Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shame on who?

So apparently the Joe Martins saga continues. Joe who made the suggestion that the Durfee handbook should be updated, as a way to update parents, of the events and activities of a Boston Gay Pride Youth forum that children in Gay Straight Alliance may attend, continues to have his motives questioned.

Now a Durfee teacher, Gary Bigelow, has decided to come forth and express outrage of Mr. Martins suggestion and obviously knows what Joe’s REAL motives were.

Saying that one doesn’t “have a problem” with a certain kind of student is like saying that I have no problem with short people or old people or green people.

Perhaps Mr. Bigelow saying one doesn’t have a problem with a certain kind of student means JUST that and the reason you HAVE to state it is because political correctness has been distorted to the point that you can’t say anything without worrying about some group of people taking offense. Somehow Mr. Bigelow feels that an earlier statement about not thinking guitar playing was as important as a medical course proves that there was prejudice and bigotry. What?!

Mr. Bigelow tries to make the point that parents must sign field trips and how diligent the school and faculty are. Well sorry, I know for a fact that communication between the school and parents needs improvement.

Believe me I understand why people are questioning Joe Martins motives here. I’m aware of the beliefs that he and his wife have expressed in the past. However, all he was suggesting was that parents be better informed. Personally I don’t think the handbook would do the trick, but that is where discussion could have taken place. Mr. Bigelow says “they do not pose for disgusting pictures”, yet Mr. Martins furnished pictures of kids posing. But here is another chance for reasonable discussion. Do the pictures accurately represent what is going on there? If so do parents have a right to be informed about this?

When I read Mr. Bigelow’s letter I don’t see a teacher reaching out trying to assure parents that this event is a positive thing for their children. What I see is an individual who instead of pointing out prejudice and bigotry is practicing it.

However Mr. Bigelow is not the only person I’m disappointed in regarding this incident, I’m also disappointed in Joe Martins. You see I’m no psychic. I don’t profess to be able to read Joe’s mind and therefore know his true motives. That’s why I have tried to look at this objectively and seeing merit, give him the benefit of the doubt. However there is no doubt that whatever his intentions may have been his words and his actions have upset and offended. The other night 2 members of the Gay Straight Alliance came before the school committee and explained that to Mr. Martins. They went a step further and invited him to attend next year’s parade and see it for himself. He declined. Joe, whatever your personal views, if you claim to have no issue with this group you should rethink that invitation. Going to the parade would be a gesture of good will and an example of tolerance and acceptance.At the same meeting, another gentleman rose to speak and pointed out that the application to participate in the parade states any items given away must be age appropriate, which certainly puts into question some of Joe's concerns. If Mr. Martins were to go to the parade he would have a chance to either prove that his concerns are valid or take comfort that the event is not the concern he thought it was. By declining this invitation Mr. Martins simply reinforces the image and belief that many have already expressed about him.

Lefty's View: Shame on Gary Bigelow for being reactionary and simply slamming Mr. Martins when he could have done so much more to enlighten us on what takes place during this event. Shame on Joe Martins for missing an opportunity to show support and tolerance for the GLBT. Congratulations to the members of the GLBT who respectfully addressed Mr. Martins, extended him an invitation, and had the courage to stand up for themselves in a public forum.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lefty, you are again falling into the pit. You say that Martins was simply trying to let the parents know, "update" them as you say, to the activities of a Boston Gay Pride Youth forum.

So what about Gay Pride Youth forum would have to be explained? Kids will be "exposed" to gay people. This is an issue for parents to discuss with their kids, not the school to discuss with the parents. IF Mr. Martins explained ALL field trips this way, then he would be consistent and therefore honorable. But because he is singling out one group to "explain" he is participating in a very subversive form of bigotry. THOSE people are different, and so different that you must be warned about them! Oooooh!

This is getting silly. And you should be talking about casinos and indians, not gay people and bigots.

Lefty said...

Anon,

What I am saying is I am not assuming I know Mr. Martins motives here and that on it's own the idea has merit and is worthy of discussion. What about the forum would have to be explained? I don't know! We never got to discuss it. Instead we just got all reactionary and defensive and assumed that Joe must have evil evil motives. Did you read Joe's letter to the editor? Did you see the pictures he submitted to the paper? Gee, based on that I could see some parents being concerned and wanting to be made aware. On the other hand the application states that anything handed out must be age appropriate. Maybe there is something to look into here. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to ask some questions and get the facts and then decide if the handbook or permission slips need some sort of updating, or decide that Joe is all wet here. If the parade is part of a school group how is it not something the school should discuss with parents? And by all means let's apply the same scrutiny to EVERY school related activity. Why didn't Joe? Certainly he should have, but that doesn't mean the omission is some sort of smoking gun proving he's hateful and intolerant.

In my mind if this were about any other group you would not have seen the reactionary and hostile stance people have taken. Instead people would discuss it and decide if it had any merit. There is where I have an issue. However I also am disappointed that when Joe was given the chance to mend some fences and show some support he declined.

Lastly, I just recently wrote a casino post. Did you comment on that one?

Anonymous said...

yes.

sunshine's grandaughter said...

Lefty's view, well said. Congrats to those kids who stood up and decided to be counted, I'm sure not an easy thing at all.

Anonymous said...

Joe Martins is an extreme right wing conservative whacko nut job and his views disgust me. This isn't the first time he has let his crazy views peek through. He should go run for office in the Midwest of Texas where they go for that type of politics where you hate on other people. I love how the Republican party calls for less government but is all about the government getting all up in people's bedrooms. These are sick, sick people. The ones that claim to be the holiest often turn out to be the freakiest.

Anonymous said...

Oh for crying out loud--the man has a point in wanting to inform the parents about what happens at the Gay Pride Parade. I should be able to decide if I want my child to attend it but how can I make an informed decision if I don't have all the facts...and just because you believe that handing out condoms is "age appropriate" I do not want my child exposed to that...meaning easy access to birth control I do not have a problem with gay people...I have close friends and family who are gay or lesbian and I believe in gay marriage, gay rights, etc., but I believe that parents should be more informed about what is actually going on at these parades and be able to decide for themselves.

Lefty said...

Well said Anon.

Anonymous said...

Parents are already informed about what field trips and have to sign permission slips. Is Joe Martins going to be the one to write his own personal description of each and every field trip on every permission slip or does he just want to do that for any that might be gay-themed because of his own hang ups?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but there is a big difference between a kid going to Plymouth Plantation or Mystic Aquarium or to a Gay Rights Parade where they will be handing out condoms. I can't understand how you people can't or actually WON'T see that. Why must you look for bigotry everywhere? The man has a point that some parents might not want their children to attend if they know all of the details.

I have gay friends and family who I support wholeheartedly--I believe in gay marriage--I believe that gay couples should be able to adopt children and should be considered as next of kin in cases of hospital visits, etc...

What I don't believe is that my child should attend a parade where they are handing out condoms and basically saying that it's okay to go out and have sex as long as it's safe sex...I don't believe that is okay and if I am not given all relevant information that is what my child will be exposed to.

Anonymous said...

And why don't you get that Joe Martins presented a warped view of the event and pictures that don't represent Boston Youth Pride. He was invited to go to see the real event and he refused. You don't know unless you go. If you aren't going to go then pontificating about and condemning what happens does make you a bigot because what are you basing it on besides your own fears since there would be no firsthand knowledge? Joe should go and prove he isn't a homophobe. Instead of pretending to know what happens at the event and supplying a few pics provided by right wing zealots he should do his own research and anyone else bashing the event should do the same. Boston Youth Pride provides a safe haven for gay teens to hang out with other gay teens and to be free of fear and bullying and to be able to be themselves. Period.