Quote of the day

"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. "

-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Washington State Senator Ed Murray's letter to Randy Taylor



Principal Randy Taylor Mt. Si High School
8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E. Snoqualmie, WA 98065


Dear Mr. Taylor,

Today, every American is familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King’s great leadership in the fight for civil rights for African Americans.

However, Dr. King’s example was not simply limited to the tireless quest for equality. It was also found in the manner in which he treated his opponents, embracing them with respect and without vitriol – even while they denigrated and insulted him. When we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, we would do well to remember this, too.

One man’s own personal experience of racism, while certainly regrettable, is not enough to qualify him as a spokesperson of Dr. King’s values. To truly uphold Dr. King’s example, one must also uphold his humility and his fundamental objection to derogate those who disagreed with him.

Rev. Ken Hutcherson decidedly does not follow in these footsteps.

Here is a man who, in his battle against equal rights for gays and lesbians has said: “You know how the Bible says, ‘Turn the other cheek?’ Well, I did that. But I’m not giving them the big cheeks.” These kinds of degrading remarks about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens are simply obscene.

Here is a man who, after viewing the movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’ told a reporter that the Jews were responsible for killing Christ: “The truth is that they did push to have Christ crucified. That’s just plain truth… that’s Biblical truth.” This libel has resulted in the suffering and death of millions over twenty centuries of Western history.

Intolerance and contempt are objectionable enough. Using Christianity to support them – to use, in other words, the tools that Martin Luther King developed not to extent rights but to deny them – is a cynical order of magnitude worse.

History has taught us that we must speak out, and speak out vigorously, against these slanderous attacks. There are many leaders in the African American civil rights movement, including some who oppose my position of sexual orientation, who would have better represented the example of Martin Luther King.

As an agent of intolerance and contempt, Hutcherson should not have been invited to speak at your school’s Martin Luther King Day event. I have no doubt that he has very painful stories of the inequality he has experienced in his life. But his story today is about perpetuating inequality among gays, lesbians and Jews. And that cannot and should not be condoned.

A member of your staff thought as I do, and, at the end of Hutcherson’s remarks, respectfully questioned him about his commitment to the values of acceptance and respect as they apply to gays and lesbians. I was shocked to learn that you issued Hutcherson an apology as a result. This – and your subsequent “fact-finding” inquest into your staff’s actions – only adds insult to injury.

Although a minimal amount of circumspection alone might have helped you determine that inviting a known bigot to speak on Martin Luther King Day may have offended members of your student body, staff and faculty, I am heartened to know that you plan to examine your policies and standards related to speakers and presentations at your school.

However, to not disavow Hutcherson’s presentation at your school will continue to amount to an endorsement of his views and values – neither of which follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King.

Sincerely,

Sen. Ed Murray

10 comments:

Gayle said...

Ed Murray has my vote! Extremely well said!! Mr. Hutchinson should NEVER have been invited to speak and thank god for people like Ms. McCormick who speak up for those students who are afraid to speak up for themselves. Her commitment to her students is to be commended. It is appalling that Mt Si hasn’t issued her a formal apology AND a thank you for speaking up for the children.

Anonymous said...

Randy Taylor inviting an intolerant bigot to promote MLK Jr. is pathetic. Congratulations Randy, you are dumber than your students, nice religious double standards.

MtSiParents said...

Senator Murray hit the nail right on the head.

We must demand that Mr. Taylor not only be reprimanded, but that he should issue a public apology for creating this mess!

jweathe said...

A very big THANK YOU to Senator Ed Murray for his support in equality at Mt. Si High School!
Thank you, Senator!

I’m sure the Senator will need to hear from each and every one of us, in support of his letter. One can only imagine the hate emails Hutcherson’s goons are capable of. After speaking out against Hutcherson, I can certainly attest to their hate calls! Please call, write or simple email him with your support!
Olympia Office:
215 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40443
Olympia, WA 98504-0443
(360) 786-7628
E-mail: murray.ed@leg.wa.gov
Web site: http://sdc.leg.wa.gov/murray.htm

Another Parent said...

Just sent my letter of support and thanks..let's hope the administration, school board, and superintendent are paying attention. Has anyone actually forwarded this letter to Aune, Taylor, etc? Anyone know if they have seen this site?

Anonymous said...

The hateful, intolerant, defaming and disrespectful comments and attitudes portrayed in this blog spot are obscene and shameful. Ed Murray is clearly bent on promoting and legitimizing his perverted sexual views and working as hard as he is able to thrust these views into the public school setting. Furthermore, that is obviously the devious aim of this entire BLOG and its author, so-called 'MtSiParents'. You do not represent the interests and views of even 1% of the parents of Mt Si High School students. Stop this cruel deceit!!!

MtSiParents said...

Anonymous

The hateful, intolerant, defaming and disrespectful comments and attitudes portrayed in this blog spot are obscene and shameful.

Please be specific.


Ed Murray is clearly bent on promoting and legitimizing his perverted sexual views and working as hard as he is able to thrust these views into the public school setting.


Perverted sexual views?

So you are OK with abusing or relegating those with alternative "sexual views" as those not deserving of the rights you and I have?

What do you know about oppression and fear of your neighbors?


Furthermore, that is obviously the devious aim of this entire BLOG and its author, so-called 'MtSiParents'. You do not represent the interests and views of even 1% of the parents of Mt Si High School students. Stop this cruel deceit!!!


Actually, according to our current mail list we number approximately 20%. But that's only after a week.
Give us time!

---

You know I knew eventually HATE would come here. Some would have you sensored, but having your hate here reminds us of why we will NEVER stop fighting for the rights of ALL our students!

So feel free to come here and vent, perhaps one of your progressive neighbors can answer the questions you are really afraid to ask.

We are comfortable in the fact that laws under the Constitution of The United States govern us, not the Bible, and we will see to it they are enforced.

Peace be with you.

PS.

Any openly offensive comments may be deleted at my dieties discretion.

anotherparent said...

Examples of small minded people. Where is the tolerance?

"Randy Taylor inviting an intolerant bigotto promote MLK Jr. is pathetic. Congratulations Randy, you are dumber than your students, nice religious double standards"

The ASB (student leadership) invited Mr. Hutchinson.

Call for true tolerance said...

Will the hypocrisy never end?!? How can you claim tolerance on the one hand and act so intolerant on the other?

The assembly was put together by a committee of students, not Mr. Taylor. He was not invited to step on your pet agenda. He was invited because he is a nationally renowned speaker on the very subject matter of the assembly, and because his daughter is a student at Mt. Si.

Mr. Taylor did nothing wrong in regards to the organization of the assembly. His fault lies only in his weak handling of the situation, probably because of the intolerance of people who want to silence a man because of his right to an opinion. (One which he never even talked about at the assembly.)

What Mr. Taylor should have done was enforced the school’s “Controversial Issues Policy” which states that Emotional criticism and the promotion of a cause within the classroom are both inappropriate and unscholarly. The teacher's attitude, in all matters, should be that of the true scholar which is truth-seeking, open-minded, and tolerant.

I’m sorry but what happened was intolerant and closed minded, and only exposes the height hypocrisy in your movement.

call for true tolerance said...

One point of clairifcation. The 'He' referred to in my second paragraph is Mr. Hutcherson, not Mr. Taylor. I was referring to why Mr. Huterson was invited by the students.