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Last week I did a show (which will air next week - both on TV and online) with Amy Gillespie of the Bentonville Public Schools Citizens for Equality - a show which has restored my faith once again in the young people of this country. Those of my generation who can’t seem to keep their eyes off the clothing styles of young people - gleefully leaping into their parent’s shoes - would do well to look at the idealism and activism of the young people at Bentonville High School.
During our interview concerning the move to persuade the Bentonville School Board to finally enter the 21st Century and take steps to protect individuals from discrimination based on pregnancy status, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity. veteran status, or genetic information, our conversation turned to the young people of Bentonville High School who have proudly stood up for what they believe in.
This is the point, I suppose, where those who still look upon the 1950s as the high point of American culture, will mutter under their breaths about “Liberal bullies imposing their morality upon others.”
Yet, in reality, what are attempts to block such protections but the result of conservative “bullies” imposing their morality upon others?
Well, there are those who can never be persuaded to join the march of human progress, no matter how eloquent, passionate or compelling the arguments might be. They will find plenty of their ilk on Facebook and Twitter to commiserate with.
Leaving Aristophanes’s Cloud Cuckoo Land behind, let us instead focus on those who are aware of the realities of life, especially in the 21st Century, and most especially the young folks at Bentonville High School, which includes the students groups the Gay-Straight Alliance, the Feminist club, and the Young Democrats chapter.
Bentonville, you say? And all these years we thought that Fayetteville was the bastion of liberalism in Northwest Arkansas. It seems there has been a quiet revolution taking place under all our noses.
Anytime young people, of their own accord, stand up for what they believe in is a great day for America, no matter if it is a liberal or conservative cause they stand up for. Naturally, there will be those who will claim that these young people are “manipulated” by either their parents or outside forces; they are insulting the intelligence of the young people involved.
Maybe it has been too long since they were in school, but young people who are well-informed are able to make up their own minds with no help at all from “outside influences.”
In the meantime, one school board member, who is concerned that protecting folks on the basis of sexuality might be “glorifying” behavior that he and those of his ilk no doubt find yucky, would like to take out any and all references to protecting folks on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. After all, his line of reasoning goes, “ . . .we cannot allow well-intentioned policies to be perverted and used as cloaks for the promotion of homosexuality programs"
Yup. And to go even further into the intellectual Grimpen Mire he has galloped into, he noted that there is no specific protection for those who may be obese, or too tall or too short.
Bless his heart. I’ll bet that just keeps him up at night.
Quote of the Day
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. - Oscar Wilde