By Ed Raymond
Fargo Superintendent and School Board Know Right from Wrong
Back in the 1950s when Corky and I lived under Jim Crow laws in Virginia and North Carolina, we were angered to see our Black Marines and neighbors forced by law to walk in the streets of Jacksonville and Parkfairfax instead of on sidewalks.
By that time the southern slave states had passed more than 200 racist laws known as Jim Crow. Southern states passed laws making it a crime to teach Blacks how to read. “White” and “Colored” signs littered public facilities and private businesses. Transportation conveyances were controlled by laws that “Blacks sit in the back” or “Blacks Not Allowed.”
I almost laughed when I saw Scott Hennen and Bette Grande castigate and question the actions of Fargo Superintendent of Schools Rupak Gandhi and Fargo School Board members, when they said they would treat LBGTQ+ as first-class citizens in North Dakota. Rob Port of the Forum tried to slither his way around the issue.
There are about 55,000 LBGTQ+ in North Dakota and more than 20,000 in schools. This means that approximately 1,000 gays attend Fargo K-12 schools, with about 170 being trans students. All of a sudden, these three right-wingers are “Trumpeting” about “a nation of laws.”
They need to look at what Republican values have done to a nation of laws regarding racism, voting rights, the dizzying array of reproductive rights and wrongs in red states, and a health care system that treats and serves only a small portion of the population.
I Nominate Rupak Gandhi for the 2023 Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award
In the 61 years of the Roughrider Awards, only one educator has been named. Tom Clifford, a former Marine who served the state well in many areas, was named a Roughrider in 2002. It’s time for another. Gandhi is playing a major role in improving the lives of 1,000 students in Fargo and 54,000 other LBGTQ+.
The slow, torturous arc of human history will be proven in the future. Gandhi and the Fargo Board are trying to save LBGTQ+ from the ravages of hate religions and the ignorance, stupidity, cruelty, and bullying of legislatures consumed by culture wars and by treating LBGTQ+ like swamp scum.
Half the states have been influenced by an uncertified malignant narcissist nutcase who has suffered a personal lobotomy, caused by loving himself. He has created a zombie MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN cult of the living and walking dead.
There are real zombies, in case you think they were created by Hollywood. The members of a Haitian “voodoo” religion were created by maleficent priest-sorcerers who wanted humans to be totally subordinate to religious powers. In the voodoo religion, zombies were created by removing the soul and destroying free will.
If you think this is nuts, read up about Tennessee religionists who wrap poisonous snakes around their necks while dancing and singing to “tongue” hymns. Occasionally a minister or worshiper dies a nasty rattlesnake death.
After Thousands of Years, the LBGTQ+ Are Being Accepted Worldwide
Ten percent of the California Legislature are LBGTQ+. A few years ago the mayor and city commission of Palm Desert were LBGTQ+.
As a Marine commander of a heavy machinegun platoon and rifle company 70 years ago, I had officers, noncoms, and grunts who were gay. In forty years in the education field, I taught kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, college, and doctorate level LBGTQ+ students.
As an elementary principal, high school principal, personnel director, school board chief negotiator, and finally school board member after retirement, I supervised hundreds of wonderful LBGRQ+ teachers and employees over the years. Yes, in Fargo, North Dakota.
Over the centuries we have had many eminent LBGTQ+ characters. Just to name a few: St. Augustine, Maura Healey, the new lesbian governor of Massachusetts, 11th Century Roman Catholic Pope Benedict IX, Rock Hudson, Florence Nightingale, Marie Antoinette, Sir Isaac Newton, Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham, Barry Goldwater’s grandson, Ludwig Beethoven, J. Edgar Hoover, Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Cheney, Liberace, and millions more.
Pope Francis: 100 Million LBGTQ+ with Two million Trans in Pews
It’s way past time to make a judgment. A decade ago you said: “Who am I to judge?”
Pope Francis has finally reached the point after ten years where he is criticizing laws that criminalize homosexuality, agreeing that God loves all mankind “just as they are.” I wonder why he doesn’t tell his cardinals, bishops, and priests what’s really in the buckwheat.
He has called on some bishops to welcome LBGTQ+ into the church. In an AP interview, Pope Francis said: “We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity.” He should tell his cardinals and bishops that every day—so they can tell their priests every day.
Currently, 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize same-sex sexual activity, 11 which have the death penalty as punishment.
Speaking of those who don’t obey laws, we have more than a dozen states that still have anti-sodomy laws on books, despite a 2003 Supreme Court decision declaring them unconstitutional.
Several German bishops have told Pope Francis that if the Vatican does not drop the insidious charge that homosexuals are “intrinsically disordered,” they will form their own “Catholic” churches.
The United Nations, currently composed of 193 nations, has repeatedly called for laws criminalizing homosexuality to be repealed. There are two non-members that have “observer” status: Taiwan and—and take a guess—the Vatican. The Vatican does not belong as a nation-state member because it would be forced to change its position on homosexuality. You already know about the China-Taiwan mess.
Let’s Have a Few “True Facts" About the Lives of LBGTQ+
A few days ago I was skimming through an AARP newsletter when I ran across a headline containing the words “True Facts.” My mind exploded: “What the hell is a true fact? Isn’t a true fact just a fact? We can’t have false or alternative “facts” unless we lead political parties or are elected president. If we have to define “true” facts, this country is in serious trouble.
When I was principal of Fargo North High back in the 1990s we were having some trouble between testosterone-laced jock-jerks and LBGTQ+ students. After getting the two troops into the choir room and chewing butts—and threatening to lower the population of the school, it went back to simmer.
After this incident, I got a note signed by “A person on the Planet,” from a gay kid who described his life in junior and senior high school. It should be read to the ND Legislature before an hour of quiet meditation.
“Junior high was the worst. At this age, your peers switch from calling you girl to calling you “fag” or faggot.” And they have evolved in their aggression towards you from just name-calling to physical abuse or threats of abuse. I hated coming to school. I was SCARED to come to school. Now in high school, my life is OK, but only OK. I’ve switched and dropped classes to avoid certain people. I have stopped lunch in the commons to avoid possible words shouted at me. School is something you will remember forever. When I think back about my school life, the word that comes to mind is “fag.” Why make people’s lives living hell? Why make school a bad memory for people? Please stop. Why mess up more lives?”
Legislators: After your meditation, repeal all the trans crap you passed—and join the human race,
Ever Hear of George Washington’s Assistant, Major General Wilhelm von Steuben?
George Washington was chosen leader of our Revolutionary Army because he was the richest man in Virginia, with thousands of acres of Virginia land and owned hundreds of Black slaves to work them.
While in Europe on a diplomatic mission, Ben Franklin discovered that a brilliant young Prussian general was about to be brought up on homosexual charges by German religious authorities, so he suggested to Washington that he be brought to America, promoted to major general, and appointed second in command. Von Steuben was a real find. He molded 13 ragtag and confused militias (the ones mentioned in the Second Amendment) into one winning army.
Besides being a great tactician, he wrote army field manuals that were used for 35 years after the revolution, served as the army’s first inspector general, and in his spare time developed plans for a military academy now known as West Point. There were no signs he was “intrinsically disordered.” I think he would be considered a “true” fact.”
A Few Points to Ponder
Are naked penises and vaginas pornographic? What if one is in the other and is not visible? What should we do with six-year-old heterosexuals who play “doctors”? What should a politician do if he has a baby born with both sets of genitalia? Ask another politician or a plumber? Should we destroy all sculptures and paintings which display those tools we use to obey God’s command to populate the earth? Well, it’s been a long day.
Students at Kettering High School in suburban Dayton, Ohio, just elected two nonbinary students king and queen at the prom. They had campaigned for the post for a week before prom because 12 other students were also running. The two had known each other since kindergarten and often dated later. They both use masculine and feminine pronouns. Their crowning was welcomed by the prom crowd. If you don’t believe me, Google it and read about it.
Naturally, with news about 450 trans bills, a 42-year-old man was arrested for making death threats. Maybe he had been reading “alternative” facts.
According to “reliable sources,” of the 266 men who have been Roman Catholic popes, at least 12 have been gay, with one being bisexual, and one transgender. You may wish to read about Pope Julius (ruled 1550 to 1555) who created the most notorious of Vatican sex scandals by falling in love with a 15-year-old named Innocenzo, who at 17 was named a cardinal by Julius! Research is often tedious, but can be great fun.
Washington Post headline: “In Letter, Thousands of Catholic Nuns Declare Trans People ‘Beloved and Cherished by God.’”
I end this harangue with a letter written by David Paper of Minneapolis about his school days. “I was a shy, timid and closeted—even to myself—gay man. Although I received a great education and went on to have a successful career as a judge, my three years in high school were some of my worst. During my first year I was called a homophobic slur in Spanish by a student, and another wanted to fight me, probably because I was perceived as weak. To deal with my unhappiness and loneliness, I would calm myself by shaking my legs and arms before I went to sleep, in addition to gleefully marking a big “X” on my calendar after I completed another day of extreme misery.”
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