We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and as clear as the American Constitution.The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?( John F Kennedy)
What gave American talk show host James “Doc” Greene the right to protest a monthly transgender reading program to children in a Houston Public Library? And, what gave the librarian the right to have Mr. Greene arrested while doing so? The short answer is that it is the same right that gives those inclined to do so the right to protest Colin Kaepernick’s open protests of police violence.
Despite the comparison however, these two cases, are quite different. Ironically, the those laws granting Mr. Kaepernick the right to kneel publicly, are the same laws which allow public protest which voice a view which
dissents. Thanks to our constitution and the wisdom of courts long gone by, it is only in underdeveloped banana republics, communist countries and dictatorships, that a person’s right to freely express their views is denied. Well, that and the city of Houston.
This is a story of how a tiny minority of fundamentalists with a questionable agenda used resources paid for by all of us to carry on an activity aimed exclusively at their interests. This is the improbable tale of how a public library of all places became an open window into the high jingo that is the how of why the narrow interests of a few become the burden which must be carried by the many. Making a long story short is done by removing the details; useful at times, but not often, because as we all know, the devil is in the details.
Detail one: A program was adopted in the Montrose branch of the Houston Public Library best described by its title, ‘Drag Queen Story Time’. A byline Ken Byrd wrote, “As the title suggests, it involves drag queens reading stories and participating in activities with a group of children and their caretakers.”(The Houston Press 08/25/2017.) The story from the Houston Press goes on to quote the Library’s youth services manager, Kallie Benes as to the goal of program, which was to instill a sense of love and acceptance in our children, encouraging them to be true to themselves. (Instructing them to what being true to themselves means?) There has not been such a similarly tragic failure of the imagination since Vietnam. How could it possibility have eluded the imagination of Ms. Benes and other persons upstream of this decision that there might be a dissenting voice? Ms. Benes is further quoted in the Press article as having said, “At this point I haven’t received any criticism, I have heard only positive things by word of mouth”. So your call, Nixon or Rumsfeld? I think we just caught us a devil by the tail! But wait there’s more! Ms. Benes goes on to describe the first story time event as Mala-Niña and something that calls itself “Blackberri,” both celebrities in the Montrose gay community reading “Chrysanthemum”, and “I’m absolutely too small for school.” Followed by a sing along with the song “We’re gonna be friends,” which sounds more like an order as opposed to a suggestion. Mr. Byrd enthusiastically describes the event to be one where “Expectedly the readers will look bright and colorful, and attendees are encouraged to come dressed up for the occasion if they so choose.”
Where to begin? Let us begin with that last bit. When did you ever hear of an invitation to an affair that defined itself as Black Tie, or informal, your choice? It is absurd to expect anyone reading the story to come to the affair out of costume without expecting some form of ostracism by the group. As to the use of tambourines and cowbells during the sing alongs alluded to earlier in the piece, allegedly used to teach children about rhythm, I can only say, children dressed in drag beating primitive instruments in a dance with adults dressed in drag, well, what could possibly go wrong?
If you were fighting a CPS case against an accusation of sexual impropriety with a child, do you think a disclosure that you and the child were dancing
together in drag singing songs about how you guys are going to redefine your boundaries is going to help? As Billy would say, ‘swat them bees.’
Detail two: How on God’s green earth did this ever happen? It surpasses the imagination that branch librarians can implement any kind of event in the library absent the consent of someone in that librarians chain of command who is an elected official. Certainly no such program could find it’s way into a public school without being scrutinized by the school board, and likely many other people who would have had the final say. I searched high and low for legislation that prohibits the library from using truth induction as a means of establishing sexual orientation in minors. The news for those parents who wish to bring their children up in a world free of special interests influence the news is mixed. The good news is, no school or public library may exhibit any material whatsoever of a political nature on their grounds, much less have storytelling, sing alongs, and costumed meetings. See section 255.003 of the Texas Ethics Commission’s guide to the use of school districts resources. The bad news is that such proselytizing is actually protected for those who would lure your kids into a sexual lifestyle by the lawmakers you helped to elect. See “libraries respond: Drag Queen Story Hour”. It’s on google. Totally easy to find.
In this delightful journey you will discover that while you have been asleep, the American Library Association has been colluding with such authors as Michelle Tea. If your parenting style is to expose your pre-teen to queer culture, feminism (not to be confused with women’s rights), race, class and prostitution, then send the ALA a donation! But hey, if that isn’t enough to bring out the old checkbook, there’s more.
The truly dismal fact is that the ALA anticipated “pushback” from communities and responded by building and organizing “resources” and encouraging those who know about them, and I’m betting that does not include you, to use them. In other words, I don’t think it at all unlikely that Doc Greene, an ordinary citizen who just wanted to make his side of the issue known, walked into a deliberately set trap. Can you hear the devil yet? Well, how about this? There is not one single provision in the Children’s Internet Protection Act, CIPA, which offers any protection to children from proselytizing influences from alternative lifestyle organizations like NAMBA say. Is you been baptized? No? Ok, one last detail then.
Detail three: It turns out that the rules set forth by the library protect Doc’s first amendment rights. Yet another tragic fact is that, while the very thing Doc Greene wishes to protest takes place in a public building, the library’s rules of conduct prohibit any behavior which might result in Doc’s being allowed to express himself. Therein dear readers lies the final hiding place for the devil, and a tourists guide to how we got to be owned by the one percent.
Members of the LBGQTGTV community have one and only one thing in common, that being that they are all alternative lifestyles. But for all of that diversity within their community, they cooperate with each other where their common interests lie. It’s like dogs, mice, cats, bunnies and carrots all learned to work together to support animal rights and put an end to genetically modified organisms. Think of what the rest of us could do with that….sorry, now I’m talking to a wall. Anyway, the real controversy over the arrest of Doc Greene is best answered with a question; Since the notion of having a transvestite party and inviting the local children to attend at the public park would have failed public approval by an avalanche, even in a place like the Montrose area of Houston, how did the public library come to circumvent the wishes of so many parents with so little trouble? The answer lies on the dark side of the moon, where evidently all legislation now exists.
Doc was the only person protesting the event who was arrested; that is because Doc was the organizational focus of the protest. The cops were at the library in force waiting for him. The “resources” provided by the ALA managed to conspire with one another to spy on, target, and then arrest Doc Greene. The Houston Police served as a defacto private police force in the service of those “resources.”
Should there be reconciliation for all oppressed minorities in America? Well, if you Believe in the Preamble to our Constitution, then yes! Should we protect our children, and their right to select and participate in whatever sexual lifestyle they will engage in as adults? Again, yes! But we should NOT be allowed to use either the oppressed nor our children to be used as footballs in the process of working out how this is going to become, and we should certainly not allow what has become aptly known as the Deep State to make those decisions for us!
The Butcher Shop