongering protest).

I myself am shocked by this approach.

Here at my school, the students have declared Monday "Senior Skip Day" (gee, why did they pick 4/20 for this). We will mark them absent if they're not here.

Maybe Monday can be Anonymous skip day too.


April 17, 2009 10:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

In April, students in schools all over America will be persuaded that Religious Supremacists, Conservatives, and Republicans are victims of widespread discrimination and violence. Therefore, a special day to honor these people is set aside as a “Day of Specialness.”

The Day of Specialness, it is claimed, is simply a protest about those who are victims of bullying and harassment, especially “Superioristists,” and how they haven’t been given any voice in our culture.

But is this true? If you care about the whole story, maybe it’s time to ask some probing questions:

• What is “discrimination” against those of this mindset? Does simply explaining that others don’t recognize you as better than them make you a bully?

• Is violence of tongue, where it occurs, going largely “unlashed”?

Is it true that David Lane was the victim of murder because he was outspokenly against white supremacy, and were his supremacist murderers not convicted and jailed?

• Are there people who are born supremacists? Or born in the wrong economic class? Are these folks different types of humans? Is this issue just like race?

• To be a kind person, must you approve of an expressed sense of superiority and the flaunting of racial and economic privilege? Is there any room for finding Supremacist behavior—dare we say it—repulsive? Or is that response now going to be viewed as “hate”?

Is a student allowed to say a firm “no” to a superiorist’s advance?

• Are people who approve of egalitarianists, justified in silencing, mocking and name-calling superiorists and holierthanthouists? Or is this kind of hate considered “ROFLMAO entertainment”?

• Is the Day of Specialness really a back-door way to silence valid criticism and gain approval for questionable mindsets?

• And—most important of all—is the “Day of Specialness” itself an example of bigotry and discrimination?? And is it cutting off important information that can actually be a huge help to all young people?

April 17, 2009 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

At my school usually only students participate in the "not speaking" part. My GSA passes out stickers from GLSEN for teachers to wear in support of the event but no teachers stop teaching. CRC, along with other bigot tactics, is only trying to use fear, once again, to push their anti-GLBT theocratic-slanted agenda.

I´ve made the secretaries and administration very well informed about just who these people are in the case that they received any nasty emails or calls.

They know that if it looks like dog poop and smells like dog poop-- it must be dog poop (or the CRC).

April 17, 2009 11:01 AM  
Blogger Tish said...

Derrick and Robert,

What would you say is the typical response when a student passes a "Day of Silence" card to a teacher? Does the teacher ask another student to answer? Does the student Write a response to the teacher's question?

I've been under the impression that this is not a disruptive event in schools unless counter protests crop up. How are classroom routines affected by the Day of Silence?

April 17, 2009 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

My roommate said that her complaint was that all the kids she wanted to be silent weren't participating (i.e. the hooligans) and her best students were silent. She of course was, as any decent person would be, of her high-est achieving students expressing their support for ending anti-lgbt harassment.

Do not these anti-DOS people realize they make themselves look like total meanies?

April 17, 2009 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

She was, of course, supportive of these students. Many teachers are opposed to bullying and anti-anyone harassment. I wonder what Mat Barber would be like as a teacher?

April 17, 2009 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What do you think this phrase means? -- to make homosexual behavior appear normal on school campuses. What, exactly, is "homosexual behavior?" Let me guess -- it's behavior that homosexual people do, that straight people don't do. How'd I do? And that would be ...? Interior decorating? No, I think some straight people do that."

You guys seem to think homosexuals are bullied in schools but you also say the gays act like everyone else.

How do these bullies know these kids are gay?

April 18, 2009 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, "Anonymous" does anyone know any kid is gay? Many GLBT kids take EXTREME measures to hide their true natures - often exposing themselves in the process. Many other kids, who might or might not be GLBT, are perceived by bullies to be gay and are harassed and often physically attacked because they might be just a "little different". Many other kids, quite bravely, do not hide their natures and are known to be gay or lesbian. They too, as statistics show, are subject to attacks by dim-witted bullies and homophobic malcontents, encouraged by homophobic adult zealots, much like yourself.
Educate yourself, for once in your closeted life!

April 18, 2009 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, basically, gays are just misappropriating the whole bully thing and saying it applies to them.

Truth is, there are kids that pick out kids they believe to be weak. They should be identified and removed from the general population until they are deemed safe after receiving counseling.

Still, this has nothing to do with homosexuality. Weak heteros and just as vulnerable as weak homos.

The Day of Silence is a bid to be considered normal. Kids should be free to consider deviant behavior abnormal and not conform to the pressures of liberal school faculty and administartion.

To consider homosexuality abnormal is not automatically represssive just because it's what the majority of people believe.

btw, there is no need for kids coming to school and declaring themselves gay. They should keep their sexual preferences to themselves. School is a place for learning not exhibitionism.

April 18, 2009 10:33 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, do you think the straight kids should also pretend not to be straight?


April 18, 2009 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

CNN´s Anderson Cooper had a piece about anti-bullying (as well as bullying children perceived as GLBT) in schools in the USA .

It´s sad that the "Day of Truth" encourages more bullying of students by going up to students, who may want to hide their sexual identity for fear of being taunted or bullied, to hand him/her a card which leads to websites full of anti-GLBT lies.

Insults of race would not be tolerated, but we need to ensure that NOBODY is bullied at school.

Check out the piece on CNN here:

April 18, 2009 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we need to ensure that NOBODY is bullied at school"

And encouraging a bunch of kids to draw attention to themselves by refusing to speak to anyone accomplishes that how?

April 18, 2009 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

So you think that Bible Bullies are OKAY, AnonBigot?

Do you also attend KKK meetings?

If you were an adult in the 60s I am sure were you (would have been) against interracial marriage.

Get with the times!

April 18, 2009 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no KKK-type violence against any kids. If there were everyone would favor putting a stop to it.

Race and sexual preference are entirely different, btw.

April 18, 2009 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The Day of Silence is a bid to be considered normal.

No it isn't.

The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, now with hundreds of thousands of students coming together to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior.

The Day of Silence is intended to make sure we never read another story like this one:

11-Year-Old Hangs Himself after Enduring Daily Anti-Gay Bullying

NEW YORK, April 9, 2009 - An 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hanged himself Monday after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother's weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. This is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year.

Carl, a junior at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield who did not identify as gay, would have turned 12 on April 17, the same day hundreds of thousands of students will participate in the 13th annual National Day of Silence by taking some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and harassment at school. The other three known cases of suicide among middle-school students took place in Chatham, Evanston and Chicago, Ill., in the month of February.

"Our hearts go out to Carl's mother, Sirdeaner L. Walker, and other members of Carl's family, as well as to the community suffering from this loss," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "As we mourn yet another tragedy involving bullying at school, we must heed Ms. Walker's urgent call for real, systemic, effective responses to the endemic problem of bullying and harassment. Especially in this time of societal crisis, adults in schools must be alert to the heightened pressure children face, and take action to create safe learning environments for the students in their care. In order to do that effectively, as this case so tragically illustrates, schools must deal head-on with anti-gay language and behavior."

Two of the top three reasons students said their peers were most often bullied at school were actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression, according to From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a 2005 report by GLSEN and Harris Interactive. The top reason was physical appearance.

"As was the case with Carl, you do not have to identify as gay to be attacked with anti-LGBT language," Byard said. "From their earliest years on the school playground, students learn to use anti-LGBT language as the ultimate weapon to degrade their peers. In many cases, schools and teachers either ignore the behavior or don't know how to intervene."

Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth (86.2%) reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, nearly half (44.1%) reported being physically harassed and about a quarter (22.1%) reported being physically assaulted, according to GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey of more than 6,000 LGBT students.

In most cases, the harassment is unreported. Nearly two-thirds of LGBT students (60.8%) who experience harassment or assault never reported the incident to the school. The most common reason given was that they didn't believe anything would be done to address the situation. Of those who did report the incident, nearly a third (31.1%) said the school staff did nothing in response. While LGBT youth face extreme victimization, bullying in general is also a widespread problem. More than a third of middle and high school students (37%) said that bullying, name-calling or harassment is a somewhat or very serious problem at their school, according to From Teasing to Torment. Bullying is even more severe in middle school. Two-thirds of middle school students (65%) reported being assaulted or harassed in the previous year and only 41% said they felt very safe at school.

Carl's suicide comes about a year after eighth-grader Lawrence King was shot and killed by a fellow student in a California classroom, allegedly because he was gay.

GLSEN recommends four simple approaches schools can take to begin addressing bullying now.

Said Walker in the Springfield Republican: "If anything can come of this, it's that another child doesn't have to suffer like this and there can be some justice for some other child. I don't want any other parent to go through this."

April 18, 2009 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anon does really mind gay people as long as they don't flaunt it.

April 18, 2009 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take very bad offense with the notion of "flaunting gays." People are people and anyone wants make a problem with someone just because they don't walk masculine enough or "act" masculine enough has issues.

April 18, 2009 6:48 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

The Day of Silence was a HUGE success again. The opposition are making lurid complaints but they are lies. This link says it all -

April 18, 2009 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" - You once again incorrectly identify sexual orientation as being synonymous with "sexual preference". Choosing to be dishonest with your wife... carrying on an illicit relationship while living a so-called monogomous State/Church-blessed marriage is a "preference". Sexual orientation is an innate characteristic.
Secondly...your inane comment "So, basically, gays are just misappropriating the whole bully thing and saying it applies to them." totally missed my point when I stated that: "Many other kids, who might or might not be GLBT, are perceived by bullies to be gay and are harassed and often physically attacked because they might be just a "little different"." Bullying is the abhorrent behavior, despite your protestations that "the majority of people...consider homosexuality abnormal" (the assumption being that it is OK to bully any kid because he/she is considered to be "abnormal"). That is a repulsive and destructive statement to make, clearly identifying your own lack of moral and ethical ethos.
I would not be at all surprised to learn that that you were one of those bullies in school who tormented and assaulted ANY other student whom you considered to be "different".
Your fear and hatred of homosexuality is clearly affecting your psychopathy. Pity!

April 18, 2009 7:02 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

Check this out

April 19, 2009 12:59 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The Colbert Report was hilarious.

Anti-lgbt folks are increasingly becoming more ridiculous.

April 19, 2009 4:20 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Even republicans are getting on board for gay marriage and equality for LGBT people.

It´s a great time to be an American (except for the recession that Bush created...)

April 19, 2009 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

David's URL led me to an error message, but I found Colbert's ad here.

April 19, 2009 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Text of Meghan McCain's speech at the Log Cabin Republicans Convention

Republican in Name Only? Try the future of the GOP. The following is Meghan McCain's address to the Log Cabin Republicans Convention—a group that promotes gay issues within the GOP—on April 18, 2009.

Revenge of the RINOs

Thank you all for having me here tonight. I am thrilled to be able to speak to you this evening to share some of my experiences from the campaign and observations on where our party is today. And I’m proud to tell you there is a special role for the Log Cabin Republicans to play in our future.

The last two years of my life have been an amazing series of moments. Some sad, some thrilling and others mesmerizing. I want to tell you about some of those moments as well as the ones that are yet to come.

I have been humbled by the outpouring of support that I received during the campaign. The tumultuous ride of my father’s quest for the Presidency has been well chronicled. In October, 2007 I launched the site I chose to do my part in telling the campaign’s story from my perspective for a variety of reasons.

First and foremost, I realized my Dad would always have to deal with people perceiving him as “too old” to be President. I know what you’re all thinking: Why would anyone think that? As with many things, reality is sometimes so different from what people perceive.

I know my father better than anyone. And if he could have a 23 year old wiseass like me as a daughter, then that certainly doesn’t make him too old. Someone had to tell the nation that, and I was up to the challenge.

Second, I have been a child of politics since the day I was born.

As you can imagine and have seen, politics can be a nasty sport. And between you and me, many of the people in this business tend to take themselves entirely too seriously. I wanted to break out of that. I wanted people to see the normal aspects of political life. From the messy motel rooms to the steady diet of doughnuts and Red Bull. From the moments of endless energy to the quiet times you share with family and friends.

And from the times of incredible pride to the ones where the world around you seems like it’s unraveling in a storm of insanity. I wanted to give people a first hand look into an experience few ever have seen.

And finally, I wanted to be me. That perhaps was the most challenging reason of all. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with two amazing parents who have led lives motivated by helping others. But I am also my parents’ daughter. I have my mother’s grace under fire.

And I have my Dad’s “heartburn-inducing” ability to say what he thinks almost whenever he wants. The person who stands before you is not confined within the mold of what a daughter of a Republican Presidential candidate “should” be for some. And that’s OK. Our world is not confined by molds and neither should our nation.

That’s what I saw for fourteen months on the campaign trail. Of course it wasn’t all that you might expect. My hair stylist, Josh Rupley who is here tonight and a proud new member of the Log Cabin Republicans, joined us on the trail for the last few months of the campaign. I was not prepared for the uptick in date requests I received via email during that time. And I mean date requests for Josh, not me. His presence really seemed to cause quite a stir on the site and we still get a huge kick out of it.

That brings us to today. I honestly did not expect my personal journey in politics would become more interesting since election day. But that's exactly what has happened. It took months for the campaign highs and lows to subside. When 2009 began, I had a fresh outlook on life and decided to pursue writing. I still wanted to focused on that delicate blending of Republican politics and who I am and what I think. I was thrilled to be asked to write for Tina Brown’s website The Daily Beast. My most notorious article to date was entitled, “My Beef with Ann Coulter.” Ok, so much for being delicate.

What’s happened since has been unexpected, humbling and motivating. I did not expect my frustration with what I perceive to be overly partisan and divisive Republicans to cause a national incident. And no, I’m not that engaged with myself to think it was even that much of an incident.

People in our country have much more important issues to deal with on a daily basis. But the experience did reinforce what I learned on the campaign trail in some major ways.

I’ll summarize them in three points:

Most of our nation wants our nation to succeed.
Most people are ready to move on to the future, not live in the past.
Most of the old school Republicans are scared shitless of that future.
You know the old problem: Political discussion just breaks down into bickering and fighting instead of solving. And Republicans have a tendency to get way too hung up on words. I’m not just talking about the occasional profanity. When someone says they “hope the President succeeds” they say it with the hope that the country gets better, the economy improves and people can feel safe, confident and free to live their lives as they choose. And may I add in full equality with each other.

I believe most people get that, and more people are getting it everyday.

I believe most of our nation wants our nation to succeed.

I feel too many Republicans want to cling to past successes. There are those who think we can win the White House and Congress back by being “more” conservative. Worse, there are those who think we can win by changing nothing at all about what our party has become. They just want to wait for the other side to be perceived as worse than us. I think we’re seeing a war brewing in the Republican party, but it is not between us and Democrats. It is not between us and liberals. It is between the future and the past. I believe most people are ready to move on to that future.

We know a party that was thriving at one point on a few singular issues cannot see long term success. Even worse, we’ve seen how it has contributed to some serious problems in our nation and world.

Let me blunt, you can’t assume you’re electing the right leaders to handle all the problems facing our nation when you make your choice based on one issue. More and more people are finally getting that.

Simply embracing technology isn’t going to fix our problem either. Republicans using Twitter and Facebook isn’t going to miraculously make people think we’re cool again. Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don’t divide our nation further will. That’s why some in our party are scared. They sense the world around them is changing and they are unable to take the risk to jump free of what’s keeping our party down.

What I am talking about tonight is what it means to be a new, progressive Republican. Now some will say I can’t do that. If you aren’t this and that, then you’re clearly a “Republican in Name Only,” also affectionately known as a RINO.

Suggesting the notion that one can be faithful to the original core values of the GOP while open to the realities of our changing world has really hit a chord with people. And it seems to be the next, natural stage of the journey I’ve been traveling.

It would be easy to say my generation views politics very differently from others. Maybe we’re more progressive, socially liberal or just hate arguing in lieu of actually solving the problems at hand. But what I’ve learned though my experiences is that these feelings are not contained to one age group. They’re the growing beliefs and desires of people of all ages, races, genders, faiths, persuasions and political parties.

So tonight, I am proud to join you in challenging the mold and the notions of what being a Republican means.

I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.

If there is one thing that gives me hope about the future of our party and the role you and the Log Cabin Republicans can play in it is this: there’s never been a better time to speak out. People are listening. And, they’re more open minded than ever before. Maybe it’s because they’re worried about the future. Maybe it’s because they’re so disenchanted with the past. It’s probably a little of both.

But know this: The moment to make a difference is now and I am proud to share it with you. America’s best days are ahead of us. And we will show our nation that we will get there together.

Thank you again for having me speak tonight. And thank you for all you are doing to help make a new Republican party a reality.

Meghan McCain is originally from Phoenix. She graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She previously wrote for Newsweek magazine and created the website

April 19, 2009 2:02 PM  

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