Remember how loudly Wyoming Republican lawmakers complained when former leftie radical Bill Ayers was invited to speak at UW? And, to be fair, it wasn't only Republicans. UW grad and Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal lodged a complaint about Ayers. And remember how lawmakers screamed about the climate-change-themed "Carbon Sink" sculpture at UW? They fulminated long and loud enough to force the UW administration to spirit away the sculpture in the dead of night, burning parts of it in the UW power plant.
This comes from Friday's The Guardian:
The College of Charleston ran into trouble after assigning Alison Bechdel's acclaimed Fun Home to students; the graphic novel details Bechdel's coming out as a lesbian as a teenager, and her relationship with her closeted father. The University of South Carolina Upstate, meanwhile, was teaching a collection of radio stories about being gay, Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio. Earlier this year, funding to the two schools of almost $70,000 (£40,000) was threatened because of the choices, described as pornographic and "forcing an agenda on teenagers" by their opponents; the issue has been under debate in the state senate this week, and authors have been coming together to stand up for LGBTQ rights.I know a bit about the conservative South Carolina Legislature. I was a student at USC in Columbia for two years, 1969-1971. Those were stormy years.Vietnam and Kent State and riots in the streets. The Lege met right down the street from USC and its members fumed when long-haired hippies marched on the storied campus, its horseshoe once the site of a field hospital for troops wounded defending the city from that devil Sherman. Big Daddy Gov sent in the National Guard and state goons to put an end to it, busting a few heads in the process. It wasn't the National Guard who did the dirty work. They were mostly our age and not nearly as angry about protesters as the billy-club-swinging white state cops who were the age of our fathers. Heavy-handed techniques against students are not new to South Carolina or any other state. We saw some prime examples during the Occupy Movement.
So what to do? Hell, it's graduation time! Who has time to pay attention to anal-retentive legislators when there are parties to attend and beer to drink? And we still don't have a job!
Some of the most outspoken and radical people I ever met were in Columbia during that earlier trying time. You have to remember that Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. were southerners, as were Jimmy Carter and Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity. Not to mention all of those wonderful southern writers such as Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor and Harry Crews and Lee Smith and all the rest. Richard Ford has been outspoken in his opposition to this latest travesty (witness the graphic above).
Go to Writers Speaking Out Loud to voice your discontent. Remember that many outspoken peace and civil rights and free speech and freedom to read advocates walked before you. Speak out like you mean it!