Monday, April 11, 2011

Walking out on reason

About a week ago, I posted about the anti-gay industry’s response to a campaign to fight anti-GLBT bullying in US schools. That response, ironically called a “Day of Dialogue”, is led by long-time anti-gay christianist group, Focus on the “Family”. The even more extreme members of the anti-gay industry, including pretty much every SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group, go one step farther, urging disruptions on the day.

Saying “it’s time to resist,” the hate groups are calling for a “walk out”, though apparently unaware that it would require the children to initiate the action. Instead, the hate groups—correctly, I must say—want parents to take the action:
“Parents and Guardians: Call your children’s middle and high schools and ask if students and/or teachers will be permitted to refuse to speak during class on Friday, April 15. If your administration allows students and/or teachers to refuse to speak during class, call your child out of school. Every student absence costs school districts money. When administrators refuse to listen to reason and when they allow the classroom to be exploited for political purposes, parents must take action. If they don’t, the politicization of the classroom and curricula will increase.”
These people just don’t get irony, do they? They complain about schools being “exploited for political purposes”, then proceed to do exactly that. Then they go on to threaten more politicisation if administrators “refuse to listen to reason”, which means, do exactly as the hate groups dictate.

I get that these groups hate GLBT people, and I understand that their hatred is based on their particular religious beliefs. I also understand that they see nothing wrong with harassment and bullying of GLBT students because their particular religious beliefs demand it (as punishment, among other reasons).

People certainly can have reasonable disagreements over whether the Day of Silence is an effective idea or not; there’s such a discussion even among GLBT folk. But the discussion should be around whether this event is the best way to end homophobic bullying, not based on an assumption that such bullying is okay.

I freely admit that I’m not qualified to offer an opinion on the Day of Silence itself; I’m not an educator, nor a psychologist, etc. But I do know this: GLBT youth are many times more likely to attempt suicide than are heterosexual youth, and bullying and harassment is one of the main causes. Until the probably impossible day that we come up with an effective strategy we can all support, it seems to me that it’s better to do something to try and save lives than to sit idly by and do nothing—or worse, to encourage those way-too-early deaths.

I’m on the side of life. Ironic how those hate groups aren’t.

Tip o’ the Hat to Joe.My.God., where you can find links to the nutjobs’ site.

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