Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quotes of the Day: on Constance McMillan and controversy

The first quote is a comment from this article about Constance McMillan.
My Name is Austin. I'm 15. I myself have dealt with hate for some time. Its sad to me that the majority of you all are only increasing the amount of hate in our world. Most of you are no better than teenagers. Callings names, pointing blame, fighting. It's childish. Fact of the matter is, Constance was not treated fairly. Point blank. No arguments. You can't debate that one. But the problem won't be fixed by a bunch of adults fighting online. Fighting fire with fire only creates a bigger fire. Someone stand up and be the bigger person, the bigger community. If you're going to call someone crude, vicious names, you can't expect them to do any different. Please, for the future, lets not act like children. My love goes out to Constance and the countless others facing hate.
For those who don't know the story, Constance McMillan is a young woman who asked permission of her school's administration in Itawamba, Mississippi to bring a female date to prom and to wear a tux.  The administration decided instead of allowing that to cancel prom altogether.

After much struggle, a judge found that the school couldn't bar McMillan and her date.

Here's where it gets weird: the parents and school set up a fake prom to which Constance and her date and five other people (two with learning disabilities) were directed.  The rest went to the "real" prom.    It's all just beyond cruel, as far as I'm concerned.

The Bloggess wrote a beautiful post in response to this...outrage (I just don't have the words; everything seems too tame).  She wrote,

Fighting intolerance about mental illness, or race, or lifestyle or whatever labeled “flaw” we are saddled with makes us strong.  And today instead of using my strength to say how much I hate every single person that thought that this horrible act of cruelty was in any way acceptable to do to a human being I’m using it to do something so much harder.  I’m using it to say that I still love you.  And that I hope for change.  And that I know that I am imperfect and I am changing and that I hope you can too.
 So do I.

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