“My America Don’t Stand For This”: Esperanza Spalding’s New Song, Video, Takes on Gitmo

Esperanza Spalding is a total bad ass.

If you’re not familiar with the Grammy award winning multi-instrumentalist then allow me to help make your Wednesday.

Spalding is an accomplished jazz musician who plays with a lot of heart.  She started playing violin at age 5 but she truly found her groove, and subsequently her sound, upon discovering the bass at age 15.  A ton of hard work, a Grammy and a few records later, she was doing no big deal things like jamming with Prince and playing with Stevie Wonder at the White House.

Now she’s channeled her musical prowess into an empowering anthem that strives to be for something.

That something being the American values, principles and laws that make the concept of indefinite detention without trial – and thereby the very existence of Guantanamo Bay – completely indefensible on our watch.

Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., encouraged by her band members, and supported by various human rights organizations Spalding captured her feelings not only through a song but a fact-laced video that spells out what’s going on, why it’s important, and how you can help. The video encourages viewers to contact their representatives and the song is a rousing cry as to why they should.

As Spalding sings

I am America

And my America

It don’t stand for this.

We are America

In our America

We take a stand for this.

Speaking to MSNBC, Spalding clarified that she hadn’t written a protest song– rather she’d created an invitation to participation:

It’s such a gift and a joy to be engaged in the process- in our democratic process, and I think maybe we forget that we each really can do something. You know, it seems like an overwhelming issue and any overwhelming issue gets solved by slow continual person-by-person action so that’s the invitation.

She went on to specifically address personal power and it’s role in this project and others like it:

We’re powerful individuals.  Each of us have a lot of power in us to contribute to positive transformation of the world we live in and it’s a celebration of that-  a celebration of we don’t have to sit her and let unpleasant things happen under our nose. We can celebrate this freedom and power that we have to make a difference.

Writing in the LA Times Spalding went even further to explain her inspiration as well as her hope for the project getting into the nitty gritty legislative details of how and why that power matters”

If the Senate and the House of Representatives agree to the Guantanamo provisions in the defense act, the few prisoners in the detention center who face charges could be prosecuted where it makes the most sense, in federal courts.

Radio Music Society (and friends) made “We Are America” because we believe that, while not all of us are called to the front lines like Martin Luther King Jr., we can all support our elected officials in doing the right thing.

The entire project is amazing and it accomplishes its job, as described by Spalding, in that it helps to raise consciousness around what’s happening and why it matters.  In a little over a decade 779 men have been illegally detained and 164 remain imprisoned despite the fact that well over half of them are cleared to leave. What’s happening is wrong but what happens next has yet to be determined.

The video’s call to action spells out what you can do:

Call the US Capitol Switchboard 1-202-224-3121 to connect you to your two Senators & your Congressional Representative

Tell Them:

I am your constituent and I want you to support closing Guantanamo

Indefinite detention and unfair trails are illegal, un-American and unnecessary.

The video, done in collaboration with ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, includes cameos from  Harry Belafonte, Janelle Monáe and Stevie Wonder, while also highlighting statements from President Obama, Senator John McCain, Colin Powell and former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen to spell out why closing Guantanamo is the right thing to do.

All that’s lacking is the courage and political will to do it.

That’s where we come in.

Watch and share the video and join the conversation online by tweeting @EspeSpalding or with the hashtags #closegitmo and  #weareamerica.

 

I’ve been told and I believe.  Aint no justice aint no peace

 

Many Years Ago: The Bohemian Women’s Political Alliance

Inspired by the looming 1992 elections, the Anita Hill hearings, and after organizing a fund raiser for Barbara Boxer, author/activist Nicole Panter,  who had one time had managed the seminal Los Angeles punk band The Germs and her friend Exene Cervenka gathered together a group of friends–including Monica May (now of the Nickle Diner), Belissa Cohen then the nightlife/gossip columnist for the L.A. Weekly, singer poet Weba Garretson, and heaps of other LA women–to write letters and register voters and get active.  I was invited to come to a meeting of the group with the inspired name of the Bohemian Women’s  Political Alliance (a tongue-in-cheek take on the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, a high-profile group that was fund raising for Democratic candidates and progressive causes–and one group that found our band of show business worker bees, struggling writers, burlesque dancers, punk rockers and tattooed moms–some were all of those!– a bit too, um alternative to join their ranks).

Nicole wrote the above manifesto–based on our heart-held sentiments and real life experiences–yes, I and others had climbed out of our bedrooms and taken cabs home before dawn, shocking I know; and though I am more Morticia Addams  than Lily Munster, I firmly agree with Emma Goldman who said

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.

The BWPA staged some really cool events, as well as marching and writing letters. At local concerts we collected food for non-sectarian food banks. We raised funds for the Homeless Writers’ Coalition and Sunset Hall, a home for retired activists through poetry readings. We organized a concert at a local club to register voters; Courtney Love, fresh out of the pages of a highly negative Vanity Fair article and a stint in rehab, played an acoustic set which featured “Pennyroyal Tea,” a song that would later appear on Nirvana’s  In Utero.

At the KROQ Weenie Roast, the BWPA accepted a $5,000 check from Stone Temple Pilots who had come under fire for their song lyrics; we turned around redistributed the funds to abortion, rape crisis, senior and child aid groups, using 10% to fund our breast cancer fund raiser featuring a celebrity bra auction (Madonna and Courtney Love both donated their lingerie, and Jack Lemmon provided an autographed vintage bra referencing his role in Some Like It Hot) and strip-a-thon where numerous local go-go girls, belly dancers and underground burlesque queensalong with a guy who would later become my lawyer–shimmied for a good cause. Ron Athey and his troupe also performed that night. Dr. Dre who was in the audience certainly had his eyes opened. And we raised $10,000 for the Dr Susan Love Foundation at UCLA.

Another breast cancer fund raiser featured a silent auction of prosthetic breasts decorated by noted comic book artists. Maybe not in the best of taste, but definitely ahead of its time.

We also made and installed a hundred plaster busts of, well, busts–our own and anyone we could recruit–along Pacific Coast Highway and at the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard.  But it wasn’t all art, poetry and music. We got kicked, elbowed and spat on doing abortion clinic protection; in one neighborhood close to East Los Angeles, car loads of angry men circled, yelling and making threatening gestures as we stood outside the clinic; rabid evangelicals cheered them on, taking up their shouts. It was kind of intense.

We were given a table at the annual ACLU Torch of Liberty dinner as thanks for our volunteer work–corsets and piercings are formal wear, right?– and generally tried to make a difference. (And yes, we had really cool tee shirts, with the logo above, designed by Terry Davidio).

As the 90s moved forward, life changes altered the abilities of our 40-odd (very odd) members to meet, but the majority of us continue our activism in our personal–and in some cases professional–lives.  Recently I have run into BWPA gals registering voters, volunteering and donating at Occupy LA, so I was thrilled when Nicole posted our manifesto/mission statement up on her Facebook page, a prescient statement which almost 20 years later is heard across the nation.

BART Director: “Speculation About Protest Doesn’t Warrant Cell Shutdown”

BART’s board of directors met today in a special open session to address the August 11 suspension of cell phone service, which the majority of directors soundly decried, putting interim BART general manager Sherwood Wakeman in the hot seat.

During the meeting BART experienced

technical difficulties

and did not provide live feed.  How um, odd….An earthquake was also felt during the meeting.

The following was gathered off Twitter feeds and news reports of the meeting.

BART police chief  Kenton Rainey told the board that he learned about the August 11 planned protest on

a blog webpage

and made to decision to shut off cellphone service for the riders’ safety. In a dreadful spin about the August 11 incident, BART spokesperson Linton Johnson had said

There are a multitude of groups … flying in from all over the country. They want to do surprise attacks, basically, on BART riders.

Weirdly BART doesn’t consider the full platforms caused by baseball games and drunken concert revelers to be

a threat to the safety of disabled passengers

A”no protests” card was pulled out by a BART employee during the meeting, while an advocate for the disabled informed the BART board of directors that shutting of cellphone service put people at risk–without texts, deaf people can’t get emergency info.

One cellphone-using BART rider said that in his opinion the claim that any 1st amendment right was violated

is specious and trivializes our 1st amendment freedoms

However, other speakers disagreed.  Michael Risher from the ACLU commented that

Just because something can pass constitutional muster doesn’t mean it’s right.… we hope in the next few weeks BART will develop a policy that they won’t turn off cell phone service except in most extraordinary of circumstances

and went on to say that he hoped that

the board takes opportunity to reaffirm free speech rights.

A representative from Indybay.org, a citizens’ news service pointed out that

The tactic of shutting down communications sets bad precedent, could spread to other police forces, this is historic.

Krystof (one name) from No Justice No BART stepped up to the mic, saying

I’m the guy that comes to your meetings.  I’m not anonymous to you!  Your counter-protest strategy is failing miserably…We don’t want you to improve free speech policy. We already have a policy called the Constitution..We don’t need your permission to protest. We are going to do it anyway. Our free speech zone is wherever we are standing,

adding that his group would continue to protest.

One speaker, Twitter handle dto510, aksed the board to vote regarding the cellphone shutdown:

I spoke to BART Board noting evidence of safety threat on Aug 11 was wrong, and asked for vote on cellphone shutdown.

The BART board of directors weighed in. While at the top of the meeting, BART’s assistant General Manager of Operations Paul Overseir said a small hiccup in service could lead to overcrowding and danger on the platforms (again baseball games, oh heck football games, let’s just say it!) and BART chief counsel Burrows pointed out that there are designated free speech areas, the BART board of directors seemed generally unhappy about the cellphone shutdown.

Board member Robert Raburn called the August 11 action imprudent adding:

This will become a landmark case. We must protect 1st amendment. Speculation about protest doesn’t warrant cell shutdown.

Board member James McPartland (on speaker phone):

This is the start of a national discussion on authorities’ power to shut off cellphones.

Board member Joel Keller:

People have a right to cellphone service but BART also has to deal sometimes with situations of imminent danger. When two rights collide, the right to safety and the right to free speech, we should err on the side of not allowing the suspension of cell phone service. Once we allow cell phone service, we have to protect that right.

(the right to safety is not in the Constitution, fyi.)

Board member Lynette Sweet asked the staff to explain the chain of command that lead to the suspension of cell service, and BART Police Chief Rainey replied:

I am responsible for the actions of August 11.

BART’s interim general manager Wakeman says he ultimately authorized Aug. 11 decision on a recommendation from Rainey, and that the FCC was not notified. Nor was BART’s board of directors

Sweet asked about ADA compliance, if was that part of the equation. Wakeman replied

There are alternative means of communication for the  disabled.

Sweet said she has not been quiet on the issue because it is such a big issue, and that the board not being involved in the August 11 decision and the shooting of Charles Hill  shows that BART has not learned any lesson from the shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009. Sweet also said:

I agree with Krystof. Our counter protest strategy is not working.

Board member Tom  Radulovich said that the shut down of cell service was unjustifed and that BART should admit their over reaction and mistake regarding cellphones

even if it’s hard

Sweet concluded

There’s a way to have both safety and open communications.

BART board president Bob Franklin, who said that people have an immediate distrust of BART, still defended Aug. 11 cellphone shutdown, saying

It wasn’t about silencing protesters

much to the outrage of people following the live tweets. No really, then what was it about?

Franklin also said:

I supported Chief Rainey’s tactic to shut down cell service because of safety. We can’t take that chance.

That kind of double speak and attitude will lead to more protests.

@pixpls tweets and #opBART were invaluable for this story.

Photo: YourAnonNews

Now That’s Just UnAmerican! High School Internet Filter Messes with Religion, Baseball

This caught my eye:

The Gainesville (Georgia) School Board has promised it would look into why two Chinese oriented meditation websites come up as ‘occult’ and are blocked by the Gainesville High School Internet filter…Expressing her concern at Monday’s board meeting held in the high school cafeteria, Mary Silver, who supports Clear Wisdom and Falun Dafa, told board members the sites do not encourage involvement in the occult. Far from it, she said.

Falun Dafa is also known as Falun Gong, a form of exercise and meditation banned by the Chinese government in 1999. Practitioners have been jailed, sent to work camps and tortured. And if you believe some websites, killed and their organs sold for transplants. Occult means “secret” or “hidden.” At time the word is equated with “esoteric,” and has by used by some to describe practices like meditation, yoga, astrology, witchcraft as well as various mono- and polytheistic faiths which may practice these exercises and arts. Lumped into “occult” by pop culture are werewolves, vampires, zombies and anything else scary.  Eye roll.

A quick search for “Falun Dafa” and “occult” gets you to discussion forums like Vampire.nu and Occultforum.org, as well as one site that claims Falun Dafa practitioners

collect energy for [their] own benefit, but a portion is re-directed (by occult processes) to the Falun Gong cause in China.

So basically, Falun Dafa practitioners believe they are using some not readily known method to help gain freedom to practice their religion and to draw attention to human rights abuses. Kinda like prayer circles where the faithful pray to make money or to get rid of demons in their neighborhood.

But wait a minute.  Why is the term “occult” blocked by the high school’s internet filter? What other words are blocked? And why? Is “atheist” blocked? “Evolution”?   Are certain religions? Philosophies? And how would parents feel if terms like “resurrection” or “son of God” were blocked?

In April Prince William School District in Virginia received a letter from the ACLU pointing out that the school district’s internet ban on the term LGBT was unconstitutional. TDB reported:

According to the ACLU, barred websites under the system’s “LGBT” filter include those for educational organization The Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, school diversity campaign the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, anti-bullying initiative Day of Silence, and anti-suicide initiative the It Gets Better Project.

Meanwhile, because Prince William County Public Schools does not elect to bar “political/activist groups,” “health,” or “reference,” it currently allows students to access anti-LGBT websites like People Can Change, the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, and Exodus International.

At they time they sent out the letter, the ACLU issued the following statement:

The ACLU also sent similar letters to schools in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas as part of the organization’s “Don’t Filter Me” initiative, which seeks to combat illegal censorship of LGBT information on public school computer systems by enlisting students to check their school’s web browsers and report what they find.

Under the First Amendment right to free speech and the Equal Access Act, gay-straight alliances and LGBT support groups should have access to national organizational websites that help them to function, just as other groups, such as Key Clubs and the chess clubs, are able to access their national websites.

Ken Blackstone, a spokesman for the Prince William school system said that:

the school system is required by federal law to use Internet filtering software to keep students and staffers from looking at inappropriate content at school. He said the division’s Blue Coat filtering software blocks out 32 specific categories, including, for instance, sites containing pornography or promoting violence or drugs.

Butt the process is automated and sometimes the software doesn’t correctly differentiate between, for example, gay support groups and gay pornography.

In order to correct that problem, Blackstone said the school division has a process by which students or staff can request to have a site unblocked. He said that to the best of his knowledge, no one made such a request in this case.

So, if websites about certain  “occult” faiths, philosophies and belief systems are not allowed into the school, and other religions and philosophies are allowed to pass through the Internet filter, why? Who sets up these filters? Are they set by prevailing community standards, the Federal government, or by the school itself using certain guidelines and their own interpretations?

Seems though that blocking equal access to all religions is a blow against freedom of religion, one of the very cornerstones of our nation and one of the reasons we even have Founding Fathers.

And side note: banning the word “occult” prevents seekers from finding information about colon cancer, arthritis and even baseball!

Another Mississippi High School Discriminates Against LGBT Student

photo: amanky

Copiah County School District in Mississippi cut senior Ceara Sturgis completely out of the Wesson Attendance Center 2010 class yearbook after the senior’s long battle with school officials to include a photo of her wearing a tuxedo. Ceara is lesbian, something that doesn’t bother her classmates:  Fellow students nominated her to be prom queen, though she declined because she was concerned about how the administration would react.

Despite student support, it’s clear the adults in the Copiah County School District have some problems with  Ceara. The class of 2010 yearbook contains not a single mention or picture of Ceara, despite her achievements and good grades. Ceara’s  name is not even listed.

Ceara and her mother  Veronica Rodriguez involved the Mississippi ACLU last year when officials decided not to allow Sturgis’ photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress. In October, 2009 the ACLU wrote  letter demanding officials use Ceara’s submitted photo in the yearbook, but Copiah County School District officials refused.

Her mother told the Jackson Free Press:

It’s like she’s nobody there, even though she’s gone to school there for 12 years. They mentioned none of her accolades, even though she’s one of the smartest students there with wonderful grades. They’ve got kids in the book that have been busted for drugs. There’s even a picture of one of the seniors who dropped out of school. I don’t get it. Ceara is a top student. Why would they do this to her?

Ceara is a lesbian, she stood up for her rights, she involved the ACLU.  Mississippi school officials obviously don’t like these things, as we’ve seen from the Constance McMillen case.

The “Mean Prom” Masquerade Continues, Constance Not the First to Face Discrimination

A number of students from Itawamba Agricultural High School have  joined the discussion on the post The MEANEST Town in America.  According to the most recent comments, there were three

parent run proms

for students on the night of April 2, the night of the country club prom that Constance attended with five others. The student, screen name fentdog goes on to say:

I don’t much about the school run prom. I do know that everyone went to Evergreen because more work was put into it.

As the photos show, a lot of work went into the Evergreen prom, including a marquee tent with decorations like huge cut outs of masks seen above, balloon arches and disco lights.

The student writes that the Evergreen  event did not have tickets, that there were no invitations, instead kids were “told about” the Evergreen event. The student writes about Constance

people tried to go contact her, but she would never pick up her phone. On the night of the prom, she goes to a different one…the school sponsored one. She didn’t know that everyone had decided to go to Evergreen, thus she had a fit. I can personally recall trying to call Constance to go to Evergreen….but she never answered.

Hmmm, okay. So then why wasn’t she emailed, or Facebooked about it? And what about the other kids who showed up at the country club?

The Evergreen prom/dance party, the one which had photos that appeared on Facebook, the one with kids dressed to the nines cruising away stretch SUVs, the one “everyone went to” where two girls where photographed tongue kissing, shared the same theme as the original school prom which was to be held at the IAHS Commons, according to a memo, dated February 5, which appears to be from the school, issued by two teachers.

The apparent memo about the original prom stated the theme, Masquerade. That theme is seen in photos from the Evergreen party.

The memo also laid down the criteria for the students’ guests. It clearly states that  guests

must be of the opposite sex

Constance challenged that.

Constance isn’t the first student to face discrimination at IAHS. Just before Constance spoke out, another student was forced to leave town.

On February 4, 2010,  WTVA reported that IAHS student Juin Baize was suspended for wearing make up, women’s clothing and boots to school.  Juin, who per Dan Savage, currently prefers the use of the male pronoun, said

They told me that I can not come to school dressed like a girl.

The story continues:

And that’s unfair…says Juin’s friend, senior Constance McMillen.

She says a group of girls came to school Thursday morning, dressed as guys in support of Juin dressing like he does.

Constance says the principal immediately told Juin to go home.

McMillen said, “Mr. Wiygul came to Juin and told him he had to leave and I stopped Mr. Wiygul and I said Mr. Wiygul why are you making him leave? Because he’s dressed like a girl? And he said yes, and I said you know that’s not fair because all of us are dressed like boys. Why aren’t you telling us to leave? And he just said I’m following orders from the school board and I said you can’t rightfully make him leave and not make us leave because, I mean, it’s the same thing.”

Juin was was given a suspension notice and sent home, and when he returned to school after his first suspension, he was suspended again. The reasons for a student’s suspension are supposed to be noted on the suspension form, but that part of Baize’s suspension notice was left blank, according to Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi.

Bennett told Dan Savage:

Juin’s case was a situation where a transgender student wanted to attend school dressed in feminine clothing, and the school district would not even let him attend school.

Neither the superintendent nor school board attorney wanted to go on camera with WTVA, but both did talk to WTVA by phone at the time of the incident, telling the news station that they.

are simply following the handbook rules, which allows a student to be sent home, if he or she is determined to be a distraction.

The situation escalated, and Juin’s mother, who had just relocated from Indiana to stay with relatives, moved Juin out of state to live friends, fearing for Juin’s safety. Juin is currently attending a virtual school, and the ACLU which was investigating the cae said they won’t be pursuing it.

Juin not being in Fulton makes it difficult for us to pursue any kind of legal action here. And personally, I feel it may be a better decision for Juin to relocate and move on with his life.

The “distraction” issue is being used by the American Family Association to bolster the IAHS school board’s decision. In an editorial published on the Itawamba County Journal site, NEM360.com, Bryan Fisher, the AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis cites a Supreme Court decision, Morse v. Frederick (2007)

that school officials are entitled to restrict student speech and expressions in order to maintain an orderly, disruption-free school environment.

But a reader succinctly refutes that, stating that Fisher misrepresents Morse v. Fredrick, which was case about drug usage, quoting an analysis:

Joseph Frederick, a student at Juneau-Douglas High School  in Juneau, Alaska, displayed a banner at a high school event on which was written:  “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.”  The principle, Deborah Morse, regarded the banner as promoting illegal drugs and confiscated the banner and suspended the student.  After the Ninth Circuit held that the principle violated the student’s First Amendment’s rights, the Supreme Court overturned and held that his rights were not violated…

Chief Justice Roberts wrote “[And] that the rights of students ‘must be applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment.’ … Consistent with these principles, we hold that schools may take steps to safeguard those entrusted to their care from speech that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging drug use.”

The environment at IAHS may come up very soon. Chris Keifer reports in NEM360.com

The American Civil Liberties Union is questioning the motives behind the two events as it drafts its lawsuit seeking damages from the Itawamba County School District…

We are disappointed at the sparse attendance (at the event McMillen attended), and we’re looking further into the situation,” said Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi.

“Whatever we find will be brought to the court’s attention, whether it is in the damages trial, or whatever. There will still be a trial on the merits. The case didn’t end in the preliminary hearing.”

[ht Dan SavageQueerty.com]

Paging Sarah Palin! The Disabled Kids in Fulton, Mississippi Need YOU!

Considering how much grief Sarah Palin gave Rahm Emanuel when he called liberal Democrats “f*cking retarded,” I hope she’ll have something to say about the kids from Itawamba Agricultural High and their cruel dismissal of two learning disabled kids who were sent to the “official” prom with other seven students–including Constance McMillen whose only wish for the prom was to wear a tux and bring her girlfriend–while the majority of their classmates danced away at a private event some called a prom on their Facebook pages.

Dear Sarah Palin,

You are a super all-American mom who fiercely defends her kids. I hope your son Trig is never treated the way some of the students at Itawamba Agricultural High School were this past weekend.

Can you imagine how excited these sweet teens were to go to the prom at the country club? The joy they felt in their formal wear, the pride their parents had as they took pictures and dropped them off with their corsages in place? What a momentous occasion for any teen, and what a huge landmark for a learning disabled kid, going to the prom!

And then comes the horrible realization that they were set up…only nine people are there! Where are all rest of the kids, the pretty girls, the smiling jocks? Well, gee they are at another party, one these kids weren’t invited to.

Mrs. Palin, here’s what one student, who goes by the screenname of softballgirl10 wrote:

and i don’t understand the disabled kids stuff, we don’t even talk to them, so stop judging. they could have come to our prom if they wanted to.

That’s right, Mrs. Palin, the students who went to the secret prom “don’t even talk to” the disabled kids. How could these kids have “come to our prom if they wanted to”?

These kids were treated like pariahs. I hope you take a stand for these disabled kids like you did when Rahm Emanuel called people “retarded.” You have shown America that disabled and special needs kids  are  a glorious gift and that they deserve the respect and compassion. And to be treated as equals.

On behalf of the kids of Fulton, all kids and the kids they may have, and all the people they will meet and affect, please take a stand and let the students and families of IASH class of 2010 know that what they did was wrong, cruel and downright mean to others and to themselves, as lying and deceiving are self-harm and thus sin. This is not what America stands for, this is not who Americans are. Mrs. Palin, you have often made much of the importance of  American values. This is a matter of values, of principle; not politics.

Respectfully,

Lisa Derrick

Where’s Constance? Photos from a Private Prom

So a lot of the kids from Itawamba Agricultural High ’10 seem to have gone to the same prom this weekend, judging by their public Facebook pages, captured here by an intrepid sleuth. Cassandra Lee Maier wrote on March 29 that she was

sick and tired of the damn prom being cancelled. what the hell happened this time??

but on Saturday she posted a smiley icon saying that she had an awesome time at the prom, and that

it was so pretty

Danthon Huddleston was really happy.

Had soooooo much fun lastnight thank you; all the parents whoade lastnight possible and a might to remember thank you. Seniors our year is back on track!!! :)

On Saturday morning, Angel Russell posted on Facebook

had so much fun last night………never knew I could dance that much :)…. BEST EVER!!!!

On a photo from Angie Byrd Sherrer’s Facebook page where she posted pictures of her daughter Holly dancing at the private no-gays prom (Mrs Sherrer has since made her page private), student Mckenzie Mina King posted this:

bahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. haha. waittt, i still dont think im finished laughing….
hahahahaha.
i just love youuuuuuuu.
Pam Spaulding reports that
Fulton not only displayed rank homophobia, it raised the bar of evil by sending learning-disabled students to the fake prom, clearly labeling them “others.”
Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”
I can see some of the same dresses in these pictures posted by different students.
Just a reminder to the non-white kids , non-disabled kids who went to this event: Forty-five years ago, in Birmingham, Alabama the same stunt got pulled on a black girl.

Think about civil rights for moment.
And if that’s not fucked up enough, now there’s a FB group called Constance, Quit Yer Cryin
Okay. My work here is done. Let’s see what Sarah Palin has to say about this…

Mississippi Court Rules Prom Girl’s Rights Violated

A federal court ruled today that Itawamba Agricultural High School violated Constance McMillen’s civil rights when they would not allow her to wear a tuxedo or bring her girlfriend as a her date to the prom. The ACLU took up Constance’s case and Ellen Degeneres had the teen as a guest on her show. There is also a Facebook page Let Constance Take her Girlfriend to the Prom

In their ruling, the court wrote:

“The record shows Constance has been openly gay since eighth grade and she intended to communicate a message by wearing a tuxedo and to express her identity through attending prom with a same-sex date. The Court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment. The Court is also of the opinion that the motive behind the School Board’s cancellation of the prom, or withdrawal of their sponsorship, was Constance’s requests and the ACLU’s demand letter sent on her behalf.”

The court id not order the school board to reinstate the canceled prom, as there is a private prom open to all students that has been organized in Itawamba. Constance and her girlfriend also plan to attend the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition’s Second Chance Prom, to be held Saturday, May 8 in Tupelo. That event, sponsored by Green Day, Tonic.com, Iron Chef Cat Cora, and Lance Bass, is an annual response to the complaints of LGBT teens that they can’t bring their same-sex dates to school proms.

Constance said happily:

It feels really good that the court realized that the school was violating my rights and discriminating against me by canceling the prom. All I ever wanted was for my school to treat me and my girlfriend like any other couple that wants to go to prom. Now we can all get back to things like picking out our prom night outfits and thinking about corsages.


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