“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” – Elie Wiesel
A right wingnut group of pearl clutching busybodies in our community is organizing to prevail upon the Warrensburg City Council at its meeting on Monday, April 24th to restrict and/or cancel the Pride Festival to be held at a private event center in Warrensburg on June 3rd. There will be vendors, food, drag shows [fancy costumes, theatrical makeup, and show tunes]. Go figure. They are using a web site to organize and collect signatures for a petition to the Warrensburg City Council to stop or limit the Pride Festival. Their site relates their proposed tactic of flooding the gallery with their presence during the council meeting. Apparently, they are all supposed to clap loudly when one of their number spews their bigotry during the public comment portion of the meeting.
They’ve also been instructed that since they are doing so out of an abundance of “love”, or something, that they should remain polite.
The profession of “love” from a position of overt bigotry, hate, and fear is not convincing to the targets of that “love”. It’s not neighborly. It’s not polite. It’s not civilized.
Since we’ll be covering the meeting on Monday evening we thought it advisable to check with the City Clerk’s office about the various agendas (there are three meetings – one at 5:00 p.m. which is closed, one at 6:00 p.m. which is a work session, and the regular meeting after that). I drove to the city building and asked to see the City Clerk. The City Clerk wasn’t in, but their assistant took my contact information and promised to get answers to my questions. There’s not a lot of space in the council chambers public seating area. Sadly, most of the time, very few people bother to attend meetings. We also asked about media access and tripod placement (for still images).
I was called by the City Clerk’s office that afternoon and was given schedule and logistics information for Monday’s meeting. The assistant then asked me [paraphrased], “I’ve seen something on the Internet somewhere about this. What’s the name of the group?” I replied, “Johnson County Citizens for the Protection of Children.” There was a long pause on the other end of the line. “Hello, are you still there?” “Yes.” “You should be able to find their web site by [Internet search engine] it?”
Another loosely organized local group is advocating a counter to this bigotry at the April 24th public meeting. One individual posted a request that we all listen to the viewpoints of these bigots and show respect for them as our neighbors and acquaintances [paraphrase].
From the “Johnson County Citizens for the Protection of Children” web site:
“[…] The last two years, “Drag Shows for Children” were held right here in Johnson County, and on June 3rd, a group plans to hold another at the Elks Lodge/Meadows Rental Venue in Warrensburg. Our community was caught off guard before, but after seeing 40+ children exposed to this abuse last year, we, as concerned citizens, have organized to demand that this year’s event be restricted to adults 18 and older or canceled. [….]”
There were a number of individuals who were/are mandated reporters who attended the Pride Festival last year. Some/many with their families. One of the alleged instigators of this new attempt at pearl clutching (see previous discussion) is, by appearance a possible mandated reporter.
The accusation of “seeing 40+ children exposed to this abuse last year” is a serious one. It might appear to be hyperbole – if so, that’s a really bad choice of words. If we’re talking about civilized discourse one does not just toss around terms that have serious legal implications. Mandated reporters have an affirmative duty to report child abuse. Immediately.
The monsters in this conversation are the ones who tossed an inflammatory accusation into the mix, apparently for the purpose of dehumanizing other human beings. That’s not from a place of love, that’s at the very least a cynical manipulation for the acquisition of power of some sort. History shows us what it really is at its worst.
Who is keeping a civil tongue?
All opposing view are equal? Even if one of those views is dehumanizing and based on grotesque bigotry? No.
Silence means consent. If you’re not willing to stand with the marginalized and take the cast stones with them, then you’re not an ally.
Targeting the marginalized for their failure to cease to exist is not a valid nor civilized cultural or political viewpoint. It’s sure as hell not “love”.
Warrensburg Pride Festival – June 26, 2021 (June 26, 2021)
Local busybodies engage in pearl clutching (June 3, 2022)
“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.” (June 4, 2022)
Pride Festival – Warrensburg, Missouri – June 4, 2022 (June 4, 2022)
The pearl clutching right wingnut bigots among us (April 19, 2023)
Always the other (April 21, 2023)
Pingback: Unified Field Theory of Right Wingnut Pearl Clutching, Self-Righteousness, and Victimhood | Show Me Progress