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Author Topic: One Town's War on Gay Teens  (Read 3431 times)

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Offline Will

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2012, 11:02:06 PM »
It still takes a kind of logical viewpoint to realize that, though.  You have to step back and look at the hate, and realize that it's doing more damage to you than to the other person, before you can really grasp that.  People have less reason to do that when they have others all around them nodding and agreeing with their hate.  They justify each other, and remove all motivation to question their beliefs.

Offline Serephino

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2012, 02:22:32 AM »
*nods*  Hate is like getting a splinter.  It hurts, but not badly enough to get you to remove it.  It's a minor annoyance that gives you something to bitch about.  But then it gets infected.  You don't notice it right away because it's a gradual thing. 

It would make sense to remove the splinter and treat the infection, but maybe you keep telling yourself it's no big deal and will go away on its own.  Before you know it, the infection has spread so much you have to amputate your arm to get rid of it.  Of course, who would want to lose their arm because of a pesky infection?  And it just keeps getting worse and worse.

Offline grdell

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2012, 10:03:03 AM »
Oh, there's evil in that town, all right. But it's not the gay teens.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2012, 11:23:16 AM »
Oh, there's evil in that town, all right. But it's not the gay teens.

Yeah.. it makes my skin crawl.

Offline Hemingway

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2012, 04:30:44 PM »
Hate. It's just a habit. It starts out small, so people dont realize how dangerous it is until they're consumed by it. "I hate that little quirk; people who do that drive me crazy." Becomes "I hate people with that little quirk; they drive me crazy." Becomes "I hate those people; they drive me crazy and make me miserable." Becomes "I hate those people; I want to make them miserable..."

If I may be perfectly honest here, and at the risk of saying something unpopular, I don't see why hate isn't an appropriate and justified response to the sort of bigotry that drives teenagers to suicide. Unless you prefer a different word, like scorn, disdain or contempt. There's so much wrong with this, and with these people.

And what can be done? I'll be the first to admit I'm better at finding problems than finding solutions, but what can you do to change the minds of people whose views are immune to reason and logic, who know, despite all evidence to the contrary, that they are right.

Of course, solving the practical problem, while not perhaps easy, is doable, because it's a political issue, and things tend to change pretty quickly as soon as a position starts to get unpopular. So an article like this, reaching a wide enough audience, is at least a step in the direction of a solution to the practical problem. But the attitudes, especially those of the people in charge, those are still there. And that's why I think everyone should hate them. If only.

Offline Shjade

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2012, 05:01:05 PM »
Fire with fire issue, Hemingway. You can disapprove of and discourage a thing without needing to hate it. If you hate right back, well, that's a quick way to war.

Offline Hemingway

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2012, 05:21:10 PM »
Fire with fire issue, Hemingway. You can disapprove of and discourage a thing without needing to hate it. If you hate right back, well, that's a quick way to war.

Considering fighting fire with fire actually works in certain situations, that's not really a good metaphor to use if you're suggesting it'll only make matters worse. I'm also looking for something a bit tougher than disapproving and discouraging. "Discouraging" blatant bigotry is the least thing that should be done. I disapprove of this in the same way I'd disapprove of someone hurting someone close to me. It's just not sufficient.

I'm not saying it's necessary to hate them, though. It's just a very natural response when someone is doing something that is so callous. Cruel, even. Based on what? Religious views that most people don't share? Fears that homosexuality is somehow a threat - fears that can be proven to be completely irrational?

And a quick way to war? You know, I'm pretty close to a pacifist, at least in terms of actual war. But an intellectual war, one of ideas? I don't really like using a word as dramatic as war to describe it, but I think it's already going on. I don't think you're going to start anything. It's not like this is an isolated case, not really. It's not limited to just that one area, or even just the United States. I mean, even barring a comparison to certain groups with even less friendly views on homosexuality, there are plenty of people pushing against what I would call great progress in civil liberties, equality, and so on.

Offline Oniya

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2012, 05:34:15 PM »
'An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind' - Mahatma Gandhi

The best way to combat the hate without resorting to hate is to use love and acceptance.  Parents need to accept their kids - sexuality and all - and be vocal about it.  The lady at the end of the article was starting to do that with her PFLAG group (I forget if it was officially linked with pflag.org).  They need to make it clear that anyone who messes with their kids is going to be met loudly.  Their kids need to know that if they come to mom and dad because someone is bullying them, mom and/or dad is going to walk into the principal's office and insist that something be done about it.

The bigger and more visible the support system, the less likely it is that someone will fall through the cracks.

Offline Hemingway

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2012, 07:38:22 PM »
Oh, I agree, with all of that. I don't think it addresses what I see as a central issue here, which is the attitudes of the enablers, as it were. Or, to be fair, it might. I don't know what changes peoples' attitudes, what causes them to internalize a new set of values. I know what can do it in my case, and that is sound logic and objectivity. But when they base their views on religion, or at least use religion as an excuse, it's a lot more difficult to reason with them, perhaps even impossible. I said "use religion as an excuse" precisely because, even in the article, there was an example of how two people had completely opposing views based on different interpretations of the same religious text, both presumably believing that their interpretation is correct, and that's precisely what makes it so difficult.

You might end up changing the behavior of the people responsible, forbidding them from taking certain action, or punishing them for inaction. You might not, if they believe firmly enough in their own views that they'll risk losing their jobs over it, for instance. But, sure, you might. That might, in the long run, change their views, or at least relegate them to the lunatic fringe, where they can fade into obscurity while blaming everything from natural disasters to man-made wars on homosexuality. But then again, you might. You could end up building support for their views instead, and suddenly you're being accused of trying to silence peoples' right to free speech.

And I realize that exactly the same things can be said of hating people or peoples' views, or hating people for their views. In essence, and I suppose this is what I've been trying to say all along, is it doesn't actually matter. I think it's natural to hate people like that, and I don't think anyone should be scolded for doing so. I feel very strongly like quoting Christopher Hitchens here, even though it feels like a cliché, and even though I know there are probably more people who disagree than agree with his methods, but .. all the same, the quote I have in mind is this: "Go love your own enemies, don't be loving mine. My enemies are the theocratic fascists. I don't love them, I want to destroy them."

I think the argument could be made that the people in this article are precisely what the quote is referring to, but replace "theocratic fascists" with any other hateful group, and it'll still apply. The bottom line is that it's not wrong or evil to react that strongly, to something that strong.

But I will say, so that there's no doubt, that there's a definite difference between destroying someone you hate - in a context like this - in a metaphorical sense, and advocating their literal destruction. I say that because I get the sense, from reading what people have written, that the argument is that hating people who hold extreme views can only escalate the situation, and might possibly ( perhaps inevitably ) lead to actual violence, unless someone backs down, changes their mind or changes tactics. I don't think that's the case.

Offline Caela

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2012, 07:47:17 PM »
I agree with Oniya, these kids parents need to be speaking up and I don't understand why they weren't before kids started killing themselves. As I said before, I won't tolerate this behaviour from my child but neither would I accept it directed at my child. I would be in the principal's office and calling the bullies parents until they were all so annoyed with me that they did something about it simply to make me go away.  If the school won't let these kids meet, then someone should be opening their home to them, give them a safe haven and let them know that not all adults are like those turning a blind eye to their suffering. Someone should have been letting them know that they were NOT alone.

My child's well being and happiness are the most important things to me but I also expect her to learn compassion and kindness and that hurting someone else is no way to build her own self esteem. Many of these parents are teaching their kids to be deliberately cruel, and the school system reinforced that by turning a blind eye to that cruelty. It blows my mind just how many layers of people failed these children.

If my daughter comes to me and tells me she's gay, straight, bi, or any combination I'll hug her, kiss her cheek, and we'll continue as always. I simply want her to find a partner who loves her and treats her well, I don't care what that partners sexuality, race, creed, religion, height, eye color, or any other arbitrary marker people use to measure and hate other with is. I care that they treat my daughter with love, courtesy, respect, and dignity. I care that they see her for the amazing young woman I know she'll become (right now she's an amazing little girl and none of it's an issue) and that they treat her family with courtesy as we'll treat them.

Why is it so hard for people to just want their children to be happy and to raise them to treat other people well?

Offline Kendra

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2012, 04:55:20 AM »
I read as much as I could and had to stop. It angered me greatly and made me just as equally sad.
I'm completely left speechless about how horrific this is and that it was left to escalate to the proportions it did.
stunned and speechless ...

Offline DeadCell

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2012, 04:00:32 PM »
I just read that article through to the end I just, and I really just, I don't know how to put how I really feel about it into words. I think I feel a little numb after reading all of that. Bullying over anything, what ever you are or who ever you are, gay, straight, black, white, hispanic, ginger, you wear glasses or anything, bullying is so wrong and I abhor anyone that can do it to another human being. I cannot see how making aybody else's life a misery because of how they are can bring people such sick pleasure. I just...such a terrible thing to happen to these young girl's and boy's it really is. That's all I guess.

Offline Contacaton

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2012, 01:54:53 AM »
Well. The list of cases which infuriate me has just received a new entry.

Offline KennethNoisewater

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2012, 09:20:34 PM »
This is just one of the many reasons why I cannot stand living in the Southeast.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2012, 03:08:18 AM »
This is just one of the many reasons why I cannot stand living in the Southeast.

Uh this isn't set in the SE, unless you're using Canada as a point of reference

Offline Oniya

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2012, 12:36:17 PM »
It's even further north than I am, and we get 'lake effect snow'.  (At least, most winters.)

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2012, 06:42:42 PM »
A local rag City Pages covers this story extensively. While it is sympathetic to cause of those who would see all children and teenagers treated with respect, it does offer a less glossy and sensational view on the issue than Rolling Stone's story.

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2012/02/anoka-hennepin_school_district_blasts_rolling_stone_article.php

That said, any tax-payer funded enterprise, as public education is, has a responsibility to ensure all their students find within the walls of any school a safe environment. This includes students of all persuasions, religions, lifestyles, race, etc.

To do anything less is indeed an abject failure of their principal mission. And no I won't qualify that as my 'humble opinion'. I'd rather demand it in fact.

Oh and I forgot to add: The school district in question, Anoka-Hennepin is made up of a rather large and diverse swath of the Twin Cities suburb area, including both inner-city, rural and suburban. It also includes not only Bachman's district, but also Keith Ellison, among others possibly. I think that is at least noteworthy. This issue isn't all about Bachman's propensities, much though some would love to make it be so.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 06:55:59 PM by Zeitgeist »

Offline RecklessRapscallion

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2012, 03:57:34 AM »
I read that article right when it came out, it physically made me ill.

I have little words to say in response except the Michelle Michelle Bachmann and her flunkies give our nation a bade name, and corrode our culture with their venomous hatred.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2012, 12:52:51 PM »
What worries me is she (Bachmann) sounds rational in a lot of her sound bites till you listen in or you follow her for a while. I can see her crawling out from under her rock in four years with a refined battle plan.

She's out this time..but she's young enough to try again in 4 years.. we'll see her again. And her 'christian for folks like me' attitudes that excluded everyone that isn't someone that lives on her block/church.

Offline Oniya

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2012, 01:48:29 PM »
At which point, we remind her of Trenton and Concord, neither of which is in Vermont.

Offline Maverick Hunter Cake

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2012, 06:48:38 PM »
I read the article, and as much as I think that this attitude these crazy ass people have taken against homosexual people is wrong on every scale of humanity to the point they do not have the decency to help kids getting bullied consitantly by others...

I can't say I am surprised that this has happened, and it horrifies me to no end.

People's personal hate can stretch to such a large scale that they don't care what happens to people who have feelings, family, hopes, and dreams because they are different from them. It's an "us vs. them" mentaility that these people are pushing, and now it's affecting the younger generation.

I just hope that the nation isn't too far gone and that everyone will stand up and stop this from happening all over and surges the hate crimes and suicide rate up to a horrendous level.