Let Us Not Forget Itawamba County, Miss.

I am haunted second thoughts about awarding Obion County the title of Unethical Community of the Year.

For one thing, it is only October, and there is a lot of time for another unethical community or more to reveal its lack of decency to the nation and the world (and then to have Keith Olbermann declare that it represents the ideal for Tea Partiers). Still, I am having a hard time imagining anything worse for an American community than directing its fire department to let a human being’s home burn down, whether or not the homeowner has three dogs and a cat (as Mr. Cranick did, and I emphasize did), because that human being didn’t pay a $75 fee.

The real reason I am having doubts, however, is the horrible tale that came to light this past spring.  A Mississippi community that was scandalized over the prospect of  a gay student bringing her girl friend to the high school senior prom realized that the young woman couldn’t be legally prohibited from attending, so decided to humiliate her by canceling the prom for everyone, which also made Constance McMillan a pariah and a target of abuse. Then, after a judge ruled that it was discrimination to cancel the prom because of anti-gay bias, the community conspired to trick the girl and her prom date into going to a segregated, sparsely-attended alternate prom including other “outcasts,” while the real prom was held at a secret location, never revealed to Constance.

This makes me sick just writing about it again. Is an entire community’s conspiring to cruelly mistreat a young teen, just because she is gay, more unethical than allowing a man’s house to burn down? Probably not. I think Obion County still deserves the title.

But if I was condemned to choose whether to live there or Itawamba County, I’d rather take my chances in Obion County.

And pay the $75.

21 thoughts on “Let Us Not Forget Itawamba County, Miss.

    • An overstatement. And Sherry’s exploitation of the tragedy to indict conservatives is intellectually dishonest. No sane person, conservative or otherwise, opposes firefighting as a core government function. This is not a political story and its lessons are ethical; anyone who chooses to exploit it for political points is a cheap shot artist,

  1. Sorry Jack, but I can’t agree here. A senior prom is supposed to be a occasion that allows a graduating class to meet one last time in a formal, civilized observance and in an adult atmosphere. It’s a celebration of virtue and etiquette (ideally!) that’s intended to store cherished memories for a long time to come. A culmination of that important time of everyone’s life… their high school/adolescent years.

    These two lesbians came to that event with just one purpose in mind. To create a scene and conflict to illustrate their perverse cause. This is what homosexuals, in particular, are renown for doing. Since they were unable to ban them from their carrying out their intent, the school officials were forced- for the sake of decency- to hold their prom in secret to avoid them.

    That’s where the outrage lies. To uphold basic standards of decency, schools and parents are reduced to such measures for the sake of their kids. To do otherwise is to violate the “civil rights” of deviant activists. This sort of thing would never have seen the light of day when I was in school. There were standards of conduct then. That there no longer are is a modern travesty that needs correction.

    • “Deviant” is usually a pejorative term, and you are using it that way here. But deviating from the norm is only a negative when it causes harm, and I see no harm. Nobody is “turned gay” by seeing two girls dancing with each other. Everything indicates that the student wanted no more than to go to her prom with someone she cared about. The kind and ethical thing would have been to let her.

      Society and culture ultimately decide what is deviant in the negative sense, and that becomes the standard embodied by law. Treating her the way she was treated is no different from stopping a black man from voting because a town decides that he’s not worthy, no matter what the rest of the culture says. It can’t work that way, and doesn’t.

  2. Why was it ok for girls to dance together in earlier days, like the ’40s and ’50s when there were not enough guys? Just because these two young women were actually on a ‘date’ it suddenly becomes a problem? If it had been a private event sponsored by private people, it’s a different ballgame. Still would have been unethical, but it wouldn’t have been howlingly, incredibly AWFUL. This was a school-sponsored event, and closing it to ANY school student is borderline, if not actually, illegal, right, Jack?

    All accounts I read of this young woman were that she wanted to GO. Not disrupt, but GO. She was not going to have lesbian sex in public on the dance floor, she was going to do what every other teenager there was going to do. Drink punch, eat bad food, stand around, take pictures and perhaps dance some.

    I wish the law could ‘get’ those who so violated the court’s injunction to allow her to go to the prom. But I believe karma will, since the law won’t.

  3. Jack: I wasn’t suggesting that 17 year old kids are still so impressionable that they’ll accept homosexuality on such a basis! I am saying that any organization that exists with children in mind- be it a church, youth group or school system- has the inherent duty to set, demand and reflect themselves the highest standards of conduct. To have admitted an avowed lesbian couple to this traditional function- held under the school system’s auspices- would have been the equivalent of legitimization.

    At the basis of this all, however, is the contention (made loudly and relentlessly by supporters of the homosexual agenda) that deviance is an inherent trait and that, therefore, to deny or decry this conduct is “intolerant” and the equivalent of racial prejudice. It is nothing of the sort… as the majority of black Americans and common sense itself affirms. It is a self destructive lifestyle that is the result of mental illness. It is therefore a condition that must be treated with compassion when detected in young people. But it must be dealt with- not upheld as being on par with the normal human condition and its inherent values. To condon it is to lend it credence… and thereby to deny such afflicted persons the help and support they need in returning to decent human society.

    • Homosexual agenda? Mental illness? How dare you. It is not up to a school board, religious institution, or the ignorant-white male-American agenda who any young man or woman should love. As recent as the early 1970s, hateful scumbags such as yourself in police uniforms, white robes, and judiciary arenas upheld anti-miscegenation laws in many states, barring interracial marriage — citing “moral” and “ethical” reasons for racial segregation. To condone it would be to give it credence, right? Look how the tides have turned on that issue; you wouldn’t dare insult a couple for being interracial. “Normal human condition and its inherent values”? Please, you’re talking about white conservative Christian values. Haven’t you ever heard of ethical relativism? One civilization buries their dead, thinking it the utmost honor, while another burns them to ashes, horrified at the former’s disposal. Still another eats their deceased, feeling ethically justified to do so. There is no one way to live — what you suggest is called manifest destiny. Realize I could just as easily say Religion is a self-destructive (self-blinding; not to mention destructive to others) lifestyle that leads to mental illness.
      To accuse two 17-year-old girls who like each other of having some ulterior perverse cause is downright cruel, who the fuck are bigots like you to rob them of equal treatment, equal liberty, the pursuit of happiness? Because of anachronistic, progress-hating xeno-homo-phobes — yes, you — our world continues to be divided into two polar categories, black and white. My sister dates a woman, whom she loves, but she’d probably laugh if you called her a lesbian.
      Man, it’s a shame that you are such a slave to Patriarchy. As a straight American young man, let me tell you, you are wasting your energy trying to fight social (or any kind, for that matter) progression — my generation is triumphantly stomping out the patriarchal bigotry that has infected this country for so long — Ha ha!

      • Ha ha! I missed your exuberant post until now, Connor! “Patriarchal bigotry”? “Ignorant white male… in white robes”?? And “ethical relativism”??! Frankly, I don’t know whether to laugh or gag. All you’ve done is to run the gamut of every cheap, irrelevant (and bigoted!) slogan that’s ever gushed from the combined mouth of the Left like a backed up commode. I’d comment further, but you’re not worth the effort.

    • Steven Mark Pilling – I agree with you that the school system in question had the ‘inherent duty to set, demand and reflect themselves (sic) the highest standards of conduct.’ In this instance they could not have failed more miserably.

      First of all, the officials in question contravened a court order. They concocted the ‘dual prom’ scheme simply to defy a court order they didn’t like. This is a crime and I hope they are being prosecuted for contempt of court or whatever the most appropriate charge is in the circumstances. Is this demonstrating the highest standards of conduct for the students at the school? Should they, similarly expect to be allowed to pick and choose which laws they will respect and which laws they will flagrantly violate? If they don’t like something a court orders them to do in future – perhaps it will be paying child support, or keeping their distance from a spouse that feels threatened – is it acceptable for them to invent some twisted scheme in order to avoid complying with such an order?

      Secondly the people responsible for the ‘dual prom’ scheme have demonstrated to the students nothing but a small-minded, bigoted, intolerant mindset complemented by a particularly cruel and malicious form of insensitivity and callousness. Which other unfortunate students weren’t good enough to attend the real prom? The handicapped? Kids with only one parent? Minorities? How about fat kids? Nobody wants them stinking up the real prom surely? And I really hate kids that are socially awkward, they ruin it for everyone. I hope they were send to the fake Prom too.

      Now that I think about it, why stop at the Prom? Why not have a totally separate school system where we can send the rejects and others that aren’t good enough to mingle with the Normals? They can live in a separate part of town. We should probably make some sort of temporary camp for them, you know, for their own good. After they’re locked away we can work out a final solution so we Normals don’t have to be exposed to the Freaks ever again.

      I’m glad we have people around like you to maintain the standards of us Normals.

      • Thanks for your long tirade in support of perversity, Trafford. And thanks for visiting my website.

        Now, if you support the notion that courts have a right to declare sexual deviants as a persecuted minority and force an entire school system to mold their standards and traditions to accomodate them- fine. If you further support the right of federal czars, unelected jurists, film producers and “social justice” advocates to enforce concepts of perverse behavior on our children- whether by false indoctrination or by physically luring them into the abyss of human existence- nice. A lot of us don’t. Our children will not be clay for your molding if we can help it.

        Perhaps it was an anonymous Massachusetts school administrator who stated your position best: “The goal is to reach kids before they absord their parent’s values.”

        For myself, I look to Thomas Jefferson for guidance along these lines. “When injustice becomes law, then rebellion becomes duty.”

        And to James Garfield. “A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is the Devil.”

        There comes a time when, but whatever means possible- large or small- tyranny must be understood for what it is an resisited. At no better time can tyranny be recognized than when it preaches evil to our children in the name of virtue.

          • No I didn’t, Jack! I make a point of jotting down good quotes I’d never seen before when I happen upon them. In fact, I acquired no less than seven worthy new quotes from that fine essay of your’s.

        • I’m interested to know by which standards you claim homosexuality amounts to ‘perversity’. I’m guessing you’re a fundamentalist Christian but I’ll try not to jump to conclusions.

          In fact homosexuality is ubiquitous in the natural world. By the standards of science and nature, therefore it is anything but ‘perverse’.

          Your response is just dripping with irony (unintentional it seems). You adopt the language of American patriots but seem unable or unwilling to recognise that in this case you’re siding with injustice, intolerance and bigotry – a position which no doubt would mortify the men whose words you appropriate.

          Garfield also said: “The civil service can never be placed on a satisfactory basis until it is regulated by law.” Nor could he, by any means, be described as a fan of rebellion.

          As for Jefferson, a man who was probably history’s most vocal proponent of the separation between church and state and someone who was fundamentally opposed to government regulating the private lives of citizens, do you really think he would agree with your stance?

          I suggest that the only perversion here arises from your hijacking the rhetoric of American patriots to claim support for your bigoted philosophy.

          • Perversity (in the sexual aspect) refers to unnatural acts that are in “perverse” mimicry of the natural act of procreation between a man and a woman. Whether conducted between a man and a women, between two (of more) of the same sex or (most abhorrent of all) with children in any form- this is perversity, deviance or whatever term you wish to use. Homosexuality is, therefore, only one form it it. However, as all facets are engendered by a mental illness that fixates one on acts that defy all natural law and human decency, then all these facets are thereby inherent in any particular one. This is not bigotry- which is a rejection of another based on hereditary aspects. To the contrary; there can be no higher duty for an adult than to protect children. And perverts are a prime threat to them. Today, perhaps, more than ever. Your citing of Presidents Jefferson and Garfield as men who would support legalized depravity is just plain arcane!

            • I can tell from your response that you may not be completely comfortable discussing this subject. Believe it or not I can commiserate, I was raised in a small town and was raised as a Christian by fairly devout parents (my father is a minister). As such I didn’t actually know any openly gay people until I went to university, where suddenly it seemed to be everywhere – a number of my professors were openly gay, and before I graduated a number of my fellow students had ‘come out of the closet’ (including a close friend of mine). The first criminal case that I worked on (as a student volunteer for legal aid) was the defence of a man accused of drugging and raping another man that he had met in some public toilets.

              Frankly it was quite uncomfortable for me at times. I thought I was open-minded and a progressive, tolerant person but I clearly had a lot to learn. I’ve grown up a lot since then and am at the point where a person’s sexuality is truly a non-issue. If my best friend from high school rang me up tomorrow and told me he was gay I don’t think our relationship would change at all.

              I think you probably have a ways to go before you reach that point, but it seems clear to me that the best way to get over your discomfort/fear around homosexuals is to make friends with some. Interact with them, get to know them.

              Now, in response to some of your wilder claims:

              (1) First of all let’s take pedophilia as a topic right off the table and lock it away. Nobody is talking about pedophilia here. Homosexuality is not pedophilia, and sound scientific research has firmly busted the myth that they are somehow related. To raise it as you have will only serve to add further hysteria to an already hysterical debate.

              (2) Secondly, homosexuality is NOT a mental illness. It was officially removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th. Edition, (Better known as the DSM-IV, the manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association). In fact if a gay person is mentally ill it is far more likely to be the result of the prejudice and scorn that person has suffered at the hands of school bullies, corporate bullies, family members that cannot accept the situation and yes, small-minded, small-town folk who plays a cruel joke on them by not letting them attend the prom.

              Finally, homosexuality is natural. It’s everywhere in the animal kingdom, from dolphins to monkeys so rats and so forth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIcrCZQkSlg

              • Okay. It looks like I missed your last comment too, Trafford. Let me correct one impression straight up; I’m not uncomfortable with the subject. I’m merely disgusted with the actions and agendas of the subjects of the subject… if so see what I mean. The only justification you have for dismissing my observations as “wild claims” is that they don’t fall into the “prescribed attitudes” (as defined by the homosexual lobby) but are in defiance of them.

                1. We’re not talking about just homosexuality, but perversion. Homosexuality is one manifestation of it. So is pedophilia. Both are historically and psychologically connected at the hip. Organized perversion tries hard to separate them in order to create a false impression of itself with the ultimate aim of legitimizing both.

                2. The APA says a lot of things these days. What it can’t do is establish a “queer gene” to prove the outrageous and illogical contention that perversity is preordained. To claim such is to likewise negate every acknowledged principle of natural selection. Indeed, deviance IS psychological. But it comes from a variety of traumas and experiences that are most often inflicted during childhood. Not just from being “picked on” at school as being “shy” or “effeminate”. Often enough, it results from a disfunctional home and/or a deviant in the extended family. Queer activists know this, too. It is the reason why they so firmly pursue homosexual marriage and adoption.

                Perverts are not born, Trafford. They’re made. The ones who take innocent children and abuse them in order to make more of their unholy kind are the ones that belong in the deepest, dankest dungeons available.

            • Dear Mr Pilling of Westboro Baptist Church,
              your views on “highest standards of conduct” sure are strange.
              Pray tell, what are the inherent evils of being a lesbian, apart from your conviction of it being a perversity. You were not quite clear on that.
              What does homosexuality lead to? A propensity to rob banks and throw litter on the sidewalk? What is the negative effect a Lesbian has on the people around her? Does she in any way impinge on their right to life and physical integrity?

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