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

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hutcherson and the Legacy of MLK

It appears as if Ken Hutcherson's crusade against his daughter's school continues. As we noted previously, Hutcherson was invited to speak at his daughter's high school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which did not sit too well with some staff because of his anti-gay views. The school apologized for the controversy but Hutcherson was having none of it and demanded that the teachers involved lose their jobs.

And that was the last we had heard of it until Hutcherson showed up on the Wallbuilders Live radio program today to discuss his on-going feud with the school, which has now broadened to include attempts to shut down the school's Gay-Straight Alliance and end the school's participation in The Day of Silence.

On and on Hutcherson and host Rick Green went, complaining about supposed double standards and anti-Christian bigotry, leading Hutcherson to declare that the teachers at the school who oppose his anti-gay views and activism ought to thank their lucky stars that he has found Christ and is no longer violent:

"What it shows is the power of God to control his son. Before I became a Christian, if a white guy looked at me wrong, he was beat up. That's the reason I went out for football, so I could hurt white people legally there in Alabama. I was a much better baseball player than football, but you hit someone with the baseball while they're running to first base, people didn't like that. But you could hit them on the football field and knock them out and they patted you on the back."

But those days are past - supposedly:

"If they don't fire these teachers, I'm going to sue 'em and I'm going to ask them for their dreams. And then they're going to mess around and laugh and I'm going to take their tongue out."

Considering that Hutcherson is the sort to threaten to tear out tongues and rip the arm off of any man who dares to hold the door open for him and "beat him with the wet end," it is a bit of a mystery as to why anyone would think he would be a good choice to discuss Martin Luther King and his legacy of non-violence.


JC said...

This to me is a big issue, and one which Hutcherson's supporters and the so-called "Coalition to Defend Education" refuse to address.

Seems to me that it should be perfectly clear that the Hutcherson had no business addressing the school period, much less on the topic of equality and MLK. I have asked Hutcherson's apologists on this and several other forumns what qualifications, save for the color of his skin, Hutcherson possesses that would to him being invited to address the legacy of Dr King. Not once has any Hutcherson supporter ventured a response.

Futhermore I brought up the extreme inappropriateness of the Hutcherson invitation in a email with CoDE, pointing out that a neutral group (as they claim to be) would acknowledge this inappropriateness and the impact it had on LGBT students. I also pointed out that a neutral group seeking end divisiveness in the schools would also put out an open letter to Hutcherson requesting that he cease his dishonest attacks against the GSA in the national Christian media. Sadly, our email exchange ceased at this point.

I'd say that this non-response and inacction makes it clear that all statements to the contrary aside, CoDE is ONLY interested in 'bias' against thier children for their anti-gay views. Their actions and lack of actions show that they are completely uninterested in stopping anti-gay bias.

Anonymous said...

I agree, if the coalition is serious about defending education, they need to take a stand and dissassociate themselves from this extremist. As Elaine Harger elequently proved at the board meeting, they are definitely connected and in communication with each other.

If the coalition wants fairness, equality, and no-bias in the schools, then they should be the first group to stand up and say that Hutcherson was the wrong choice and that speaking out against him was the appropriate thing to do.

If they don't, the coalition proves that they are nothing more than right-wing fanatics and fear mongers, trying to push their so-called "traditional values" on everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple of suggestions for the e-mail and blog addicts who are truly trying to understand what the supposed "other side" is thinking. If you're only interested in your own opinions, don't read any further.

1) Pick up the phone, or seek out a face to face conversation with a CoDE member, GSA advisor, District official, etc. Many issues, including the ones we are all wrestling with as a community are too complex to thoughtfully discuss using one way communication tools.

2) Beware of generalizing, especially when you haven't done #1

3) Give people a break. We all care about the students in this district. We're all neighbors in this community. We're all busy with work and school. Nobody is perfect. Sometimes the wrong thing is said or written. Things get blown out of proportion or taken out of context. Going back to suggestion #1, seek clarification before you claim to understand what your "adversary" believes.

Anonymous said...


The group that is responsible for inviting Mr. Hutcherson should be able to answer your question about his qualifications to speak. They are the ASB (Associated Student Body) at MSHS, which included representation of students from the GSA.

I suggest you ask them

JC said...

Why can't Hutcherson's many defenders answer the question? They are all so certain that his presence was appropriate, shouldn't they be able to explain why? Do they need to hide behind children?

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous!

In case you haven't been paying attention...the GSA had nothing to do with the selection of Ken Hutcherson. This has been clearly reported. In fact, they flat out (as can be expected) opposed him.

As a member of the GSA myself, it has been agreed on by both groups, the administration, and the advisors that any such "approval" was a misunderstanding and the direct failure of Mrs. Castle and Mr. Kinnune to follow through or use their best judgement

Anonymous said...

JC: I'm not hiding behind children. I'm not a Hutcherson supporter. But I do disagree with you that a group (CoDE) that didn't even exist when the invitation was extended, and that didn't invite him in the first place should be attacked for not renouncing his invitation.

GSA Anonymous: Thank you for your response. Please be assured that I have been paying attention, although I haven't read every word on this blog. There are various versions of how the "approval process" worked (or didn't) for the MLK assembly, so I appreciate your clarification that the GSA actively opposed Mr. H's invitation. My understanding is that GSA representatives agreed (reluctantly, I imagine) to Mr. H's invitation IF he stuck to the subject matter of Civil Rights (for African Americans). Am I incorrect?

JC said...


I am not "attacking" CoDE, I'm merely pointing out the FACT that their actions do not match their rhetoric and claims of being unbiased and neutral. While they may have formed after the MLK assembly, they certainly aren't unwilling to comment on it. The quote below is from their website:

" The issue is NOT the recent Martin Luther King Day assembly. The MLK assembly was only one of many incidents in which a few teachers and staff "taught" their personal opinions (in the assembly and after, in the classroom). "

Furthermore, there is nothing preventing CoDE from issuing an open letter to Hutcherson asking that he cease his continued attacks against the GSA in the national Christian media. As I said, such an action would be entirely consistent with their mission statement to "Provide a learning environment that is physically and emotionally safe for all students. " Unless they interpret ALL students to not include LGBT students.

Seems to me rather telling that CoDE is more than willing to issue public reprimands identifying the DoS and by extension the GSA that runs it as the primary source of divisiveness around the so--called "gay issue" in schools, but resolutely unwilling to address the actions of a conservative religious leader, who is engaged in dishonest attacks against the LGBT students at the high school.

Hey, your milage may vary on this, but it is my opinion, and no amount of posts from someone lacking the courage to stand behind thier remarks is going to change it.

Anonymous said...

1) Mr. Hutcherson is a member of CoDE simply as a concerned parent; he is not in a position of authority or leadership, nor has he indicated that he aspires to such a position. That said, Mr. Hutcherson is free to pursue his own goals or agendas, whether CoDE or its members personally agree with him or not. CoDE has certain rules and limitations governing its conduct, but Mr. Hutcherson has not overstepped those boundaries.

2) I can certainly see how it looks as if CoDE is only attacking the issue of the DoS (and let me clarify - not trying to remove the GSA since they have a right to their club) because this issue has been at the forefront for approximately 6 weeks now. However, it is only because the DoS is an event scheduled to take place in the very near future that the CoDE's focus has been trained on it.

I believe you will see that CoDE will continue with its work long after the planned DoS has come and gone. I believe then you may even agree that CoDE is not just about DoS, GSA, gay/straight issues and you may well laud their efforts on behalf of all SVSD students. Hang in there - things look pretty ugly at the moment but they will get better.

Anonymous said...

CoDE has certain rules and limitations governing its conduct, but Mr. Hutcherson has not overstepped those boundaries.

CoDE overstepped ethical boundaries when then sent a coercive letter to students of the GSA demanding that they consider abandoning their rights of free expression.

If this is the manner in which CoDE plans to conduct business, they will be short lived.

If on the otherhand they decide to help our schools, their conduct will be the measure of their convictions. To date, they have only contributed division and anger, not understanding and compassion.

JC said...

"Mr. Hutcherson is a member of CoDE simply as a concerned parent;"

No wonder CoDE is unwilling to renounce Hutcherson's dishonest attacks against a group of high school kids in the national media! They are on board with violent hate monger's like Ken Hutcherson!

"I can certainly see how it looks as if CoDE is only attacking the issue of the DoS (and let me clarify - not trying to remove the GSA since they have a right to their club) because this issue has been at the forefront for approximately 6 weeks now."

Yes it has been in the news, as the target of a concerted campaign by anti-gay "Christian" hate groups like Mission America, Traditional Values Coalition and the AFA. In fact, I have seen open letters from this campaign stating that CoDE is part of it. Since you seem to be quite knowledgeable about the inner workings of CoDE, oh brave anonymous poster, perhaps you can enlighten us.

"Hang in there - things look pretty ugly at the moment but they will get better."

Things do look pretty ugly, they ARE ugly. CoDE has chosen to embrace an extremist anti-gay hate monger, while simultaneously launching a public attack against the DoS and GSA, placing ALL blame for any divisiveness or bias (including anti-gay bias) in the schools at their feet. It is disgusting and reprehensible.

JC said...


Lists CoDE as a co-singer with various anti-gay hate groups to a letter from the Illinois Family Institute an anti-gay hate group that supports and endorses the work of discredited propagandist Paul Cameron.

As my grandma used to say "you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep". Well, despite their promises to expand their agenda beyond attacking LGBT students and their claims to be "nuetral" on the so-called "gay issue", they certainly don't mind keeping company with a bunch of extremist anti-gay bigots.

Anonymous said...

Methings there may be one or more "activists" working to smear/marginalize a group of concerned parents to fit their "political" agenda.

I'm not saying it's true, but it certainly smells a bit fishy from where I'm sitting.