Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day of Silence a huge success again while the opposition tries to pull a fast one

Early reports are saying that yesterday's Day of Silence was a huge success despite the efforts of several religious right groups who advised parents to keep their children out of school during this day. This was the view from the Seattle Times which looked at the high school where area pastor Ken Hutcherson held an anti-Day of Silence protest last year:

No protesters disrupted classes at Mount Si High School, and about 21 percent of students called in absent Friday — more students than usual, but less than last year, when almost half of all students didn't come to school.

Mount Si was the focus last year of a protest over the "Day of Silence," a national movement to represent the silence many gay and lesbian students feel they must maintain at school to avoid harassment.

Again this year, Rev. Ken Hutcherson, of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, urged parents to keep students out of school Friday but did not hold a protest.

About 150 of the school's 1,400 students signed up to participate in the Day of Silence, spokeswoman Carolyn Malcolm said, and there were no disruptions during the school day.

Nice try, Kenny boy but you lose again.

And there is a plethora of positive coverage from other areas in the country:

Teens speak volumes during Day of Silence

Students protest oppression during Day of Silence

Students stay mum to honor GLBT peers

March supports gay rights

Local students take a stand against harassment during national Day of Silence

ISU students ‘Break Silence’ in fight against prejudice

But those organizations who oppose the Day of Silence are not "going gentle into that good night," so to speak.

One group, Capitol Resource Institute, has put a video highlighting the alleged threats, "intolerance," and also other incidents of violence that it claims are indicative of Day of Silence supporters.

I looked at the video and listened to the comments, even the choppy ones.

Some of the comments are rude with one person saying that he wishes that members of the anti-Day of Silence groups would kill themselves (that's the one played repeatedly).

But these messages sound like they are coming from adults and not teenagers (the ones who mostly participate in the Day of Silence.)

The emails were equally rude, even though we don't know anything about these them - whether they are coming from folks mad at the anti-Day of Silence stance or folks mad at these groups in general.

Or even if they are authentic.

Capitol Resource Institute claimed that one email inferred a death threat even to the extent of sending a picture of a funeral to emphasize detail. But no where in the article does its spokesperson, Karen England, talk about alerting the authorities. (Editor's note - The article has now been updated to say that England has in fact filed a police report.)

And let's talk about the acts of violence the video shows.

These "acts" took place from various Proposition 8 protests, including the Phyllis Burgess incident which was debunked on this site as well as many others.

Why is this important?

Because the Proposition 8 protests had absolutely nothing to do with the Day of Silence.

All in all, the video is a pathetic attempt to get a visceral reaction rather than a logical one.

That's not to say that I agree with what was allegedly sent to these groups. Rude comments and threats should not be the way we fight our battles.

But the attempt by Capitol Resource Institute to connect the dots between the Day of Silence and the alleged negativity expressed to the groups opposing the Day of Silence is highly, highly suspect.

It just goes to show that some people just can't take a loss.