In another comment on the same post that I responded to previously regarding the latest Pastor Ken Hutcherson fracas regarding his MLK Day speaking engagement at Mount Si High School there was a comment that I could not let pass...
“THEwaytodochurch” @ #100316
It is not clear to me to whom you are responding, but at the outset I must say I find your tone of address in your comments much more insulting and juvenile than the “incident” we are discussing. Let me address your points:
All I have to say is that if you consider yourself an adult, you should be able to reason that getting up and booing at an assembly, or interrupting a guest speaker, is no way to get your point across. The students even know that, because THE GUIDELINES ON HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELF IN AN ASSEMBLY ARE WRITTEN OUT IN THE MOUNT SI HIGH STUDENT PLANNER!
The guest speaker was not interrupted as the booing occurred during Hutcherson’s introduction. In formal environments like this, the most acceptable way of communicating disapproval is to boo. If you have been involved in debates and public meetings you know that booing is one of the mildest forms of making one’s displeasure known at such an event. Continual booing to drown out a speaker is boorish in the extreme, but I find it hard to muster outrage for a short boo during the introduction and not at all while the speaker is addressing the group.
If booing didn’t manage to get someone’s point across we would not know about the principal’s decisions or the teacher’s objections. In short, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. Yet here we are. Ergo, you are demonstrably wrong; it was an extremely effective way of getting a point across.
Let ALONE the fact that the delivery on such an issue was just plain WRONG! McCormick and Potratz want to shove their political agenda down the throats of their kids by showing them how WHITE people have the audacity to boo a BLACK preacher on MLK Day?!?!?! I'm not trying to pull a race card folks...it's called COMMON SENSE! Pick up a serving spoon and dish yourself up a plate of it!
You make no cogent argument why any action the teachers took was wrong so there is nothing here to rebut. Stating something doesn’t make it so. The motivation for them speaking out was the impact Hutcherson’s invitation and presence as a speaker has on students, especially the young gay and lesbian students that were attending this compulsory assembly. It is entirely germane to ask why someone who is an anti-civil rights crusader today is qualified to speak about their pro-civil rights past. Your argument that white people shouldn’t have the audacity to boo a black person on MLK Day is ridiculous. It ignores the substance of Hutcherson and the teacher’s positions and boils them down to their skin color. Your suggestion asks us to wallow in our separateness and in our historical and mutual fear, anger, and shame around race and let it blind us to the burning truth at the core of MLK Day:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
In my opinion there is no better day to call out hypocrisy on civil rights issues than MLK Day. Isn’t helping students understand the living core of MLK Jr’s message of equality and fairness for all people exactly the point? You can’t teach the message without addressing how some messengers deliberately dishonor its spirit.
You want to talk about gay rights, do it in an appropriate environment [sic]. Control your emotions and be an example. Isn't this what America is all about? Are we not supposed to take our beliefs all the way to the voting booths? Since when did a difference of opinion turn into a bad thing? So should we just wipe away the Republican party too, since you don't like them either? Let's just get rid of all things that might-kind-of-sort-of-if-looked-at-with-squinty-eyes MAY BE offensive to ONE group of people. Everyone the exact same with no balance to anything [sic]. Yeah, that's it. Oh wait, that sounds like the start of Marxism.
From my reading about the Suffragette and Black Civil Rights movements it seems like there was a lot of counter-argument about their being an “appropriate time and place” for addressing women’s equality and racial equality too. The goal of this argument was, and always has been, to slow and ultimately stop the progress of these civil-rights movements. Just as I surmise yours must be. But like the members of those preceding movements, people know that the appropriate place is wherever we live, work and study and the appropriate time is right now and every single day until people are treated equally.
As a student of history, I have to agree that people have always taken their beliefs into the voting booth. But I must also point out that it would be those self same beliefs that, if put to a popular vote, would have prevented just about every civil rights advance in American history. Powerful majorities find rationalizations to avoid empowering minorities of any kind.
I won’t comment on your other statements above since, without the context of knowing what you are replying to, they seem incoherent and impenetrable. Still, in your comment about Marxism it is hard not to hear the echo of white segregationists who accused the Black Civil Rights movement and MLK Jr. himself of being part of a Communist conspiracy to destroy the “white United States”.
Grow up, vote, petition, picket. Getting angry and calling names is a bit easy don't you think? Fight your fight like every good American does...with the vote and a little elbow grease.
I think you are probably both fighting for your ideals in the same way, by putting forth your positions and arguments, such as they are, in the marketplace of ideas. Yet, I suspect we differ in our understanding of how change is achieved. It is a fallacy that minority rights are arrived at through a shift in opinion validated by a majority vote. If this were so, mixed race marriage would likely still be illegal. In 1968, a year after the Supreme Court struck down Anti-Miscegenation laws (preventing mixed-race marriage) as unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia, a Gallup Poll showed that only 20% of Americans were accepting of mixed-race marriages. As recently as 2004 a Gallup Survey showed that 73% of Americans approved of mixed race (specifically white and African American) couples.
With that in mind, here are a few things you should know. According to a University of Washington Statewide Voter Survey conducted in October 2007 the majority of Washingtonians (59.4%) think that gay and lesbian couples should have exactly the same rights as straight couples. The vast majority of Washingtonians (73.5%) think that gay and lesbian couples should have some or all of the benefits and protections of marriage.
If majority voting did hold sway then same-sex couples would already have all the same rights as opposite-sex couples in Washington State. We all know that same-sex couples are far from that goal because powerful lobby groups are working to thwart justice and prevent it from happening.
What does it say to you that it took 27 years after laws banning mixed-race marriage were overturned for public opinion to reach 73% acceptance of mixed race marriage, yet same-sex couples in Washington have 73.5% acceptance but they are still waiting for their own justice?
Sometimes people need to be guided into communion with the better angels of their natures.
The history of this country shows us that sometimes it takes the leadership of a President, the courage of a Legislature, or the clear-headed wisdom of a Court to see justice done.
If we expect the leaders of tomorrow to do better than others have done, then children like those attending Mount Si High School will need to understand more than just the dry and narrow cant of civil rights as people like Hutcherson tell it.
They’ll need to know its full history and be touched by its motivating spirit of equality and fairness.