The following open letter is by The New Civil Rights reader Scott Rose. Senator DeMint indeed is a member of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women’s Issues. We wonder how that is possible, given his appalling treatment of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people, women, and other minorities. Recently, Senator DeMint said that gays should not be allowed to teach, nor should unmarried women sleeping with their boyfriends.
November 19, 2010
Senator Jim DeMint
340 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
This regards your repeated remarks that gay people should not be allowed to teach school. I object to them because that kind of discrimination against a minority violates the Pledge of Allegiance’s promise of liberty and justice for all.
I hereby challenge you to face me on national television and explain why I shouldn’t be allowed to teach. I studied at Master’s level at Harvard University and speak German, French, Spanish and Italian. I have published two novels. The phrase “By Scott Rose” has appeared in over 1,000 venues including Strings, (a publication for *students* of string instruments), The World Scholar (a publication for *students*), Bon Appétit, The Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, ShowBoats International, Decanter, Opera News, the New York Blade, Girlfriends, Caviar Affair, the Advocate, Relish’s The American Table and Mia/Enas, a magazine for Greek Americans. I have taught with conspicuously positive results. I have for example guest lectured on the arts in journalism at Brooklyn College. The students loved me. I gave them pointers on how to break into journalism and subsequently learned that some of them have done so.
When you demonize minority members of American society, saying they should not be allowed to teach school, you contribute to the terroristic atmosphere of hatred that results in gay students and teachers living in angst and in some cases even committing suicide. It is therefore most ironic that you of all people have served on a U.S. Senate Subcommittee for human rights. Recently in Tennessee, a lesbian couple found their house burned to the ground and the word “Queer” spray-painted on a remaining adjacent structure. Your demonizing of gay Americans contributes to the ongoing occurrence of such hate crimes. Do you intend to behave responsibly to stop the hate?
In addition to facing you on national television, I intend to organize a group of GLBT teachers from around the country to meet with you in Washington. I will not rest in my campaign to reverse your bigotry until you 1) retract your statement; 2) apologize for it and 3) commit to fostering atmospheres of diversity and acceptance in U.S. schools nationwide.
Scott Rose is the author of two novels, Death in Hawaii and Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide. Based in New York City, as a freelancer he covers subjects as diverse as human rights, yachting, fine wines, politics, fashion, dog care, car repair, poker strategy, caviar and opera. He believes that when a sitting US Senator promulgates hate speech, silence must not be considered an option.
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