Thursday’s Quote

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”

– Nelson Mandela

Yesterday marked one year since the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. A gunman walked into a school and killed nineteen children and two adults in the deadliest shooting ever at a Texas public school. It made me think about the priorities in the United States. As far as I know, lawmakers have not passed a single law to try and curb access to the weapons used in these shootings. Though Vermont might with several bills currently moving through the legislature, that is if our Republican governor doesn’t veto them. Even if Vermont does the sensible thing, lawmakers in several states have passed, laws to curb the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and the MAGAts are harassing employees at stores like Target for selling Pride merchandise during the month of June, and it’s not even June yet.

We must ask ourselves why some politicians are not afraid of a mass shooting incident in our schools, yet non-white and LGBTQ+ seem to scare them to death. Where are their priorities? Instead of having sensible gun laws like all other developed nations, which have significantly fewer mass shootings, they focus their fear on taking away rights and trying to shame “woke” individuals. They fear teachers mentioning anything LGBTQ+ related in the classroom. These right-wing legislatures are defunding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs because the thought of DEI policies scares them to death. They’ve banned drag queens from having Drag Queen Story Hour in public libraries or even performing in public. The greatest danger for these politicians is not worrying about students getting killed in their classrooms but that some may be transgender. They deny these kids healthcare because they don’t conform to these bigots’ ideas of heterosexual, Christian, and white racial superiority. They are scared to death that they will lose even the smallest amount of power and control over people.

When Nelson Mandela said, “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw,” he was talking about apartheid in South Africa. But if a person is denied the right to dress in a way that doesn’t conform to “MAGA values” or even acknowledge diversity, they are making large sections of the LGBTQ+ population outlaws. Sadly, with the current ultra-conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, any lawsuits against these laws will probably stand, even if they violate the First Amendment, the most fundamental principle of freedom in the United States.

Let’s face it, if you are more afraid of what this might do to a kid in a library…

…than what this might do to a child in a school…

…then you are monumentally fucking stupid!

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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