Every day some sort of hate mail arrives in my Inbox and quickly gets filtered into the “Hate” label and away from my immediate eye. Two of the most popular triggers for an email to be filtered into the “Hate” pile are “homo” and “retard” and in a single message yesterday, both of those cue words landed in the heap.
I won’t publish the hate mail here, but the gist of the missive was to ask me — “Prof. Faggoty Ass” — what I thought about the “homo girl and her tard friends” who were duped and went to a prom together.
Here’s some background information on Constance McMillen:
When Constance McMillen fought the law, the law canceled the fight.With the backing of the ACLU, McMillen fought an Itawamba County school board to be able to take her lesbian partner and wear a tuxedo to the Itawamba County Agricultural High School prom, in the small town of Itawamba, Miss. about 20 miles east of Tupelo.
The school board responded Wednesday by announcing they were canceling the entire prom, scheduled for April 2.
The school appeared to cave in to public pressure and agreed to host a prom off school property. Constance could bring her date and wear a tux.
That wasn’t the ugly end of it, though, as The Advocate reports:
To avoid Constance McMillen bringing a female date to her prom, the teen was sent to a “fake prom” while the rest of her class partied at a secret location at an event organized by parents.McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back — she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn’t much to keep an eye on.
“They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them,” McMillen says. “The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.”
Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. “It hurts my feelings,” McMillen says.
Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”
My take on this is to ask the following question: “What are the parents of the Itawamba County Agricultural High School students teaching their children?”
If hate is learned, and not bred into us by DNA, then we have a moral duty to each other to be transparent and honest and helpful.
Trickery, loathing and condemnation of those different from us are never the job or the right of the parent to impress into their offspring.
When a parent betrays a child with the long-lasting and inebriating effects of hatred and despise, we are simply watching the sowing of radicalism and illogicality take root in young, but fallow, minds to ruin yet another crop of poisoned people focused on cruelty and denial and retribution instead of respect and love.