Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 44. Sunrise is 6:17 AM and sunset 5:53 PM for 11h 35m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 99.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
There will be a City of Whitewater Strategic Planning Session/Retreat at 6:30 PM, and the Police and Fire Commission meets at 7 PM.
On this day in 1775, an anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America,” the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery
Last night, Whitewater’s public library screened a movie for 13 to 18 year old LGBTQ+ teens and their allies. Unfortunate criticism of the screening ignored the rights of association and assembly that attendees should and must have.
As longtime readers know, this libertarian blogger has, for some considerable time, expressed concerns that a faction would seek to impose on all this community book-banning and closet-confining. These are not new concerns; they have weighed on my mind for years. (To see the national scene clearly is to ponder whether its worst aspects will one day becloud Whitewater. See 1, 2, 3.)
And yet, I have been reserved and cautious on the subject. There are two reason for this. First, I am not a member of the LGBTQ+. That community should, first and foremost, have the right and opportunity to speak for itself. In some respects, I am their demographic opposite (straight, white, male). And so, an ally, but one who knows that allies support rather than direct. (This is, after all, one definition of Christian love: to will the good of the other as the other. One wants and hopes the best for others as they conceive that best condition.)
The second reason that I have been cautious is that this film showing was for teens, not adults. I’m hesitant to write in a way that might incite others toward greater hostility toward a teen community. (Almost all my writing involves disputes between adults, not toward teens or children. In that writing, it’s fair to say, I have, well, less hesitancy. It’s rare that I am reticent.)
Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting some parents and community members who stood outside our library in support of Whitewater teens’ attendance at the movie. Quite the friendly and welcoming group. (My presence was not long, and in no way notable. Those who organized this event deserve the credit for it, as do those who stood steadfast far longer last night.) It is attendees, and their families and allies, who should set the pace which others supportively match.
One imagines this event took time and careful planning: a film, a venue, an activity, snacks, and advertising. (I’d guess many weeks.) The advertisement for the movie shows care — welcoming, encouraging, positive. Those who have lawfully organized a nice evening for members of our community, and certainly those who attended, should not have to feel tension or hostility for having done so. Note well: a culture war in Whitewater is the surest path to individual injury and community decline.
Whitewater is better for the efforts of those who made this LGBTQ+ movie night possible. They were right to hold fast, and we will be right to support their ongoing presence and efforts in our community.
Koala explores gas station in South Australia:
Thank you for weighing in, especially how you have. I have been reading your site for a long time, and you have not backed away from important concerns. I suppose I was wondering when you would comment on an important issue like this. (You are right that you have alluded to concerns about “book-banning and closet-confining” before but not as explicitly as today.)
Agree or disagree, you at Free Whitewater have the strongest writing about Whitewater’s public life of anyone in the area. I’m on campus, and your work matches us here. You sometimes write that all people are smart, but you are in a select group. Over time, writing at your site has grown stronger. That is true although some in the administration have been upset because they have drawn your critical attention.
It’s nice to have a really articulate ally.
You say you are reticent because this is about inciting repercussions to teens, but our city needs to know that our young people have support.
Feel free to enter the discussion!
Agree completely with this statement: “a culture war in Whitewater is the surest path to individual injury and community decline”. That is the size of it.
Thanks very much for your kind words. Every day begins anew: one approaches each matter as though a dark-horse underdog, knowing that there is always more, and better, one can do.
I am glad the city stood up for itself. Would have been way worse backing down.
Yes. Distortions of law and fact must not be countenanced. Cultural conflict of this kind drags the city down. The only condition worse than facing injury is acquiescing to it.
Sorting out the right ongoing response requires careful thought for those of us not disposed to cultural conflicts of this kind in Whitewater. One adapts, adjusts, and fortifies when it is necessary to adapt, adjust, and fortify.
Libaries are one of the most proactive public entities in this resident’s opinion, they have a very comprehensive policy assortment.
Of note for consideration is the American Library Association’s insightful tip sheet for navigating challenges and concerns about library resources which begins(selective formatting by this author):
“Libraries are a cornerstone of the community dedicated to serving the information needs of everyone. As such, they collect and make available a wide variety of information resources representing the range of human thought and experience. With such a broad spectrum of ideas and information available, it is inevitable that people will occasionally encounter resources they believe to be inappropriate or offensive.”