Exhibit A: Three high school students who wore “Straight Pride” t-shirts with this Bible verse on the back: “If a man lay with a male as those who lay with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and shall surely be put to death.”
They wore the shirts on the first day of Ally Week, which is part of an anti-bullying program.
Exhibit B: Two students from the same high school who thought the “Straight Pride” t-shirts were a good idea and decided to wear their own the next day. Shades of Mike Randazzo!
Ironically, one of the students was quoted as follows:
But my dean told me on Tuesday, because of the people who wore the other shirts on Monday, our shirts were considered disruptive to the learning environment. To me, Ally Week itself has been disruptive. Instead of learning in class, we have to sit there and talk about all this other stuff that’s happening because of Ally Week.
Got empathy? Got history? Got critical thinking? No. The schools are obviously failing our children. (Read the comments on the article linked under Exhibit A, and see this appears to be a societal fail.) Ally Week is a lovely idea. But the idea of a safe environment for all children has to start at a tender age. And be institutionally reinforced.
We should be following the community garden model, in which standards are established from the get-go. This could be part of the orientation week at schools. Then followed up by a regular curriculum that teaches empathy. Backed by enforcement of standards. Because providing a safe environment is at least as important as free speech.
Additionally, critical thinking skills need to be taught. It is clear that students at this school are not understanding that context is everything. Obviously explanation of the Fallacious Flip is required:
The reflex some people have to invert an example regarding racial issues to show how it is unfair that POC are claiming things (rights) or saying things (self empowerment in the face of oppressive and derisive societal memes) or afraid of things (contact with police, store security guards, speaking boldly in defense of their People) or “assuming” things (like when you walk past cars and hear doors locking, or are in a conversation suddenly rife with the same old racist arguments always leveled at you). It is a wholly invalid framing, because it assumes that all ethnicities have the same history in this land, the same power, the same struggle to claim personhood, the same assumptions leveled on them. In this light, The Fallacious Flip is nothing but more oppression and privileged (un)thinking; an attempt to shut down the POC from gaining equality.
Here’s the Flip in action:
But I don’t understand how some students are able to wear ‘Gay Pride’ shirts while we can’t wear shirts that just say ‘Straight Pride.’ We wanted to wear them because we wanted to raise the fact that we were getting ripped on for supporting our straight sexuality, and also as a way to prove that our school has double standards.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When privilege is attacked, those with privilege do not view it as a move towards equality. Instead they view it as a threat to their very lives. It supports my assertion that privileged people use their Free Speech Rights! to reinforce their delusional belief in a right to harass.
Straight people flaunt their sexuality all the time. They are busily rubbing it in everybody’s faces. Our society glorifies straight people and straight culture. So straights are not particularly getting “ripped on.”
But when majority members feel their privilege start to slip, they lash out. Straight pride. Christian pride. Male pride. Wh1te pride.