I just got word that Clint McCance, the Midland School Board Member whose anti-gay comments sparked a national controversy, has resigned! Good riddance. The man had no business handling any matters related to children or education, period.
Make no mistake. This didn’t happen by magic. It happened because people who cared didn’t take McCance’s awful comments lying down. Take a look at the work that went into this moment (photos from Arkansas Blog):
And check out the video a friend of mine attending shot:
Take a lesson teabaggers. That’s how you organize a protest and deal with folks that disagree with you. Classy, focus, civilized, democratic, and no head stomping. And it got the point across. These folks-straight, gay, old, young, men and women, etc. showed that all Arkansans are not like McCance. That was the worst thing to me about what this asshole did. He branded Arkansans, all of us, and everyone in his community thought like him. He branded us with that same ugly, bigoted mark that Orval Faubus left on us all generations ago, a stain we’re still trying to shake off.
But still, people fought back. People organized. Hell, thanks to this effort, more than 62,000 people across the country stood up to this man via the Fire Jack McCance facebook page. This was national news on CNN, MSNBC, etc. It got the state education department to take a firm stand against this kind of bigotry, I know from first hand sources that even more people were going to be out protesting tomorrow, and all this ultimately embarrassed McCance into resigning. This is something big and beautiful. That’s not to say though that there weren’t people out there who supported McCance’s awful statements, including that part about how gay people should just kill themselves. You know, things like this really turn out the haters…all six of them.
The guy in the foreground is some kid named Matt Martin who had this to say:
Matt Martin of Pleasant Plains, a 2007 Midland High graduate, (at the forefront in picture below) was among the group with the Christian flag and wearing a “Pro-Bible” T-shirt. “All these people here, the way I see it, they need to take their signs and go back to the city. Around here we believe in what the Bible says and the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman.” He continued, “We don’t need the gay rights people to come in and support our homosexuals because there is none. If there is, they’re in the closet.” He said, however, there was one openly homosexual person in school during his days there. Edie Love, a lesbian graduate and former cheerleader of the high school. is among the demonstrators David Koon has been talking to today, however, and a gay former student who blew the whistle on McCance’s comments was interviewed on CNN last night.
Gee, who does that part in bold remind me of? Oh yeah, this douchebag:
Yeah, the audience is laughing at Ahmedinajad there, and so should we laugh at folks like Martin. Besides, when I read my Bible I don’t find these messages of hate in it, besides a few obscure passages next to the parts about how eating shellfish is a sin. Mr. Martin and company must be reading the Satanic version or something. (Oh, and to young, potential bigotry supporters like Mr. Martin, I should put out a little bit of a warning. The internet is forever, and in an increasingly diverse nation and world a lot of employers aren’t going to like finding out that you said stupid stuff like this. Sorry kiddo, but you may have just damaged your future career prospects.)
But anyway, I digress. Kudos to all the people that made this happen. Kudos to Randi Romo and the folks at CAR most of all, who really applied more pressure than anyone out of the many, many groups and organizations that condemned this stuff. Big kudos to Max Brantley too for applying to real pressure through his blog. Kudos to all the protesters. Kudos to the people that called, emailed, joined the facebook group, etc. You guys made this major thing happen that wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t take a stand. Take a lesson, everyone who wants to stand and fight for social justice in this state or anywhere else in this country-be it standing up for LGBT people, racial minorities, immigrants, women, victims of economic injustice, the environment, veterans, whatever-you can make a difference. A big difference.
This is proof that it gets better.