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Journal of No. 118


April 5th, 2010

Drama llama update @ 03:03 pm


I had hoped this would've been a better solution, but the student-organized prom apparently had just 9 attendees.
 
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From:nephthys510
Date:April 5th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
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I don't know how accurate this is. I guess the ACLU are STILL looking into it, the suggestion now is that there was a super sekrit prom and didn't invite the other kids.

I hope that's completely not true. I don't want to live in a world where the grown ups are still playing high school mean girl games.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:April 5th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it remains complicated.

After prom#1 was cancelled...
"Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled that the district had violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights but that it shouldn’t be forced to sponsor a prom [#2] since a group of parents had already agreed to hold an event [#3] that would be “open to all IAHS students.”

Last Monday night, those parents announced they would no longer host that prom. On Tuesday afternoon, school district attorney Michele Floyd said a private prom [#4] would be held at the Fulton Country Club, although the exact sponsorship of that event remains a mystery."

"Meanwhile, many more Itawamba AHS students went to an event [#5] held at the community center in Evergreen"
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 6th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
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They actually might be held in contempt of court, although the district likely has plausible deniability on this. I'm not too worried though- no matter the outcome, the public has already rendered their verdict on the involved parties, and that'll likely be unchanged.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:April 6th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Oh sure, the public hereabouts has rendered a verdict, but the sentiment is by no means universal.

Hanging out on a Christian forum, I get some insight into life east of the 5.

"no one is happy with anyone who stirs the pot."

"Especially high school kids who have been looking forward to their senior prom [just] as long as Ms. McMillan. Maybe she will learn it's not always only about what she wants. It is important to consider others in these types of situations."

"It was the attention and interruption of the prom and the end of their high school life that the other students didn't like from what I've read. She failed to consider what the lawsuit would do to the other students and she found out that not all of them were happy with the way things went."

To which someone replied with something I wish I had said (though, of course, I'm banned from discussing homosexuality there):

"Don't you hate how minorities always fail to consider the convenience of the majority when they ask for such frivolous things as ... being treated equally?"
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 6th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
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Well, yeah, but you can go to stormfront and find a whole lot worse. There are lots of websites of crazy people, but they still make up a minority overall. Trust me, I'm aware of the variety and profligation of horrible people with crazy opinions. I mean, I've even been told in no uncertain terms in person that I both don't deserve to exist and that killing me would be justifiable, cause I'm an Israeli. You just have to bank on common human decency, which while pretty tenuous has more or less worked, even in the vast and strange Midwest (which I find myself in currently, although I think of Michigan as 50% Canada, anyway).

Basically, acknowledge the problem, work toward a solution, but don't have a cow, man. While it sometimes seems that the world is going crazy, due to a lot of crazy people shouting all the time, I think most Americans may be (unfortunately) ill-informed, but they aren't batshit nuts. Here's hoping, anyways. :)
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From:shad_0
Date:April 6th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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Public opinion, hmm? Read this depressing letter to the editor from a local:
The audacity that Constance McMillen has constitutional rights is not only funny but also scary. The Itawamba School Board is scared; its members are sidestepping the issue and not standing up to the ACLU.

The school has a right to set a dress code. Young ladies can't wear skimpy shorts to express their right as a tramp nor can a boy wear an earring to express his right as being cool. I am more afraid that this little girl just wants attention by bucking the system.

The fact is: Your rights end where my nose begins. She could have played by the rules and attended her prom. Instead, she wanted to put her self-interest before others by dragging them down, i.e. no prom. They are claiming that an outrage on morality is protected by law, and some judges are wicked enough to inflict penalties on truth.

Here's the kicker: In 2004, the state of Mississippi passed a law stating gay marriage is illegal here and will not be considered valid if it is OK'd in another state. So, with respect, Mississippi or its government entities does not have to recognize gay marriage nor gay couples.

Richard Franklin

Wesson
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 6th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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One person isn't America. 1,000 people aren't America, a county isn't America, and every creepy screaming asshole isn't America, despite how loud they are. I won't pretend every American is well-informed, balanced, and necessarily capable of discussing fact-based politics or even human rights, but the public is still pretty good at understanding what's fair and what isn't, and I think that's been panning out rather nicely in the reactions to this case.

In general, I'm just going to bet on common sense and decency- it isn't a sure bet, but it's the best bet around.
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From:shad_0
Date:April 6th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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Y'know, I like to think that too. I stay serene and calm in my private certainty that the majority of the people in the United States must be saner than the ones who just scream more loudly than the rest.

And then things keep occurring to me. Like the fact that the attendees at Constance's prom were Constance, her date, two learning-disabled students, and a grand total of three other kids. All of the students at that school -- who have known Constance for years -- knew all about this "other" prom, and they chose in droves to go to their own secret prom instead, to which the outcasts were not invited.

The fellow who wrote this letter is not alone. Sanity is not the silent majority, and the [expletive]s who hung signs at the school reading "What happened to the Bible belt?" and "Gomorrah" are not in the minority. And apparently the next generation is not going to be an improvement, as I used to hope. These students have learned their values well from their parents, notwithstanding the wealth of information freely available to them out in the Real World(tm), and they are perfectly comfortable with those values.

Don't mind me. No doubt I'm just being overly cynical. And I'm not even gay, so why should I care, right?
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 6th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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I think it's clear that Itawamba county has it's own opinions and priorities. Even a lot of Mississippi (which has its own issues) has been speaking out against them. Why be so quick to attribute the actions of a minority to the majority? I live like 3 miles from some of those crazy Michigan militia guys- I saw some get arrested even. Would you attribute their actions to all of Michigan? Hell, San Bernadino has a huge neo-Nazi population- I am loath to describe California or the US as such. Minorities are minorities and majorities are majorities- attributing one to the other is just prejudice, even if it's commonly done.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:April 6th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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Why be so quick to attribute the actions of a minority to the majority?

Why be so quick to attribute the opinions of those you agree with to the majority? So far your evidence for doing so is that you 'bet on common sense and decency'.

I certainly am not suggesting that 100% of Mississippians are racist, homophobic, nutcases. Far from it. After all, a MS school gave up racially segregated proms as long ago as 2008, so social progress is clearly on the march in Mississip. But I think the actions of the school board, the parents and students speak for the public opinion in the local community, while statewide polls suggest that Mississippi as a whole lags a teensy bit behind the middle of America on gay issues.
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 7th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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Oh, I'm not making any super concrete claims regarding anything, and obviously Mississippi is one of the most socially conservative states (also one of the poorest). I still see the modern era as a pretty good indicator that things are getting better, however- I mean, the Klan used to run a lot of Mississippi. Things are less bad, especially in the major cities. I'd much rather be angry about proms and marriage than Klan-led book burnings (also murders, etc).

I'm not really clear on what you've been trying to argue- things are not great everywhere in America, and some areas are really messed up. I still see the march and progression of gay civil rights in this country to be really inspiring, and it's definitely taking far less time (and loss of life) than black and women's civil rights (again, not to say that these things are in anything close to perfect condition, but I'm talking relatively). I'm proud of a whole lot of my country, and I choose to focus on them and support them than trying to frankly expend all my mental and physical rage at those bigots that remain.

Let's be honest- you don't debate away hate, and laws can't change minds. I'm speaking from a lot of painful experience as an observant Jew (strike one) from Arabic ancestry (strike two). I've had your grab bag of awfulness, ranging from serious assaults to casual everyday racism. The people who attempted to beat me in the past aren't about to change their minds, but I'm lucky there are so few of them in our modern America. Things (and minds) are changing only because of common, average people trying to be decent, and I want to recognize and support them.

Frankly, when you deal with the dregs of humanity throughout your life, you really would rather focus on the good people. I know what people are capable of, and I know that they're out there, but I'm happy that there are enough decent people in this country to still make it a safe place to live.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:April 7th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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I'm not really clear on what you've been trying to argue

Well, when you write something like: "I'm not too worried though- no matter the outcome, the public has already rendered their verdict on the involved parties, and that'll likely be unchanged."

It sounds like: "No biggie. Everything is fine!"

I'm not trying to illegalize hate, or debate it away. I'm just standing up and pointing and saying, "Look. There's some hate. Everything is not fine."
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 7th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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I'm not saying 'everything's fine'- I'm saying 'things will turn out fine'. I don't imagine this situation turning out badly for the wronged parties, which I think is both refreshing and nice to know. Most situations like this are far more up in the air, but mostly due to general public interest, I think the affected parties will be ok. I think that's pretty great.
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From:shad_0
Date:April 7th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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My initial reaction was much like what essentialsaltes wrote above, but in this case I am quite happy to admit when I appear to be wrong.

It seems that many of those fellow students who gleefully attended the "secret" prom to which Constance was not invited put together a charming little Facebook page entitled Constance quit yer cryin, adorned with a picture of an unhappy baby. They posted pictures of themselves enjoying their own prom without her, and lots of comments such as Seriously, you've pretty much eff'd up your fellow classmate's best memory of High School and She doesn't deserve a public apology, better yet she should be the one giving the public apology to her classmates and No one really cares about the damn lesbo. Just everyone is sick of hearing about her. Its pretty ridiculous. Many other fellow students "like" these comments and/or posted similar comments themselves.

To get to those early hateful comments, however, one must scroll down for pages, past literally thousands of comments from people who joined the "fan" group just to criticize its creators and show support for Constance. A clear, nay, an overwhelming super-majority. (Including several posters from Mississippi, who objected to being lumped in with the homophobes.)

Very glad to be wrong. Thanks to ladyeuthanasia for the link!
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From:ono_sendai
Date:April 7th, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)

Re: public opinion

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From what little I know, there are a lot of people in Mississippi, including some local nearby townships, who just see this whole situation as being massively embarrassing and backward. I mean, they HAVE been integrating proms lately! It's like a new San Francisco!

To be honest, just always keep in mind that the Internet is absolutely NOT a perfect reflection of America, in any direction. Otherwise, we'd currently be saluting President Ron Paul.

Journal of No. 118