March 13th, 2008

My Humanity

This is not my blog entry for today. It's a Digital Digression Extra.

Ellen's emotional plea in a word about the 15-year-old gay boy in California who was shot and killed in his classroom by a classmate.

And not long after that, this gem surfaces...

Gee, I wonder where our youth gets the notion that it's okay to kill someone because they're gay.

And a compassionate response, from an insightful young man...

Today my nephew attempted to deliver a letter to Sally Kern but was stopped by a highway patrol man. With his permission I am distributing the letter to all news stations and thought I would include it here.

Maybe we can all stand to learn a listen from this smart, loving, young man. He more than most has reason to hate. He lost his mother, my sister, in the Murrah Building bombing.


Letter From Tucker

Rep Kern:

On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day. Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were injured that day and many of those still suffer through their permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen, however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me. Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.


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Adobecards, frustrating work, newsletter judging, a late workout, and Joe's 40th planned...

This is an incredible visual creation. Let it load all the way, and then slowly move the slide bar at the bottom from left to right. The sound is not critical, but it adds to the experience. (Totally SFW.)

I worked from home today, and attended an excruciating conference call from 3:00–4:00 about our editing council's goals and objectives for our 2008 PBCs.

Right after that, I got into a little argument with my manager during an instant message conversation. The resolution was, basically me saying to her, "I don't agree with what you want me to do, but since you're insisting, I'm going to do it."

Not exactly an I-Love-My-Job day today. The good news is that I got a $1500 bonus in this period's paycheck, when I thought I wasn't getting one at all this year.

I spent a couple of hours judging one set of those STC newsletters. Tedious. Not fun. Cranky.

I had a late workout tonight, from 8:15PM–9:15PM. I listened to an episode of The Story podcasts, called Taking a Different Route, followed by a short one called Remembering Joey.

This was good radio as just about every episode of The Story and This American Life are, though it's not one I would rant and rave about and insist people take a listen to. I did think Remembering Joey was just a sweet, sweet story, a synopsis by the author that reads:

Joey was a Downs Syndrome kid that lived on our block 4 houses from mine… Joey was not allowed out of the house. He lived on the second floor. [But] Joey spent his childhood playing with us from the windows in his house.
-Karen Dalton

Today's workout statistics:




As a complete aside: I mentioned This American Life above. This week's episode is actually about a family mystery of a friend of mine, and a fellow LiveJournaler, swindunbar, and it's called The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar.

In a post several weeks ago, he (Swin) talked about going down to Wilmington, I believe it was, to be interviewed on his perspective of the family mystery.

It must be a compelling story, or at least a long one, as they have deviated from their normal format of three stories on a theme. The entire episode is devoted to this story. I haven't listened to it yet.

Joe has finally booked his birthday trip, on which I'll be joining him! We will be departing Monday, April 21st and returning Saturday, April 26th on a Carnival's 5-Day Western Caribbean cruise. Sweet!