Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music ...
Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music Education from Truman State. Now retired, Rich enjoyed reading, writing music and short essays. He is the director of Kirksville Community Chorus.
MCKNOTES ON EQUALITY
Generally I avoid all political issues, but last week, our city council voted against equality. Some people will argue with that assessment of what occurred, but the failure to take a stand for non-discrimination is clear.
I read the articles and the excuses those who voted against the anti-discrimination ordinance. I use the word excuses like a teacher would use it when a student moans, “My dog ate my homework.” To me, they made no sense. I’m proud to live in Kirksville, but I am not proud of this decision. This week I also watched “Nine for IX.” This was a documentary regarding equal rewards for women who compete in athletic tournaments. Venus Williams served as the focus of this first segment of the film series on ESPN. I believe they arrived at the name of the series because nine individuals will offer their perspective on the significance of Title IX, which has been in effect for over forty years, and we still haven’t gotten it right.
What I don’t understand is what is so difficult about equality. Likewise, I don’t understand how anyone in a position of authority could actually voice opinions against equality. It’s an adult form of bullying. We fret about bullying in our schools and what a terrible thing it is for students to have to face, but let’s remember where they see this modeled.
Since I’ve been in Kirksville I have often heard that we need more industry, and it’s just too bad that we can’t attract more businesses. Do you really think anyone wants to bring a business into a community that supports inequality? We need to be able to announce the good things we stand for, not what we’re against.
One doesn’t need to be psychic to see the writing on the wall, which is that finally, at long last, our country is beginning to realize that we are all created equally, and will soon set legal precedents that will, once and for all, outlaw the discrimination that lingers in our culture. There will probably always be bigots in our country, but eventually the legal system will realize that this is simply not in keeping with the documents that were drawn up to support the establishment of our government.
We are getting there. We will learn these lessons eventually. Will our community sit on the sidelines until we are forced to react? I prefer to be proactive and ban discrimination before it occurs. By voting down the anti-discrimination ordinance it seems like the city council prefers to turn a blind eye to such injustice. That, in my opinion, is not leadership.