I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, October 1, 2010

Will This Country Ever Grow Up?

In the comments, Catherine Lugg from Rutgers points to a post of hers that puts Tyler Clementi's tragedy into a larger context:
At present, it seems like there is a lot of cultural hate being hurled at queers, and gay young men in particular. Since September, there have been at least 4 other young men who have killed themselves for being queer or perceived as queer. There is Asher Brown, age 13, who blew his brains out. Justin Aaberg, age 15, Billy Lucas, age 15 and Seth Walsh, age 13, all hanged themselves. All four young men had experienced chronic and vicious harassment in their public school settings. And all of their parents had demanded the schools do something–to no avail.
Meanwhile, Tyler Wilson, who is a 6th grade male cheerleader, was verbally harassed, knocked down, and had his arm broken by two classmates this month. While his orientation doesn’t seem to be an issue, Tyler has completely violated some long-standing US gender norms as to who can be a football cheerleader. He still may need surgery to fully repair his arm and the bullies are now threatening to break his other arm because he reported them.
Then, there is the case of Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, Andrew Shirvell, who seems to be obsessively harassing/stalking the University of Michigan’s student body president, Chris Armstrong, because he is “teh first gay student body president.” Shirvell is making spectacularly unhinged accusations against Armstrong in hopes of driving Armstrong out of office. Since Michigan doesn’t protect queer identity, the most that has been done to protect Armstrong from this homophobic loon is that UM banned Shirvell from campus. But at least at for the moment, Shirvell still has his state job and his platform for spewing hateful lies.
Do I really have to reiterate that this is all completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated, justified, or excused?

When are we ever going to grow up in this country?

No comments: