So here's this from the LA Times:
Three teachers at a South Los Angeles elementary school have been suspended for allegedly encouraging students to celebrate O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul for Black History Month, officials said Wednesday.
Children at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were carrying pictures of the men at a parade Friday on the school playground, said Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry. She said Supt. Ramon C. Cortines learned about the incident Tuesday and had the teachers, who are white, pulled from their classrooms pending an investigation.
The suspension is without pay for the first three days.
“The superintendent believes there are better choices,” she said.
Other students were carrying pictures of President Obama and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Okay, are you mad yet?
As if that wasn't infuriating enough, get this:
"I just can’t fathom what these teachers were thinking of except to make a mockery of African American history,” said Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.
One parent said that he didn't mind the inclusion of Rodman and Simpson, saying that even though they were fallen heroes, they had been heroes. But including RuPaul?
"That alone, to me, qualifies for a suspension."
And in an editorial that made me cringe, "The wrong history lesson; Common sense went out the window when three teachers demeaned Black History Month," the LA times wrote:
And it's not as though RuPaul isn't worthy of regard, but the tender years of elementary school are not the time for introducing the modern complications of cross-dressing and gender identification.
Putting aside the controversy over the inclusion of Dennis Rodman and OJ Simpson, I need to focus here on what in the world are they upset about with including RuPaul?
Is it solely that she's a drag queen? Does that, by definition, make her a BAD role model?
The most recent update in the news on this is that the teachers won't be fired, they'll be transferred to other schools.
Which of course, led some Black Religious leaders to lament that
"That exposes other children to the racist teachers."
So celebrating RuPaul makes you RACIST???
RuPaul is an AMAZING role model. She's re-defined what's possible for a man in drag - she became a drag queen supermodel! A makeup spokesmodel. An author with a new book out (Workin' It!) A best-selling pop star. She even has her own TV show - now in it's second season!
All this from a thin black boy who had a dream.
I think that's pretty role-model-worthy, and you don't have to want to dress up in a dress to celebrate that.
I can admire someone as a role model without wanting to be just like them. (I can see President Obama as a role model without my wanting to run for public office!)
But maybe that's the point of the school district's action. Maybe the school district and the NAACP are afraid that allowing kids to celebrate RuPaul will be telling kids it's okay to be queer? Well guess what? It IS okay to be queer!
Hear that, students?
So yeah, bring on the RuPaul photos to celebrate Black History Month every year! 'Cause RuPaul is fierce, and we - no matter what color we are, or how gender conforming or non-conforming we are, or who we're attracted to - should celebrate her!
And that's my homophobia smack-down.