Where’s The Outrage?
To the Editor:
I’d like to thank the Republican Town Committee (RTC) leadership for their transparency. Their letter about the book banning Board of Education meeting makes it crystal clear that the issue isn’t about the teenagers, or books … it’s about their political agenda.
Where was RTC outrage over far more charged and persistent outbursts at the Warehouse zoning meetings? Or, how about the Exit 9 gas station zoning meetings? But those highly charged meetings weren’t political, the book banning is, thus the pearl clutching RTC feigned outrage. The Book Banning Board of Ed meeting was correctly addressed as “charged with a few outbursts.” I know, because I was there. I don’t have to rely on hearsay. And, for the record, there were no outbursts at the pre-meeting rally … except for one alleged parent who drove by and permitted a teen in the backseat to shout obscenities at the 100 persons attending the rally. Where’s the RTC outrage about that?
Of course, just like in book banning decisions context is of critical importance. So, let’s put in context when the outbursts occurred. Yes, there were a few outbursts after a Republican school board member expressly stated she didn’t care about the 1st Amendment (even though when sworn in she took an oath to defend the US and State Constitutions). Nope, no RTC outrage there, either. How about when the Chair cut off the illustrator of the Magic School Bus series who had a few seconds left to finish? Yes, people were perturbed. Still no RTC outrage. And for that matter, how about the process that perturbed the public?
And for that matter, how about the process that seriously insulted the public. Disregard for the 1st and 14th Amendments, addressing only one element of the “Miller” obscenity test, rejection of their own Special Committee comprised of education experts, and not to overlook the Chair limiting the public to two minutes with an oversized timer! Two minutes is hardly enough time to give your name, background and share a single thought let alone provide any substance to it, which adds an element of mistrust and tells the voters and students that the Board’s time is more important than theirs. I can’t remember the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance or Legislative Council instituting a two-minute limit. No RTC outrage for that, either? So, it’s only outrage when the RTC has made the issue political and the voters overwhelmingly oppose them. That’s called Projection-Deflection Rejection (often referenced as — be the victim).
So, the RTC sees the book banning as political. I agree, except if the books are being banned for political motives that is a blatant violation United States Constitution’s First Amendment, Island Trees School District v. Pico. The Court in the Pico case was highly suspicious of political motivation where a Board of Education would vote against its own Special Committee. Thanks to the RTC, that suspicion no longer exists. It’s a signed letter fact!