Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hatred lives among us...

The blogo-/twitter-/social-media-sphere is in an uproar over an Arkansas senior school board official's Facebook rant. Clint McCance, vice-president of the Midland School District, used his Facebook page to vent his homophobic, intolerant, hatred-filled spleen and, in doing so, ensured his rapid ascension to the throne of Internet pariah-hood. (Coverage here, here, here and here.)

Mr. McCance, apparently upset that everyone wore purple last week on Spirit Day in a show of solidarity toward gays and lesbians, said he'd wear purple only if gays and lesbians would "commit suicide," and that he would disown his kids if they told him they were gay. It got worse from there, in a pathetically error-filled tirade that isn't suitable for any workplace I've ever known.

Never mind that this man is responsible for educating thousands of kids in Arkansas (G-d help them all) and never mind that the school board didn't fire him outright. Okay, they couldn't fire him outright, as he's an elected official. But we've seen politicians get tossed out of office for far less.

This happened in an age where cyberbullying runs rampant, where too many kids of any background, let alone LGBT, feel so marginalized that they see suicide as the only answer. That a man responsible for guiding the educational future of so many children would go public with this kind of misinformed, misplaced rage is, from where I sit, a call to greater action.

CNN's Anderson Cooper took the high road in an eloquent and passionate response (see video). The rest of the Internet lit up in a similar fashion, as rational folks everywhere realized what true hatred looks like, and how much damage it can cause when it goes unchecked.

Well, Arkansas schools, here's your chance to check it before it gets worse, to set a precedent in the accelerating war against cyberbullying. In the growing fight to reintroduce tolerance and understanding back into the modern dialog. Don't let the Clint McCances of the world win. Don't let them take any more children away from us.

Your turn: Thoughts?

This just in: The idiot resigned in a live interview with Mr. Cooper. If you read into the words he used, though, it's clear he isn't truly sorry. He's only sorry he got caught. Some people never learn.

12 comments:

Levonne said...

Great post! Thanks. I'll share it.

Shirley said...

It is unfortunate that this individual hasn't seen direct consequences from his actions. He should not be in a position where he can influence young minds or the education system. If he were in my school district I'd be writing a letter of complaint against him!

lissa said...

As you probably know, this hits close to home as I continue to research and work in the field of cyberbullying. This is not only a keen example of cyberbullying itself, but shows that it is not limited to kids alone; adults can be just as cruel. When those adults are responsible for the very lives we are seeking to protect, this becomes a reason for legislators to move FAST. McCance is not only remaining undercover, he's hidden behind his father (who is the only person from his camp to have issued a statement of any sort).

No, they can't fire him (I covered this in several posts on my FB wall yesterday) but there is enough of an outcry - in Arkansas and worldwide, from what I'm reading - for him to be forced to step down. As you've said, Carmi, politicians have been thrown out for reasons less egregious than this.

Cyberbullying is an urgent crisis we face. This man advocated suicides of the very lives he is responsible for, and if this doesn't wake people up to the fact that we need to make cybersafety and digital respect part of our everyday curriculum and conversation, I don't know what else will.

Thanks for speaking out - the more voices we raise, the louder we'll sound, and eventually, action can be a reality.

Twain12 said...

i find it extremely disturbing...great post

Mustang Sally said...

What goes around comes around and the poo that he's flinging can only come back and splatter him after it hits the fan.

I can't wish evil on anyone, but have no problem hoping the universe dishes out the karmic lesson he is so obviously in dire need of quickly and volunteer to be an instrument of said karma if the need arises.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Amen, my friend. You said it beautifully.

Janie B said...

Good post. The whole thing is a huge embarrassment to me because I am from Arkansas. We have enough trouble convincing people that we don't go around barefoot and marrying our cousins. Now this guy opens his mouth and brings the whole state down. Brother!

bruce said...

ignorance leads to fear fear leads to hatred hatred leads to the darkside...or something like that...

ironic that an educator is so igno~rant...
Well written post on a heinous topic...

becca said...

great post and it still breaks my heart that there are still people like him that are in position of power. it is truly sad.

kcinnova said...

May his children be saved from his prejudice. May ALL children be saved from it.
He had no business staying in that position of influence where he could harm so many young lives.

Alexia said...

Good post, Carmi. Thanks for drawing attention to it. Fills me with sadness that such inane prejudice exists on this subject, as on so many others. How can mankind survive when there are such stupid people around?

Olivia Emisar said...

Good post! Wearing purple to support our youngsters visually is a great idea. A much better idea is to get those types of teachers out of our school system. Glad he resigned.