My hometown friend, Sid Krupkin, posted this excellent article on his Facebook page. I immediately thought that this needed to be read and shared by as many people as possible, especially as the midterms loom. Thanks, Sid, for allowing me to use this.
“Republicans would have you believe that Democrats in this country are all sexual deviants trying to turn your children into dangerous, family-hating devil worshippers. They’ve actually come up with a piece of legislation…a rarity in itself…which proposes the banning of discussion of any form of sexually oriented subject matter, especially something called Drag Queen Story Time, a small-scale scenario that emanated out of San Francisco a couple of years ago. Apparently, if a man shows up to tell children’s stories in a library and he’s costumed in a gaudy prom dress, all the kids will instantly turn gay and start dancing like they’re in a burlesque show. Of course, there’d be no objection if he wore the costume of Count Dracula with blood dripping down his face. Nobody would be claiming that he’s trying to turn the kids into murderous vampires. In fact, Halloween is just around the corner and kids across the country, with their parents’ blessings, will be dressed in every outlandish fashion imaginable, from sexy mermaids to famous serial killers to homeless panhandlers…the more bizarre the better. Fortunately, inappropriate costumes and bad makeup don’t doom our children to lives of disgrace and infamy.
What are these Republicans doing with their legislative power? Are they focusing on programs that will enhance the lives of American citizens such as healthcare, infrastructure or the environment? Are they attempting to curtail the rampant gun violence that is plaguing schools and public settings? Are they striving to protect voting rights and making sure that all citizens have a voice in our government? No. They are doing none of those things, although they work hard to obstruct such legislation put forth by Democrats. Instead, they have proposed the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act”, an alarmist stunt designed to appease their evangelical base and discredit the routinely excellent work being done by educators across this nation. They have aligned with groups like the Proud Boys, who can think of nothing better to do than to muscle their way into a library and disrupt a harmless story time as they did in California last June.
Isn’t it obvious that any person designated to conduct a story session for children…whether they are dressed as a clown, a princess, a corrupt ex-president or the Big Bad Wolf…will be held to an appropriate standard by the school or library? The thing that has been lost in this contrived controversy is that teachers and librarians and administrators are PROFESSIONALS! They are not going to allow anything that will harm or disturb your children. Guest speakers, storytellers or entertainers are carefully vetted and monitored. One thing that may happen…and should happen at an appropriate level in these situations… is the suggestion that there are all kinds of different people occupying the world we live in: Black, Brown, White, Asian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Atheist, Introverted, Extroverted, Big, Small, Kind, Rude…etc. Children should not be taught to react with panic and fear whenever someone who looks different, talks different or dresses different appears in their lives.
This tempest in a teapot only serves to highlight the real purpose of Republican smear campaigns: to target, demonize, terrorize and criminalize those who they consider to be “the other”. Their actions stoke divisions, endanger groups who choose alternative lifestyles and encourage children to ridicule anyone who doesn’t conform with some rigid, conservative image of humanity.
So, for story hour, schools and libraries can go ahead and choose wizards and witches, kings and queens and magicians and clowns if they want to. Let’s just be careful not to choose any devious clowns on Election Day.”
Sid also has a great page on Facebook to fight bullying. Check it out, “Mr. Sid, anti-bullying specialist”.
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